In 1807, John G. Smith and Freeman Culver, seeing the need for a church brought together a group of people in Oneonta Plains under the leadership of Rev. Gideon Elliott. Many of the early records of the Free Baptist Church were lost in a fire. For the first thirty-five to forty years, the church worshiped in homes, barns, schoolhouses or whatever buildings were available.
The first church constitution was adopted on June 29, 1839 and contained just three short articles.
In 1840 the first church building was erected on Oneida street below the junction of Country Club Road. For some time the church and a Lutheran organization worshiped in the same building, but maintained separate organizations.
The first reference to missionary outreach was recorded on November 1, 1851. At a special meeting it was voted to raise one penny per month for missionary purposes.
In 1856, sixteen members withdrew from the church to organize what is now the Main Street Baptist Church of Oneonta.
In order that the church might be in the center of the community, the building was moved from Oneonta Plains to the present property in West Oneonta. This wood framed building was torn down and each piece was numbered so that when the materials were moved to West Oneonta they could easily be identified and the building reconstructed. This was done at the cost of $800. In 1897, the basement was put under the church building.
In 1906 Reverend Melville C. Miner was called as pastor. In June of that year it was decided to build a new church building. The old building was moved to the property that is now owned by Reinhard Home Heating. The new brick building was constructed at a cost nearly $10,000. It was dedicated debt free on March 31, 1907. In August, a class of eighteen candidate were taken into membership. Some of them were baptized in the Otego Creek and others were baptized in the new baptistry. Mrs. Madge Truman and Mrs. Fannie Tilley were part of this group.
In December 1923 the name was changed from Free Baptist Church to Century Baptist Church. In 1924 the First Baptist Church of West Oneonta merged with our church.
The First Baptist Church of West Oneonta…