See also the histories on:
- History of St. Paul’s Church, Antwerp, New York
- History of the First Congregational Church of Antwerp
The Catholic Church
The commencement of Catholic worship in Antwerp dates to March, 1849, at which time that denomination purchased from Mr. Parrish the brick church which he had built in 1816 for the use of the town. The building, which had cost nearly $10,000, was sold to them for $600, and has been used by them as their place of worship until the present time. The church is in charge of the priest who resides and officiates at Redwood.
Baptist Church — Antwerp Village
The first Baptist organization in the village of Antwerp was made about the year 1824, under Elder Wilkie, of Le Ray. The Rev. Mr. Berrell was another of their earliest preachers. Among the first members were Daniel Coolidge, Jerome Woodbury, Eli Whitford and wife, Walter Colton, Obadiah Chamberlain, and Richard Huntley. Their meetings were held in the old frame school-house upon the hill, on the east side of the village. None of their records for the first twelve years can now be found.
A reorganization was effected February 23, 1836, with Obadiah Chamberlain, David Manning, and Joseph Palmer as trustees. The first pastor after this formation appears to have been Elder Philander Persons, — a most efficient preacher, a peacemaker, and a man greatly beloved and respected.
Their place of worship was in the “Old Jubilee” building, erected by Dr. Randall for a dwelling-house, but purchased and fitted up. as a meeting-house by this society, when they were refused further admittance to the school-house. It stood on a spot now covered by the track of the railroad, near the residence of J. Chapin, Esq. On February 1, 1842, the society voted to sell this old building, and to build a now house of worship. A lot was accordingly purchased of Mr. Parrish on the hill near the brick house, and upon this ground their new meeting-house was completed in 1843. Three years later (February 3, 1846) it was voted to dispose of the old meeting-house and lot to Japheth Chapin for $100, and it was accordingly so disposed of, and was swept away by the railroad contractors some eight years later.
The pastors who followed Mr. Persons were Rev. William Tillinghast, November, 1842, to November, 1845; Rev. Lucius Nichols, February, 1846, — ordained here in August, 1846, but remained only a short time; Elder D. D. Reed, 1847 to 1850; Elder Hiram Main, August, 1850, to August, 1851, during which time accusations were made against him, and suspension followed; Elder A. H. W. Cook came in 1851; Daniel Dye, January 1, 1852; Elder H. Ward, 1854; Lorenzo Rice, 1856; Rev. G. N. Harmon, ordained here July 31, 1858, remained till April, 1859; Rev. Charles Bailey, May 1, 1861, who preached once in two weeks for a period of four months; and their last pastor, Rev. J. E. Maynard, who was ordained at their church in Antwerp village, May 12, 1862.
It appears from the record that their last meeting for divine worship was held on May 7, 1865, and the last church meeting January 28, 1866. For a long time their church upon the hill remained in disuse. It is now occupied as a place of meeting by the Methodist Protestant society of Antwerp.
Methodist Episcopal Church — Antwerp Village
Methodism in Antwerp village dates back no farther than July, 1863, at which time, at the urgent request of a few friends, the Rev. D. Symonds, then pastor at Sprague’s Corners, established an appointment for worship here on Sabbath evenings once in two weeks, and a small class was organized, with William Barrett as leader. For a time services were held in the Wiggins block, and when more commodious quarters became necessary, the Baptist church was secured, and used until February, 1872, at which time the society’s new church was dedicated and occupied. This edifice was of brick, seventy-five by forty-five feet, with basement, and had been erected mainly through the earnest energy of their pastor, Rev. E. E. Kellogg. Its cost, including ground, was about $20,000.
This building was totally destroyed by fire in the early morning of January 5, 1877; but even before the ashes were cold a subscription was circulated, and so satisfactory was, the result, that the trustees’ debt of about $2000 over the amount of insurance was discharged, and the work of rebuilding was commenced in April following. Now (September, 1877), the edifice is approaching completion, and will be dedicated in October. It is of brick, forty-five by eighty-two feet, of fine and substantial architecture. Its location is on the high ground adjoining the Ives seminary at the west side of the village; an attractive and commanding position.
The succession of pastors has been as follows: Rev. A. G. Markham, 1869 to 1870; Rev. E. E. Kellogg, 1870 to 1873; Rev. William Watson, 1873 to 1875; Rev. S. Dewey, 1875 to 1876; and Rev. C. H. Guile, 1876 to the present time.
The membership of the church is about one hundred and fifty.
Methodist Protestant Church
In September, 1868, three Methodist Protestant classes were organized in Antwerp, viz.: one at the Hoard neighborhood, with forty-two members; one at Hall’s corners, with twenty-two members; and a third at Rockwell Creek, with thirty-eight members; all these being under charge of Rev. D. T. White. The preachers in charge who succeeded Mr. White were Rev. Plato, 1869 to 1872; Rev. Thomas Ellsworth, 1872 to 1875; and Rev. Robert K. Andrews, 1875 to the present time.
The classes at Hall’s and Hoard’s worshiped in their neighboring school-houses until January, 1876, since which time they have held fortnightly meetings in the Baptist church building in Antwerp village. The class at Rockwell Creek have continued to hold meetings once in two weeks at their school-house. A part of the members of this class have been detached, and joined to the Fowler charge. The remainder, together with those who meet in Antwerp village, being sixty-six members in the aggregate, constitute the Antwerp charge under Mr. Andrews.
Antwerp and Fowler Baptist church
The other member of the union — the Antwerp and Fowler Baptist church — dated its existence from September 11, 1838, when the church was organized, with Amos Sheldon, I. H. Bosworth, Alexander Wright, Leonard Pike, Ansel Clark, and Moses Burge, as trustees. Among their earliest preachers were Elders Stevens and Nichols. Their church building was erected at Steele’s Corners, near the county line of St. Lawrence. For a considerable time prior to their union with the Wesleyans the society had languished, and they had been without a pastor.
Methodist worship is held fortnightly in the school-house at Nauvoo.