Thirty Second Anniversary
Sept. 16th and 17th, 1874
The Chemung River Baptist Association convened in its thirty-second Annual Session with the First Baptist Church in Elmira, September 16, at 10:30 A.M.
After devotional exercises, commencing at 9:30 A.M., conducted by Bro. P. Perry, Bro. S. D. Merrick preached the introductory sermon from 1st John, 5-20: "This is the true God of Eternal Life".
Organized by electing Bro. D. Van Alstin, Moderator, D. J. Chittenden, Clerk, Bro. J. Branch, Assistant Clerk, Bro. T. Cuddeback, Treasurer.
Moderator read the Rules of Order and invited visiting brethren to a seat with us. The following named accepted the invitation: Rev. S. D. Merrick, Tioga, PA, Rev. M. Livermore, S. T. Dean, J. C. Mallory, and R. B. Stanton of Steuben Association.
Rev. C. W. Brooks and A. B. Chase, Seneca Association.
Rev. E. Burroughs, Bridgewater Association.
Rev. G. H. Brigham, of Missionary Union.
Rev. M. G. Clark, District Agent Home Mission Society.
Rev. S. Adist, of N.Y. Baptist Union for Ministerial Education.
Brethren. Addison Parker, J. Hendrick, and C. W. Turrell nominated as Committee of Arrangements.
By order, the letter of the First Baptist Church of Elmira was read, giving hearty welcome to this body, to their house of worship, and to the hospitalities of their homes.
The Committee of Arrangements reported in part for the Afternoon Session.
Brethren H. S. Loyd, P. Perry, and J. C. Rooney, were nominated as Committee on "Application of New Churches".
After prayer by Bro. Bingham, meeting adjourned till 1:45 P.M.
Convened at 1:45 P.M. Prayer by Bro. Phillips. Committee on Application of New Churches, reported: recommending the reception into this body of the Baptist Church at Alpine. Report adopted and the hand of fellowship was extended to said church by the Moderator.
The Moderator nominated the following committees:
Prudential-Brethren W. C. Learned, F. K. Fowler, A. Tilden, Edgar St. John and W. A. Lain.
Auditing-Brethren J. R. Sheldon and J. R. Lowe.
3:30 P.M. Listened to the reading of the letters from the churches.
"The past year has been one of deep interest, but the Lord has been with us. In addition to the resignation of our former pastor, Rev. S. D. Merrick, by death and also by letter, we have suffered the loss of valuable membership. We have enjoyed the pastoral labors of Rev. E. M. Blanchard, since April 1st. Our Sabbath school is prosperous and our congregations are increasing. We feel that we shall have to "rise and build" for we are becoming straitened for room. We are praying for a revival of God’s work among us."
"We have had existence as a church only since July last, yet we feel that we have a great work to do. We need a regular pastor among us, and a house of worship which we are taking preliminary steps to build. We expect a hard struggle, but we believe in God, and expect, with his blessing, to succeed."
"Have reason to praise God for his great goodness and mercy to us. Harmony prevails in all out church relations. Our prayer and covenant meetings are quite well sustained. Our Sabbath school is in good condition and well attended. Death has visited our Church and Sunday school and took away an earnest worker. We still enjoy the labors of Rev. C. L. Bacon."
"We rejoice, for the past year has been one of great spiritual profit; 32 have been added to our number by baptism and our numbers nearly doubled. Our Sabbath school is successful and our congregations are large, and were it not that we are in debt we would feel compelled to build larger. We appeal for aid, and unless it is given we fear for the result. Our pastor, Rev. T. E. Phillips, has labored diligently with and for us, and still continues the blessed work."
CAMPBELL AND ERWIN
"Looks upon the past year as one of trial and blessing. God’s converting
power has been felt within our bounds, and a goodly number have been brought
to Christ. Our trial has been with those who have forgotten their vows
and have gone astray. Death has visited us and a once familiar form is
seen no more among us. Rev. A. Tilden is still our pastor. We pray to be
more faithful and earnest in the works, that we may do more for our master."
"We have enjoyed a revival of God’s work during the year and souls have been brought to Christ. Trust we have made some advancement in holiness and in the knowledge of God. The preaching of the word, by our pastor Rev. J. C. Rooney, had been, and we trust will still be blessed to the good of this church and community.
CATLIN AND DIX
"Not having a pastor, we have not during the year accomplished all we could wish. Rev. J. Hendrick and Bro. T. T. VanDoren have preached the word to us a portion of the time. Our trust is in the Lord and we pray for a more abundant harvest the coming year."
