The founding of the church can likely be credited greatly
to Jeremiah Richardson. He was the original settler at West
Concord, now Morton Corners. He came here from Vermont in the
fall of 1815, single and not yet 19 years of age. The journey
to the Holland Company headquarters at Batavia took fourteen
days, walking every foot of the way. Mr. Richardson got a
contract for 100 acres of land by paying down ten dollars, which
was all he possessed. That parcel of land now has for its
borders, Morton Corners Road and Route 39, and includes the land
on which our church building stands.
That fall he cleared two acres and then boarded with
Colonel Sylvanus Cook, located at Nichols Corners, for the
winter. In the spring, Cook helped him put up a twelve foot
square cabin with bark roof, stick chimney and split basswood
floor, somew here just opposite the present church parsonage.
In 1818, Jeremiah went back to Vermont. He returned with
his bride, Anna. His brother, Elijah, a blacksmith, also came
with them. Elijah became an early member of the Baptist Church.
Other early members were: Simeon Holton, who built the first
grist mill in his locality. The records say he also, at some
time, had a water powered saw mill on the Smith Broolc in Spooner
Hollow; and Luke Simmons, who made boots and shoes and produced black salts.
Within a few years there were various businesses set up.
West Concord had its adheres, cheese factory, grist mill, saw
mill, cider mill, wagon shop, school, church, cemetery and hotel.
A post office was opened in 1843. The name West Concord gave
way to Morton Corners some time after Wendel Morton located on
The main business however, was that of farming; growing
crops, raising sheep, hogs and cattle, logging and maple sugaring.
''About 1818, a few churchmen organized a Free Will Baptist
Society at West Concord. The first meetings were held in a
school house at Nichols Corners. Elder Richard Cary was the first
minister to preach to the society and officiated as pastor for
many years." This quotation is taken from the ''History of the
original Town of Concord", an excellent source of information,
gathered and edited by Erasmus Briggs, and published in 1883.
175 years is a long period of time, in our country, for
a building to withstand the change and decay. Few buildings
survive the passing of all those years. Our church meeting house
has not attained to that age, but it is still remarkable that it
has continued its usefulness and soundness for 145 years, The
present building is the original building erected in the year
The historical record states that the early meetings were
held in a school house. On file in the Erie County archive s is
the record of the Free Will Baptist Society of West Concord,
organized October 5, 1B46, at a meeting held at the school house
of district 16, being the usual place of worship. This official
organization was probably for the right to own and hold property,
with the erection of a ''meeting house'' in mind. The land was
deeded to the church by Mr. Richardson, January 4, 1848. Mr.
Richardson not only gave the land but helped to build the church.
Mr. Richardson's interest in this local Baptist Church is
evident. His name continues to appear in the records to the
time of his death on December 4, 1879. In 1892 he was refered
to in church records as "one of the main fathers of the church".
Members from the beginning:
Jeremiah Richardson and wife Anna
Elijah, Polly and Caroline Richardson
Zebida Simmons and wife
Elijah Graves and wife
Tracy Burnap and wife
James Abbey and wife
Samuel Stevens and wife
Alvin Blasdell and wife
Mrs. Otis Morton
Myron Walker and wife
Simeon Holt and wife
Stephen Knight and wife
Luke Simmons and wife
Alphus Aldrich and wife
Orin Spaulding and wife
Thomas Richardson and wife
Jacob Story and wife
Mrs. J. Burnap
James Quinn and wife
Wm. Potter and wife
PASTORS WHO SERVED HERE
Elder Richard Cary 1818
Rev Steven Knight
Elder Honathan Canfield
Rev Benjamin McKoon 1846
Rev. Little John
Rev. Van Duzee 1866
Rev. William Russel 1877-1880
Rev. George c. Baker 1882-1883
Rev. Markham Sr. 1886-1887
Rev. George Ford 1893
Rev. Markham Jr.
