Rensselaerville and Berne Baptist Church

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The Rensselaerville and Berne Baptist Church, on Lot 401, was originally a colony of the Baptist Church of Preston Hollow. It was constituted August 19, 1796 as an Old School (Primitive) Baptist Church. The first meeting house was built in 1797 just across the Rensselaerville town line in Berne on Peasley Road, just north of the Peasley School, which was across the road to the north from where the Baptist Church Burying Ground is now located.

The first preachers or pastors were William Stewart and later Reverend Truman Beaman. Rev. Ephraim Crocker was ordained to preach in 1802. He was called to Rensselaerville, New York to the Baptist Church, where he continued to preach and farm, until 1834. (Obituary of Rev. Crocker). Elder Evan J. Williams was a member of this church.[1]

It is said that a Church Clerk had the older church records stored in a barn which burned, and the records were burnt with it. In 1835 the new Baptist Church building was built in the hamlet of Rensselaerville.

The location of the church and school are shown on 1866 Beers map of Berne as being in the southeast corner of lot 401. The old church building was sold for $100 in 1898 to Wallace Peasley who tore it down and used the lumber to build a wagon house on his farm.

The Baptist Church Burying Ground was established in 1800 to the south across the corner of the road from the church. Now only the cemetery remains.

Source: People Made It Happen Here, History of the Town of Rensselaerville ca. 1788-1950 published by the Rensselaerville Historical Society, Rensselaerville, NY, 1977.

  1. [ The Primitive Baptist Library of Carthage, Illinois A Conservative Old-Line Primitive Baptist Website.