"We thank God for his loving kindness to us during the past year. Though there has been no marked religious interest, there has been a gradual development of spiritual life. We are hoping for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our midst."
"We are without a pastor since April last, and in a low state, and hungering for the "preached word". We ask your prayers."
"Notwithstanding our shortcomings, God has been merciful to us, for which we feel grateful. Revival influences have been felt among us, and hopefully converted ones have been added by baptism. We love our pastor whom the Lord hath sent among us during the year, and we try to stay up his hands in every good word and work."
"We report no revival of God’s work in the year past, nor do we complain of spiritual dearth. We are striving to maintain the banner of our Lord, and we look to him for success. We pay our pastor, Rev. J. Branch, weekly, since adopting this plan we feel ourselves upon a much firmer financial basis. Pray for us that we may be prompted to more earnest effort."
"Prosperity and adversity, each in turn, has been ours during the year past. The spirit of the Master has moved men and several souls have been added to our numbers by baptism. We are united in the work of the Lord, and in our pastor, Rev. P. Perry, who came to us on the very day our meeting house burned. We are to build a new house for the Lord, which we wish to dedicate about December 25th. Our congregations are large, and our Sunday school is in good condition."
"The past year has been to us one of marked interest. Following close upon dedication of our beautiful new house of worship, (the gift of our beloved Bro. Cook) was the outpouring of God’s spirit upon us, and a goodly number we brought to Christ. The work extended to the students in Cook Academy, and to the neighboring village of Alpine, to which place we dismissed as colony of fifteen members to form a new church. In view of our humble beginnings five years ago, we may truly ask ‘what hath God wrought for us’, while we rejoice and thank the Lord for our present prosperity".
"God’s blessing has rested upon us during the year, and the increase of our membership has been steady and sustained. We have been permitted to enlarge our house of worship at an expense of $8,000 and re-dedicate it to the work of the Lord. We are happily united in our pastor, Rev. D. Van Alstin, whose labors we appreciate".
"We feel hopeful, and acknowledge the mercy of God in dealing with us. We are without a pastor to watch over us, but our trust is in the living God. Brethren, pray for us.
"The past year has been one of prayer and work. Our prayer meetings are well attended and our Sunday congregations have increased in size. Through the labors of our pastor, Rev. L. D. Worth, a few earnest workers have been added to our numbers".
"Have to mourn the loss of our former pastor, Rev. W. C. Learned, who, after five years service, resigned for a time of rest. He is now acting as supply for the time. We feel weakened by the loss of pecuniary help we formerly enjoyed, yet we have one desire, ‘to strengthen the things that remain’. Our prayer is for a revival of God’s work among us, that the youth may be brought to Christ and His cause prospered".
"Though we have no great ingathering of souls to report, yet we have
much to be thankful for: a united church; freedom from debt; a well-filled
sanctuary; a faithful devoted pastor, and things which God in mercy hath
granted us. Our Sunday school is also in a flourishing state".
"Rejoice in the conversion of a goodly number of young, some of whom have become efficient workers in the Master’s cause. Older Christians have been quickened into higher life and usefulness. We have lent our influence to the cause of temperance, and we wage war with that deadliest form of unbelief, ‘Spiritualism’. We feel the need of the prayers of our brethren that we may be guided aright".
"It is with gratitude we can say we are hopefully struggling to build up the Master’s cause in our midst. Twelve willing converts have been added to our number by baptism, and we believe others are waiting the opportunity to follow Christ in his own appointed way. Our congregations are good and our Sabbath school is in a flourishing state. Prayer meetings well sustained. Death had taken away three of our members".
Bro. J. Hendrick read the following report of the Missionary Committee:
Dear Brethren: ---Through the recommendations of your committee, appropriations have been made by the State Convention, to the following churches viz: Elmira 2nd, Chemung, Millport, and Breesport, amounting in all to one thousand dollars.
About the first of January last, Rev. E. F. Crane
resigned his pastorate of the 2nd Elmira Church, and left for
another field; after a vacancy of three months Rev. John Branch received
the unanimous call of the church to become Pastor, and the appointment
of the Missionary Board. Under his labors the church has been strengthened,
the congregation well kept up, and the Sabbath School very much increased
in numbers and interest. The indications in behalf of this church are encouraging.
