First Baptist Church 793 Pendleton Hill Road North Stonington, CT 06359
Here we will tell the story of the beginnings of our church and how we became what we are today.
Our church erected in 1743 was known as the First Baptist Church of Stonington. North Stonington wasn't established until 1807. The original building was at a site just south of our current church building. The only Baptist church in the state of Connecticut that is older is the First Baptist Church of Groton, it was orginized in 1705. That church is now known as Old Mystic Baptist Church.
The congregation soon outgrew the original church, however, and in 1830, a new meeting house was built at the top of Pendleton Hill. That building still serves the members today.
The original church was sold and converted to a barn, some time later the building was torn down and the boards used in near by Pawcatuck to build another building. In 1934, the congregation erected a granite marker on the site of the first church building.
According to early church records, there were three doors in to the original church - one for the deacon, one for the women and one for the men. The pews were further divided, with men sitting on one side of the church and women on the other. The men and women were further divided according to their marital status.
The records from the 1700's show church elders admonished parishioners for everything from drinking to dancing. The church elders ruled peoples lives back then. They had the final say in property disbutes and censured any behavior they found offensive.
With each challenge they have encountered, they became stronger and created a foundation for our faith today.
We invite you to become a part of the church today and a piece of its history tomorrow.
Are You a History Buff?
We would welcome any information on the early settlers of our church. We are trying to locate early records of the first church builders. If you have any family history that would help us please email me or contact the church.
Could you help us make the connection of these two churches?
We would like to thank Rev. Joel W. Lohr, Pastor of the Old Stonington Baptist Church in Stonington, Illinois for sending us a copy of their church history Old Stonington Baptist Church1837-1997 160 Years of Service & Love.
In the spring of 1837 the first group of colonists left Connecticut for the land of promise,or Stonington, Illinois . They left New London, CT. by boat and sailed to New York City, thence to Philadelphia. They went from there Pittsburg, then down the Ohio River to the Mississippi, then up the Mississippi to Alton, Illinois. It took the people four weeks to come through and the goods ten. They traveled by prarie Schooner, drawn by oxen.
In the first group of colonists there were:
T.P Chapman and his wife (Martha Randall (Peabody) and their children, Harriett and Noyes B.
B.F. Chapman and wife and two children
Allen B. Peabody, wife and two children
Gideon B. Wilbur and wife
Thomas Skiff and wife
Nicholas Sanders and wife and four children
Rev. Alvin Ackley
Capt. Wm F. Peabody
Clipping found at the North Stonington Historical Society
Westerly Sun Dec. 31.1901
Not the One in Connecticut But the one in Illinios.
Rev. Benjamin Franklin Chapman died in Andover, Conn., Sunday, after an illness of 10 days, with heart trouble. He was 90 years old and a native of Griswold. He married Nancy O. Peabody of North Stonington in 1837 and in the same year removed with a colony of 20 families from that vicinity to central Illinois, where they founded the town of Stonington. While there he began to preach, He never had any prepatory education. He remained there farming and preaching until 1857, when he came east and became pastor at the Baptist church in North stonington. About two years later he removed to Andover and preached in the Baptist church there for a number of years. After discontinuing preaching at Andover he supplied the pulpit in North Stonington for several years retaining his home in Andover.
He was one of a family of 13 children. He had lived in Andover 42 years. His wife died in Andover in 1892 and one son, named after himself, died in 1882. He leaves one son, Rush P. Chapman, of Hartford.