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History of McLean Baptist Church (Cont'd.)
LIST OF LIVING PASTORS AND ADDRESSES
Rev. Frederick H. Gates 1878-80, Horseheads, NY
Written by S. S. Steadman, 1903
The original members of this church as far as I am able to find out were of the oldschool. They opposed to Missions and Sunday schools. They believed that to enlighten the heathen would increase their responsibilities, and if they didn't have the knowledge of Christianity their punishment would be less. Sometime in the 40's there arose a Sunday school party in the church. It was headed by the pastor, but was for several years in the minority but they grew in strength and numbers until it was about an equal tussle. The party not in favor of a Sunday school was the more wealthy and influential. The contention was quite sharp and caused some bitter feelings. At least a compromise was made, Dea. Amos Hart did off a room over the hall and nothing was to be said or done about the Sunday school except in that room. It is said to have cost Dea. Hart $100.
Amongst the superintendents of the Sunday school there are none who deserve greater credit than Dea. David Whipple, Sr. The majority were disinterested, a few were opposed, and very few interested enough to help. He had difficulty in getting teachers, someone to lead the singing and money for supplies and worst of all in getting scholars. Most of the children were not from among the church people. During the intermission the more spiritually inclined gathered about the stoves talking and eating their dinners. There were several groups gathered in the back seats talking over family affairs. There was another company on the steps in pleasant weather visiting, while the more worldly were gathered in the horse sheds talking over horse trades and such worldly affairs, while the young people and the children roamed through the cemetery or went to nearby wells for a drink of water or to the post office for the mail. The Sunday school was usually opened for the season in May and ran out when it was too cold to be without a fire, if not before. They had no lesson sheets and the lessons began in John and continued through the season committing the gospel to memory at the rat of 6 verses a week. There were two faithful teachers - John B. Hart who taught a great many years, and Ruth Ronk, afterwards Mrs. Howard, who began teaching a class when quite young and taught almost continuously several classes until she moved away. John B. Hart taught a large class of young ladies very successfully. Music - The first instrumental music I know anything about was in the years 1854-or 5. Mr. and Mrs. James Mineah, parents of the present M. Mineah, brought their small melodion in a democrat wagon if the day was fine and it was carried upstairs to the singers seats. The melodion was carried back at night in the wagon. Their daughter Susanna played for the services. This continued for about two years and then Dea. Amos Hart, Susanna's grandfather presented a $70 melodion to the church. She played it till her marriage to Burdette Newton and was a very regular attendant. She was succeeded by her sister Martha Mineah afterwards Mrs. Nathan Darby. She followed by Mary Francis (?) After that Sarah Ronk (John Ronk's sister) played for a long time. Sometime before this, I don't remember when, the melodion was cast aside and the present organ took its place. Among the most notable choristers was Dea. Chas. Hart who led the singing for a great many years. He was followed by his son Edwin Hart and he by his brother. John. (Ithamar Whipple was the first chorister.)
Here are notes and letters also found in Mr. Carter's Church records:
Received by Baptism:
Danby, Aug. 14, 1903
Cordially yours, L. M. Banfield
Thank you John for sharing your family records with the
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Transcribed by Janet M. Nash.
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