Letter from D.P. Lake (David) to his brother Orrin Lake.|
to the inside cover of the Records of Baptist Church At The Ridge, a ledger
book of minutes from regular covenant meetings from April 19, 1923 to
Sept., 15, 1849; covering the entire life span of the Ridge Baptist Church.
Repository: Livingston County Historian's office, 5 Murray Hill,
Livingston County Campus, Mount Morris, New York.
The letter reads:
Hunts Hollow March 8, 1860
I found your letter here as I came home this evening from a church meeting held
at brother Taber's. We are wading through through (sic) such a scene of church
labor as I never before witnessed. We have had extra meetings as much or more
than to average ons (sic) a week since the year commenced, and I can not now
tell how many committee meetings. And we are not yet through. What the result
will be none of us yet know. I will not now attempt to give you any outline
of the nature of the difficulties. Pray for us --
You can get more information about the early history of the Baptist church at
your place from Brethren Benjamin and William Begole than I am able to give you.
The organization occurred in 1823. I did not move in until '25 and then was
not a member of the church. The moderator Ed.S. Menssinger I afterwards knew,
but he has long since gone to his reward. Henry R. Clark, the clerk, I suppose
was our Henry Clark of Cayuga, who is also now dead. I do not think I can
give you any incidents of sufficient importance to be woven into a history.
I know the church was small & feeble for a long time. It must have been some
4 or 5 years before they were able to build the old log meeting house,
which by the way I think was the first house built expressly for public
worship in the town. Their first preacher (at least after I became
acquainted) was Elder Bennett (I believe his given name was Elijah)
who supplied them only a part of the time, holding the meetings at
Phelps. I think it was the fall of the year '25 when they settled
Elder Oliver H. Reed. How long he supplied them I cannot now
remember. I think not more than two or three years. Elder
Ransom Harves was their next preacher. He was ordained there
and continued with them until our father came there. They had
some trials and some exclusions and but very few additions
and no revival so far as I recollect until after you came
into the place. I think it was the year '32. But most or
all of these items you will doubtless find in your record.
The next Baptist church formed in the town was that of
Oak Hill, now extinct. William Dake will probably be
able to give an outline of the history of that.
The church at Union corners was older than either but that was known as the
Do not think of any local news here that will be of interest to you. The
methodists have held meetings nearly all winter at Nunda Station. It is
said they have had quite a number of conversions. Here the difficulties in
the church seem to hang like a dark cloud over us. Vice and iniquity prevail,
and the ways of Zion mourn. We have had a very good preacher nearly five
months, by the name Tenney. Expect he will leave the first of April.
But it is bedtime and I must close. I hope you will find it convienient to make
us that visit you spoke of.
Contributed by: Liz Cornish