First Baptist Church
25 Oxford Road, New Hartford, NY
On May 12, 1855, nine men and ten women met in a building near the corner of South Street (now Oxford Road) and Genesee Street and formed themselves into the New Hartford Baptist Society. They rented the vacant Universalist Church on the corner of Capron Road (now Richardson Avenue) and Genesee Street. In 1856 a lot on the corner of Campion Road and Genesee Street was given to the Society, a church was erected, and they worshipped in this building for nearly 30 years.
In 1885 property was purchased on the corner of South Street and Mill Street (now the arterial), the house was moved and the church built on the corner. The house became the parsonage and later sold in 2007. The church was built by the then current minister, Rev. Jacob Gray, who was also a carpenter and builder, and the primary Sunday School met in a small room in the rear.
Somewhere in the early 1900s the tower and bell were removed and the entrance moved to the center of the church. In 1919 a four-room addition was built at the rear of the building, replacing the chapel. In 1923 the present Sunday School building was erected by a church member, Mr. Fred Rand. The latest and extensive renovation was approved and resulted in the present appearance of the church on the outside, with extensive interior changes.
Seven members of the church entered the ministry, and two were missionaries in Africa for many years. One hundred and sixty years of the life of The First Baptist Church of New Hartford can be credited to the faith and dedication of many people.