The First Baptist Society was formed at Wright Settlement, four miles noretheast [sic] of Rome, on December 10, 1817, by six consecrated men and eleven consecrated women.
This group of settlers about twenty years earlier emigrated from their New England home to settle in this new land of promise.
Nine years later, in 1826, they brought the Gospel of the. Lord Jesus Christ to a larger population in the village of Rome. The census of Rome in 1826 shows a population of 3,551. Here in this larger civilization was incorporated the First Baptist Church and Society of Rome. The Church was built on Stanwix Street, where it now stands, a mute witness to their prompt religious endeavor.
Slavery and intemperance in the forties and fifties disrupted many Churches of the North, but notwithstanding vigorous condemnation of both evils, the Rome Church seems to have been beneficially affected and continued in uninterrupted progress.
The increased membership, due to growth of population, was forced out of the Stanwix Street accommodations into a new Church, which was erected at the corner of North George and Embargo Streets, and was ready for occupancy April 16, 1874. The population of Rome in 1874 was 12,251.
Since 1874 the membership has more than doubled and the need for modern Church School equipment demanded the remodeling of the old Church built in 1874. A modern Church School of Religious Education was undertaken in April, 1923, when an initiatory scrvicc of ground-breaking took place. The old Church auditorium was large enough for the present congregation; but Church School quarters were sadly lacking.
During the two years of remodeling, the congregation worshipped in the County Court House in the City of Rome. On March 1, 1925, the rededicatory services were begun and were concluded on March 8th. At the present time (August, 1926) the population of Rome is 32,551. The Church membership is 443 resident members, 81 non-resident members, 68 society members and 28 members addresses unknown; total, 620.
Following is a list of the Ministers who have served the Church and Socicty over this period of one hundred and nine vears.
Dyer Stark, 1817-1820; Simeon Jacobs, 1820-1821; Caleb Douglass, 1821-1824; David Morris, 1824-1834; John W. Gibbs, 1834-1836; Emerson Andrews, 1836-1838; Henry Vogell, 1838-1859; David Bellamy, 1859-1864; James Harris, 1864-1871; Henry H. Peabody, 1871-1905; Alfred E. Alton, 1905-1911; Royal N. Jessup, 1911-1920; Ivan M. Rose, 1921-1925.
1. "Brief Historical Sketch", Directory, First Baptist Church, Rome, New York, 1926, page 7.
See AlsoRome First Baptist Church 1926 Directory