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The Beekman Baptist Church

The Beekman Baptist Church, located just north of Beekman Village, was constituted February 12, 1840. Ten delegates from neighboring churches formed a council which chose Howard Malcom as moderator and Philip Roberts clerk. This council drew up a summary of faith and formed the church covenant. Two powerful documents to inspire the church to dedication in the service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The ten people who were the first members of the church were Abner Osborn, Mary Osborn, Nicholas German, Hannah German, Joseph German, Cornelia German, Robert Simmons, Malvina Simmons, Parmelia German, and Carolina Taylor. Previously these people had been members of the First Baptist Church of Fishkill and Shenandoah Baptist Churches. In April 1842 a piece of land was given on which to build a church building. This was started immediately and was finished the following autumn at a cost of about $3,000. The building committee consisted of Abner Osborn, James Peters and Joseph German. This building was dedicated on Christmas Day 1842. The text used was "Worship God". The first pastor was Rev. Daniel T. Hill who was called February 17, 1840. His salary was $150.00 per year, a donation, his wood and hay for a horse. The first trustees were Abner Osborn, Nicholas German and Joseph German

In July 1845 this church united with the First Baptist Church of Fishkill, which is now closed, to share their pastor. The First Baptist Church of Fishkill has been closed many years. We have shared ministers with Pawling Central Baptist, Dover Second Baptist and Shenandoah Baptist. On March 13, 1846 a committee was appointed to raise money for a parsonage. The original plan was to buy a lot and build, but instead they bought a house from Mr. Hinney. This was situated at the foot of the hill south of the church, were Poughquag Road intersects Beekman Road. The parsonage was sold to Mr. Tower in 1940. In contrast to the present attitude toward church going is the following resolution which was adapted in 1848. Resolved when any member is absent from two regular meetings without known reason, a committee shall be appointed to visit this member and give council whether he shall be retained as a member. The church was incorporated May 15, 1876. In the fall of 1879 the porch was enclosed forming the present foyer and another porch was added. The seats were also turned around so they faced the east instead of the road. The pulpit was changed from the west to the east end of the building. Services were held in the morning until 1889. From 1889-1897 a pastor was shared with Shenandoah, and services were held in the morning on the 1st-3rd Sabbath and in the afternoon on the 2nd - 4th Sabbath days. In 1897 services were held regularly in the afternoon unit 1930.

The church has been served by 39 pastors since 1840, two of which were ordained at Beekman. Rev. John Johnson was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1956 after serving for many years as an Assembly of God minister and missionary in India. Rev. John Tharp was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1969 after graduating from Andover Newton Seminary. During the years 1975 to 1981, the building received many modern improvements; a well, septic system, restroom, new carpeting, storm windows and a beautiful multi-purpose room under the church proper, is called our "Fellowship Hall". On July 15, 1984 there was a "Burning of the Mortgage" which was taken out for the upgrading of the church.

Rev. Robert E. Wisor first preached in November 1990 and accepted the call to Beekman Baptist Church in February 1991. Over the following years the congregation has reached out to serve the community. Members donate non-perishable food items and monies during the first Sunday of each month as we celebrate communion. The food pantry provides assistance to members and friends of the community in need of temporary aid. A computer was donated to the church which provides a new look to our weekly bulletin. The first computerized bulletin was for our July 3, 1994 service. In 1995 the fellowship hall was painted and the bathroom renovated. The Noah's Ark mural was added to the nursery. In 1995 the parking lot on the north side of the church was surfaced and the south side was completed in 1997. Christmas projects during 1995 and 1996 provided clothing and personal items for the homeless men and women of the Baltimore Rescue Mission.

Beginning Christmas 1997 we became involved with the Angel Tree Project through Prison Fellowship. Members of the congregation purchase gifts for local children of prisoners, providing each child with 2 gifts and supplying the caretakers with turkeys and items to prepare a Christmas dinner. Members of the congregation deliver the gifts the week of Christmas; receiving many blessings as they see the expressions on the faces of the children. This year was our third year for the project. Our Mitten Tree each holiday season has provided many mittens for the Dutchess Outreach Program in Poughkeepsie. A mid-week bible study was started in 1997; the study is from the book of Revelations. Anyone is welcome to participate on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Each year members enjoy a relaxing time of fellowship at our annual picnic in August and a Christmas dinner with a great time of singing.

During 1998 and 1999 the Lord provided faithful workers and funds to give our sanctuary a facelift. Settling cracks were repaired, the walls and woodwork given a new coat of paint, floor was stabilized, new carpeting installed, cushions replaced, pulpit chairs recovered. The American and Christian flags were replaced because of appearance as well as updating to a 50 state flag. A beautiful wooden cross was crafted by members of the congregation. In 1999 we added a New Years Eve night watch gathering in our fellowship hall. Twenty five people, including five of our young adults and youth, enjoyed food, fellowship and a great Christian film just prior to welcoming in the new millennium together with a toast for the coming year.

Our twice a year visits to the Baptist Home were increased to 3 this year. Members of our congregation, totaling about 18 each trip, enjoy bringing a message, song-time and visiting with the residence with cookies and punch. We added a trip during the Christmas season for the Lovely Hills Nursing Home in Pawling. Thirteen of our people participated, welcomed by a full house of residents, including our own Edith Senior. We hope to continue this most rewarding ministry. Our Sunday school program has increased to 9 students. We continue our annual program of providing Educational Incentives and rewards for our youth. The Sunday school class has taken a trip to the Bronx Zoo. The junior choir sings throughout the year and provided us with an Easter play. Also, the Sunday school hosted a spaghetti dinner following a Sunday morning service.

Pastors

Daniel Hill

1840-1843

Lewis Annan

1843-1844

Augustus Brown

1844-1845

Bishop Warren

1845-1847

Bishop LaGrange

1847-1849

Bishop Grimly

1849-1849

Richard Thompson

1849-1855

I. T. Patterson

1855-1855

Alexander Smith

1856-1858

I. Donnelly

1858-1858

Sullivan Holman

1858-1864

Wm. H. Parson

1868-1868

Charles Hull

1869-1872

D. T. Hill

1873-1875

E. D. Noxon

1875-1876

Lewis Selleck

1877-1885

Van Kleek

1885-1887

A. Foote

1887-1887

B. F. Hurlbut

1888-1894

A. F. Perry

1894-1897

E. Johnson

1898-1898

J. H. Black

1899-1901

B. F. Hurlbut

1901-1902

Lewis Jones

1903-1906

W. W. Barker

1906-1915

J. J. Burger

1916-1920

C. W. Cook

1919-1922

E. H. King

1922-1926

Alfred Scott

1926-1929

Floyd Ellis

1929-1931

Arthur Young

1931-1935

G. D. Williamson

1935-1956

John Johnson

1956-1965

Earl Spencer

1965-1966 (Interim Pastor)

George T. Herrick

1966-1969

John R. Tharp

1969-1975

Robert E. Randolph

1975-1988

John Koppenaal

1988-1990 (Interim Pastor)

Robert E. Wisor

1991-