As recorded by the Town of North Salem historian:
The Croton Falls Baptist
In the winter of 1868-69 there were a few Baptists in Croton Falls, NY. Deacon
Joel B. Purdy, a member of the Laight St. Church of New York, N.Y. and Lewis Miller of Sing-Sing (now Ossining) were among
the group. They felt that Meetings should be held in their own town. Before this time the Meetings had been held
in the Cat-Ridge Meeting House established in 1833 and located on the South side of the Titicus Reservoir, near the pressent
entrance to the Woolworth Estate and also at a Baptist Church in Brewster. Their Pastor was Rev. E. Edwards. It
was then decided to hold Meetings in Barden Hall which was located in The Croton Falls Hotel on Main Street, the site of the
present Fire House.
Rev. Edwards was invited to preach every other Sunday, the alternate Sunday
being used by the Methodists of the Ministry. This securing a preaching service every Sunday evening.
This hall was rather small, so as the attendance grew it seemed necessary to have a new hall.
Our dear Brother Joel B. Purdy from the goodness of his Christian heart built a large commodious hall to worship
in and had it dedicated to the service of God. It was called "Union Hall" and had a seating capacity of 200
persons and was neatly furnished for the purpose intended.
These meetings were so well attended
that it was decided to form a Baptist Church.
In 1870 a Council was held at Croton Falls consisting
of the Carmel, Red Mills, Sing-Sing, Bedford and Brewster Churches. This a Baptist Church was formed in Croton Falls,,
N.Y. after a dedication of Faith and Church Covenant was approved and accepted.
Falls Baptist Church was Incorporated in March, 1875 at the County Clerk's Office. Likes B. of Religious Societies
on page 375 and C. Odle Close being Notary Public. J. Malcolm SMith, County Clerk and Winfield S. Harris, Church Clerk.
B.C. Romine an Evangelist preached for a time before a call was extended to Rev. Vicotr W. Benedict, then preaching
in The First Church of Danbury, Conn. Oct. 9th, 1870 at a salary of $1000 Danbury encouraged Rev. Benedict to accept
Previous to this Rev. Benedict was foreman in the finishing room of the Henry
Grafets hat factory. He was known there for his oratory and leadership.
of Danbury wanted him to be Mayor of Danbury and he had been called to be Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in N.Y.
Also to a church in Montclair, N.J. But these he refused as he thought his work was needed in Croton Falls.
The church started with ten members. They were Joel E. Purdy, Lewis B. Miller, Benjamin McCollum, Sarah Adams,
Rebecca Dean, Ferris Head and Julia Fuller.
The first Board of Trustees were Joel S. Purdy,
Thatcher H. Theal, David Adams, Isriel Pinckney and Gilbert F. Bailey.
The Church was admitted
to the Union Baptist Association at it's meeting in Paterson on October 9, 1870.
13, 1871, Lewis Misler, Jerry Keeler and David Adams were appointed to solicit for funds for the building of a Chirch Edifice.
The first donation was from a widow woman of $2.00. This the fund was started to raise the $11,000 needed for building,
$8,000 for the building, $3,000 for the furnishing.
The church was made of wood with two steeples,
Gothic style, one tower 80 ft. the other 60 ft. The building is a 36 ft. wide. 50 ft. transcript and 92 ft. overall
in length. J. R. Hood of New York, N.Y. was the architect.
The grounds for the Church
were given by Deacon Joel B. Purdy. The horse-sheds were built back of the Church in 1881. The Corner Stone was
laid April 16, 1878. The Church dedicated Nov. 12, 1878. In the Corner Stone is a copper box containing:
1. List of Officers and members of the Church
2. Officers of Sunday School
3. Officers of Ladies Aid
4. Building Commission
5. Sketh of Church Organization
6. Copy of the newspaper, "The Examiner."
7. Copy of the newspaper, "The Chronicle."
8. NY Daily paper
9. Minutes of Union Baptist Assoc. 1877
10. N.Y. Baptist Annual of 1878
11. Malloys Chronological Table of the Bible
12. Copy of Holy Scripture
13. Silver Dollar, year 1878, and other monies
The main auditorium has a seating
capacity for 244 and 100 in the Sunday School Room.
To be continued......