Second Baptist Church of Walworth records, 1832-1866.
Collection Number: 6044

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


Second Baptist Church of Walworth records, 1832-1866.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Collection Number:
Covenant meeting minute book (1832-1865), Wayne Baptist Association minutes for 1840, trustees' record book (1833-1866), church indenture (deed) of June, 1833, account book (1833-1834). Also covers church discipline, financial matters and temperance, slavery and anti-secret society resolutions.
Second Baptist Church of Walworth (Walworth, N.Y.)
1 microfilm reels.
Collection material in English


The Second Baptist Church of Walworth was organized in 1832 by Elder R. Powell. The filmed records extend from 1832 to the Civil War period. The meeting for incorporation was held March 5, 1833. Following that there were monthly covenant meetings and annual trustees' election meetings for which we have written records. The church erected its meeting house in 1834.


These records include minutes, trustees records and accounts for the Second Baptist Society of Walworth which became a church the next year. Item #2 (Minutes record, but of the 6th Annual Wayne Baptist Association) is not a local church a small pamphlet which someone inserted into the volume of covenant meeting minutes. The records of the church begin in 1832 and the minutes and trustees records go up to 1865-6. In the meeting minutes there are several years of minutes that are illegible - 1850's and l860's, and in some years there were no minutes recorded.


Cite As:

Second Baptist Church of Walworth records, #6044. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Powell, R., Elder.
Wayne Baptist Association
Walworth (N.Y.) -- Religious life and customs.
Wayne County (N.Y.) -- Religious life and customs.
Secret societies -- Religious aspects -- Baptists.
Antislavery movements.
Church discipline.
Temperance and religion -- New York (State) -- Walworth.
Baptists -- New York (State) -- Walworth.
Baptists -- Societies.
Form and Genre Terms:
Account books.

Item #1
Covenant meeting minute book, 1832-1865 .
Scope and Contents
Contents: There is a certificate of incorporation pasted on the inside cover of this volume which dates the incorporation as March 5, 1833. The first monthly covenant meeting at which minutes were recorded was on June 6, 1832 prior to incorporation. It named those who decided to join together into a Baptist society and in the next meeting a committee was appointed to draft articles of faith and a church covenant.
Covenant meeting minutes are concerned with disciplinary action and the admission and dismission of members. There appears to have been a stress laid on the sin of intemperance in the discipline of this particular church congregation as compared to other church minutes and these minutes also indicate a deep conflict among the members. Because many pages of the film of these records are illegible it is difficult to pinpoint the source of this conflict. One issue which arises immediately is the attempt to raise funds for the support of the pastor by averaging and assigning amounts to each member-family. Many members appear to have felt this was unfairly done and many refused to pay, resulting in their expulsion from the congregation.
Evidently financial difficulties plagued this congregation throughout the entire antebellum period, which was a common situation. For example, on February 5) 1844 the church clerk resigned "on account of the dilatory maner (sic) of there (sic) transacting their business."
On May 2, 1842 there is a strongly worded resolution on intemperance assigning it as a "disciplable offense when committed by a church member." Several years later in April 1847 there are a series of resolutions agreed upon by the church members regarding slavery, temperance, and secret societies - all controversial issues at the time.
The minutes are scantily kept in the 1850's and stopping sometime in 1860 to resume in 1665, a situation due partly to the war. For 1865 there appears a list of members with the heading of the page torn off and including names, dates and remarks (dismissed, etc.). The end of the volume contains 14 articles of faith, but there is no date.
Item #2
"Minutes of the 6th Annual Meeting of the Wayne Baptist Association" (Printed at the Wayne Sentinel, Palmyra, N.Y. 1840 ).
Scope and Contents
The Association is a gathering together annually of the Baptist ministers and laymen in a certain area (this roughly corresponds to the present day Wayne County) wherein they discuss larger church affairs and broader political issues. In this particular meeting they discussed such issues as: temperance, education, conventions, home and foreign missions, the Bible Society, state publications and the Sunday School Society, the Christian sabbath, moral reform, and the Baptist Library.
Item #3
"Record of the Elections of the Trustees of the Second Baptist Society", 1833-1866 .
Scope and Contents
Contents: This item consists of pieces of paper glued together lengthwise and rolled up like a scroll with each page noting simply a record of the election of trustees for one year, beginning March 25, 1833 and ending April 18, 1866. No other information is included.
Item #4
Indenture (deed) dated June 10, 1833 .
June 10, 1833
Scope and Contents
Contents: This is a deed for a parcel of land sold by Horace and Betsy Simmons to the trustees of the Baptist Society for $100, dated June 10, 1833. It also notes the boundaries for the land within the town of Walworth.
Item #5
Account book, 1833-34 .
Scope and Contents
Contents: This represents a record of all money paid out by the trustees of the Second Baptist Society for work done and materials received. These services and materials recorded in this volume pertained to the building of the church meeting house and included such things as stone, hauling teams, timber, drawing lime, etc. There is also a record of the assignment of slips to members which is dated March 15, 1837.
There is another note that Mr. Yeomans in leasing the meeting house for use as a school house during the week days. This is dated August 18, 1834.