CHURCHES IN MEXICO, NY



Information was obtained from the History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this article.
 


COLOSSE BAPTIST CHURCH

A number of brethren in the town of Mexico, Oneida county, met at the house of Amos Williams, in the present town of Parish, Sunday, June 15, 1806, and, after divine service by Elder Gamaliel Barnes, consulted on the subject of forming a church, and agreed to hold conference-meetings statedly, for further consultation.   After several such meetings, they agreed on the 7th of January, 1807, to convene a council, in order to be recognized as a church; but being disappointed by the councils not attending, and after several more consultations, they agreed on the 15th day of October, 1807, to assume church authority, and labor under the regulations of the gospel.  It was the first Baptist church organized in Oswego County, and the second of any denomination.  The only one anterior to it was at Redfield, and this was the first in all central and western Oswego.  This organization continued till July 2, 1814, and then unanimously dissolved.

A number of brethren, however, reconsidered the vote of dissolution, resumed church labor, and convened a council, which council met August 23, 1815, at school-house No. 1, in the town of Mexico (in what is now Parish).  This council was composed of delegates from Baptist churches in Jefferson county, there being no churches in Oswego County, viz.: Jefferson, Henderson, Ellisburgh, Lorraine, and Rodman.  The whole number of delegates was twelve, who chose Elder Emery Osgood moderator, and Elder Martin E. Cook clerk.  After a thorough examination, this council, on the next day, August 24, 1815, gave the right hand of fellowship to eighteen brothers and sisters, as the Baptist church of Mexico, by Gamaliel Barnes, Barnet Whipple, William R. Huntley, James Roberts, Samuel Manwarren, John Manwarren, Asa Barnes, Stutely Palmer Jr., Hannah Barnes, Hannah Roberts, Fanny Manwarren, Eunice Manwarren, Prudence Carr, Lowry Barnes, Caroline Barnes, Lydia Barnes, Polly Morse, and Bethiah Williams.  Most of the members of the first society united with this organization.  The name of the church was changed to Colosse about forty years ago, as the meeting-house is in that hamlet.

The first officers were Gamaliel Barnes, pastor; Perry Allen and Stutely Palmer Jr., deacons; and Stutely Palmer Jr., clerk.  Its first meetings were held at the school-house where the church recognized, in other school-houses, in private homes, and in barns, at Colosse (then Mexico Four Corners), Red Mills and the present village of Parish.

A society for building a church edifice was formed November 5, 1821, but the church was not begun until 1823, and was finished in 1824.  It was erected at what is now Colosee, in the town of Mexico, on the west line of lot No. 145.  On this lot there are also a cemetery and meeting-house sheds.  The frame of the church is of hard wood, put together with great solidity, as the farmers used to build their barns.  The outside is of first-class pine; the dimensions are forty-six by thirty-six feet, ant the original room was 
twenty feet high.  The minister, in ascending the pulpit, had to pass up quite a flight of stairs.  The outside of the room contained large square pews, and the centre, slips.  There was a large gallery.  For the first one or two winters there was no stove in the church.  Many people in those days thought that fires should not be built in the hose of the Lord.

It is difficult now to tell definitely the original cost of the building; bit it was probably about twenty-five hundred dollars.  It is now valued at that sum.  The church has been repaired several times.  Three years since it was materially changed at a cost of at least six hundred dollars.  The old audience-room was divided horizontally, making two stories.  The upper story is now the audience-room, while the lower one is divided up into several apartments.  These have been used for festivals and meetings, and also as the residence of the pastor.

The church was first dedicated in the winter of 1824 and 1825, Rev. Nathaniel J. Gilbert, of Syracuse, being the preacher.  There was also a second dedication in 1873, when Rev. G.A. Ames, of Pulaski, preached the dedication sermon.  The present membership is fifty-two.  The largest membership at any time was two hundred and sixty-six.

The whole number of members that have ever belonged to the church is seven hundred and thirty-four.  The decrease is principally from two causes.  Many have united with other Baptist churches in the vicinity, and there has been a large influx of foreigners of another religion.

The present church officers are Charles Sherwood, pastor; Cyrus V. Hartson and Lyman Huntley, deacons; and Edwin Palmer, clerk.

The following have been the pastors:  Gamaliel Barnes, Enoch Ferris, William Watkins, George B. Davis, John I. Fulton, Edmund Goodenough, William Storrs, Charles Marshall, Newell Boughton, David Mc Farland, Peter Goo, Ira Dudley, Albert Cole, Judson Davis, Mortimer V. Wilson, Lemon Q. Galpin, Jones L. Davis, Thomas J. Siegfried, Elam D. Phillips, and Charles Sherwood.  Of the first nine all but Mr. Goodenough are dead.  All these pastors were men of unimpeachable character; many of them had more than ordinary mental capacity and some of them were very eloquent.

The first Sunday-school was instituted in 1828.  Deacon Stutely Palmer was one of the first, if not the very first superintendent.  The scholars probably numbered seventy-five.  The present superintendent is Deacon Cyrus V. Hartson, who as served a number of years.  The number of scholars is about fifty, who are furnished with Sabbath-school papers in place of the books, which were formerly used.


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