In each of the other churches, to which you have given aid, there has been
uninterrupted pastoral labor, which has resulted in special revival influences
and in additions to their numbers by baptism. We believe we can safely
report that in all the churches under appointment, good work has been done,
and that we are encouraged in the prospect that they will soon become self-sustaining
churches. We regret, however, that these faithful pastors have not received
the support promised them by the State Convention. Some have received no
part of their pay except that raised on the field, since the first part
of April, others only a portion of it. This, of course, must have been
a depressing effect upon your missionaries, yet the Board appointing them
are not at fault. They are dependant on the churches for the means by which
to answer the calls made upon them.
In conclusion, we suggest, that as we, as an association, have been aided so largely in excess of our contributions, it would be appropriate that we make a special collection in all our churches in behalf of our own Missionaries. That it be in addition to our regular annual contributions, and on a uniform day throughout the Association, and we respectfully name for this purpose the last Sabbath in this month.
E. W. Cook,
After which, an address was delivered on the subject of Mission Work by Bro. M. G. Clark. Discussions of report of Missionary Committee, participated by
Brethren S. D. Merrick, G. H. Brigham, and others.
Bro. Merrick remarked that from intimate connection with this work, he concluded that no church, however feeble, can be excused fro aiding other feeble churches. The reflex influence of giving to the needy, is greater than many seemed to recognize; it is a blessing too great to be lost. It is a well established principal in God’s Kingdom, that in blessing others we bless ourselves. That Jesus, when he said, "it is more blessed to give than to receive", no doubt referred to this principal of reflex influence that comes from doing good to others. Hence, if we would be richly blessed, let us remember the poor in God’s heritage.
Bro. Brigham remarked pertinently upon the indestructibility of Baptist churches; that many churches in which the flame of existence had apparently burned out, and they were dead, well directed aid had proved them only to be sleeping, perhaps too long, but the old leaven seems ready to work anew, as in several cases which he instanced.
Bro. C. W. Brooks explained in detail the manner in which mission support is carried on in the Watkins Church.
Bro. Addison Parker suggested that in view of the great needs of the Home Mission Society, it is impolitic to wait till the meeting of the State Convention next month before doing anything, but that at once we ought to lay our money upon God’s altar, and lift our societies from their depths of difficulty.
Bro. P. Perry said that if the latent material resources of many feeble churches were developed, they would soon become self-sustaining; that if the pastors would be more active in pressing the subject of systematic giving upon their people, there would be less of want felt by the societies.
Bro. Van Alstin desired to caution the churches not to embrace the idea of swinging clear from the State Convention, but rather determine to work in full harmony and fellowship therewith.
Bro. J. Hendrick called attention to the fact that a proposition was embodied in the report of the Missionary Committee, to take special collection for the Missionaries in this Association, the last Sabbath in this month, and so in this manner aid the Home Mission Society.
Bro. A. Donalds claimed that it was good for him to be here, for he had learned that the money given to the Home Mission Society came back in part to our own feeble churches, and not away to fields that we know not of.
Bro. P. C. Daniels remarked upon the uses made of money given to the Home Mission Society, instancing the rise of the Addison Church as an example of the aid given to a feeble organization by the Home Mission Society, through Missionary Committee of the Association.
Bro. E. W. Cook being called for, responded by saying that he deemed it a well established fact that giving for benevolent purposes in a proper spirit does not impoverish; that he had given largely of his substance. And today felt worth more than ever; he found great happiness in giving unto the Lord; if we would be happy, give-give in faith.
On motion the report of the Missionary Committee was adopted.
Committee of Arrangements completed their report upon the order of exercises to follow this evening and tomorrow.
The discussion of the question of the administration of church finances was opened by Bro. H. S. Loyd, who desired that the discussion should take more the form of a conference upon the subject. By request he made a few remarks upon the manner in which the finances are managed in the Waverly Church.
Bro. J. R. Sheldon desired to know just how to avoid these financial difficulties and how to reach every member of the church and so have each one do their proper share of the work.
Bro. Addison Parker thinks method is powerless unless it is of that character that shall move inert masses. Many pastors are shackled in this work by reason of unpaid salaries. Preaching is not the only hard work in a pastor’s life, but much of the wear comes from the monetary difficulties.
Bro. J. Brown, expressed himself edified and at the same time amazed at what he had heard in this discussion; edified to learn that pastors and people recognized the necessity of proper financial management; amazed that some pastors had as yet received only a small part of the amount due them.
After prayer by Rev. J. C. Mallory, Association adjourned till 7:30 P.M.
Association convened at 7:30 P.M. After an opening anthem by the choir, prayer was offered by Bro. Dean. Bro. S. Adist addressed the meeting in behalf of the cause of Ministerial Education.
