Tompkins County Members
of the
New York Baptist Union for Ministerial Education
1854-1855


Source: Sixth Report of the Board of Trustees of the New York Baptist Union for Ministerial Education; with the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, Addresses, &c., &c. Held at Rochester, July 10, 1855; Together With a Statistical Report of Institutions of Learning. Rochester: Steam Press of A. Strong & Co., Democrat Office, Eagle Bank Block, 1856.

The "New York Baptist Union For Ministerial Education" was a membership society whose objective was to:

"...furnish means of instruction to such young men of the Baptist denomination, as shall give satisfactory evidence to the churches of which they are members, and to the Trustees of the Society, of their personal piety, and their call to the gospel ministry."

Fundraising among Tompkins County area Baptists was done by Rev. Hezekiah WEST of Watkins, Schuyler County. Mecklenburg(h) is now part of present-day Schuyler County. The passing back and forth of small areas of land in some towns is a well-known a source of confusion for Schuyler and Tompkins County genealogical researchers.

Members paid dues of at least two dollars per year; life membership was $20.00. Although there was already a thriving Baptist theological seminary in Hamilton, NY in 1854-55, the Union's goal was to create further opportunity for a thorough training in the ministry at a new seminary in the city of Rochester, Monroe County. By 1855 the Union had raised $40,000 towards the permanent endowment of professorships, a library of 7,000 volumes, and $28,000 in scholarship funds for a school with three full-time professors and 40 theological students. The 1855 president's address stressed that due to increasing immigration and population there was a need to enlarge their German Department to train ministers to become pastors of German-speaking congregations.

Monies were being raised at a time of severe economic depression in the country overall. For fundraising purposes the state was divided into 3 geographic sections. Letters were sent to pastors of 636 Baptist churches in the state. Only 210 churches responded and insufficient monies proportionate to the seminary's needs were raised. The names of local residents below were culled from listings of all Union members across NY State.

TREASURER'S REPORT
From July 10, 1854 to July 2, 1855
The New York Baptist Union for Ministerial Education

STATEMENT OF RECEIPTS
From July 1854 to July 1st 1855

Name of ministers who secured the donations, Name of Member, Residence, Type of Fund, Amount Donated.

All spellings and locations are as in the original book. There was no further information about donors or their churches.

Contributed by Martha Perry Magill
Copyright © 1999 Martha Perry Magill
All Rights Reserved.


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