The hour for the evening sermon having come, prayer was offered by Bro. Learned, after which Bro. D. R. Ford preached from 1st Kings, 17th-13th.
After the evening sermon, Bro. G. H. Brigham made a stirring plea for the cause of Foreign Mission, using as his motto the text of Dr. Ford’s sermon "go and do".
After singing, and prayer by Bro. E. M. Blanchard,
Thursday Morning, 8:30
Devotional exercises led by Bro. T. E. Phillips, from 8:30 till 9:00 A.M.
Resumed business at 9 o’clock.
Minutes up to this point read and adopted.
Prudential Committee report:
1st. That the Association meet next year with the Baptist Church in Chemung. That Bro. H. S. Loyd preach the introductory sermon, and that Bro. E. M. Blanchard be his alternate.
2nd. That Brethren H. S. Loyd, Addison Parker, John Brown of Southport, E. W. Cook, and A. J. Fox, be your Missionary Committee for the coming year.
3rd. That Brethren D. R. Ford, J. C. Rooney, and J. Grover be your delegates to the State Convention.
4th. That J. R. Joslyn be your Corresponding Secretary, and that he be appointed for three years.
W. C. Learned,
F. K. Fowler,
E. St. John
W. A. Lain
An "Associational Women’s Missionary Society" was organized September 17th 1874, with the following officers:
President---Mrs. C. C. Crane, Elmira
Vice President---Mrs. T. E. Phillips, Breesport
Corresponding Secretary---Mrs. D. Van Alstin, Hornellsville
Treasurer---Mrs. J. Higman, Corning
Advisory Committee---Mrs. Helms, Southport; Mrs. J. Hendrick, Havana; Mrs. H. S. Loyd, Waverly; Mrs. W. C. Learned, Painted Post; Mrs. P. Perry, Horseheads; Mrs. D. F. Park, Athens, PA; Miss Emma Morse, Cooper’s Plains.
Note to Churches-Dear Brethren: Don’t be so excessively modest about reporting expenditures; the caution to "not let thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth", does not apply in this case. It is proper for Baptists to know what Baptists are doing in the way of church work in all its relations; next year, report in full.
Addison, Athens, Campbell & Erwin, Havana, Southport, Waverly and Wellsburg reported monies only to Sunday School Convention.
Minutes from the Chemung River Sunday School Convention
After devotional exercises, the Convention organized by the choice of Bro. D. B. Merriman for President, Rev. E. M. Blanchard, Secretary and J. R. Sheldon, Treasurer.
Convention then listened to reports from various schools.
Miss Emma Morse read an Essay on "The History of the Sunday School".
Bro. Elmer Gilbert read an Essay on "Parental Influence in Sunday Schools".
Rev. H. S. Loyd addressed the Convention on "week-day Sunday School work".
"Sunday School Libraries" was discussed by Brethren Learned, Branch and others.
At 5 P.M., after singing and benedictions by Rev. Addison Parker, adjourned to meet at 7:30.
7:45. Convention opened with devotional exercises.
Br. H. D. Pinney addressed the audience, and especially the children, on "The object of the Sunday School".
Rev. P. Perry presented a paper on "Sunday School Teachers’ Meetings".
Bro. J. R. Lowe read a paper on "How to awaken a missionary spirit in Sunday School".
"Our Annual" prepared by Mrs. Learned was read my Miss Emma Morse.
Mrs. M. E. Cuddeback read an article on "The Sunday School Work".
An essay by J. R. Joslyn on "Why all should attend the Sunday School".
Bro. C. W. Turel presented a paper on "The Sunday School as a field for pastoral work".
A paper was presented, prepared by Bro. A. J. Fox on "The Sunday School in its material relation to community".
A motion was carried that the expenses of the Convention ($40) be met by an assessment on the schools according to aggregate attendance.
Adjourned to 1:30. Benediction by Dr. Niles.
1:30. Convention opened in usual form.
Brethren Loyd, Parker, Van Alstin appointed Committee of Arrangements for next session.
Thanks were voted to the citizens of Hornellsville for their very cordial hospitality; also to Bro. H. D. Pinney, conductor of the Convention, for his valuable aid.
Voted, that the Secretary see that the proceedings of the Convention be published in the Elmira Advertiser and Hornellsville papers; also that the minutes of the Convention be published with minutes of the Association.
Closed with general conference.
Adjourned to meet at Havana second Tuesday in June 1875.
E. M. Blanchard, Secretary D. B. Merriman, President