Rev. Aldrow (or Waldrow)
Rev. Hamilton 1924-1926
No services until American Sunday
Sunday School 1928
Rev. Schurman 1931-1938
Rev. Bruce Lambert 1938-1943
Rev. George Manter 1944-1948
Rev. Homer Carr 1948-1955
Rev. George Slaughenhaupt 1955-1957
Rev. Alden Farner 1958-1963
Rev. Roland G. Clark 1963-1965
Rev. Luther M. Schaeffer 1965-1976
Rev. Del Meagley 1977-?
Pastor Norman Maitland ?-1987
Rev. George Sanford 1988-2007
Pastor Bob Bridge 2007-2012
Pastor Randell Smith 2013-2021
Pastor Gentry Osborne 2022-Present
NOTE: Our information is very incomplete and could have errors.
We desire further information on any of the above.
History of The Building and Parsonage
The church was built with pine, hemlock, cucumber and
butternut woods. A great amount of lead was also purchased
along with varnish and blue paint. one gallon of varnish and
jug was $2.75. Someone boarded the painter for six weeks and
received $7.50. Six pounds of nails cost 30 cents.
The reports of the annual meetings are very short. They
met the first Monday in October and chose a moderator and clerk
for the next year, and a trustee for three years. In 1862 they
agreed to pay Albert Abbey four dollars a year for building
fires, sweeping the house and attending to the lights.
In 1873, Mr. Richardson gave land adjoining the church on
which to build a parsonage. The expenses for building the
parsonage came to $1009.63, by the total in the church ledger.
Doors and windows were $87.00. Mr. Churchill worked for 17 days
and was paid $34.00 for carpenter work. A mason was paid $23.00.
Ten pounds of nails was 73 cents. In October, they painted the
meeting house. Paint, brushes and 7 3/4 days labor at a cost of $43.60.
In 1913, Mr. Byron Spaulding did extensive repairs to the
church. It was in very bad condition. His bill came to $425.26.
He donated the inner folding doors at a cost of $7.00. In
November of 1913, they paid $2.48 for insurance on the church.
At about this time the parsonage was sold because there was
no hope of it being used by the church.
Sometime after 1924, the church was closed. In 1928, the
American Sunday School Union came into the area. A union Sunday
School was organized by Lawrence Cornwall in the church. Two
teenagers, Bertha Spaulding and Ruth Burger kept it going with
the help of Marianna Brown.
In October of 1931, church services began with Rev. Schurman
as pastor. The church shared the pastor with the Baptist Church
in Springville. New members added at this time were: Mr. Wales
Church and his wife Kate, their children--Ellis, Laura and Hazel;
Harold, Bertha, Dorothy and Evelyn Spaulding; Ruth and Ray Burger.
Electricity was installed in the fall on 1936 at a cost
of $52.50. The oil lamps and chandeliers were removed. In
1946, new wood planking was installed in the main auditorium. In
1948, a room was dug under the church and a furnace was installed
at a cost of $186.29. Up to this time the church had been heated
by wood stoves in two corners of the church. A large round floor
register was in the front of the church. In the winter weather
chairs often were placed around this to keep everyone warm.
Mrs. Nen Blakely, who lived next door in the former parsonage,
cleaned the church and made the fires. In 1949, a bell was
purchased from a church in Ashford Hollow. The men of the church
installed it in the church belfry. In the 1950's a basement was
dug under the church with a farm tractor and scoop and also by
hand. Rest rooms were added on the main floor at this time.
This eliminated the small building out back by the lilac and rose bushes.
In 1955 the church severed connections with the Springville
Baptist Church. The church then called their own pastor, George
Slaughenhaupt, and began work on a church constitution, which
was adopted in 1958. The church was incorporated in October
of 1958. A lot for a church parsonage was purchased that year.
The parsonage was built in 1961. Most of the labor on the
parsonage was done by members and friends. Lumber was cut at
a local saw mill owned by M. George Burger. Rev. Alden Farner
and his family were the first occupants.
In 1962, floor tile and new pews were installed in the
church. In the 1960's a new basement room was added for an oil
furnace. A new organ and piano were purchased. In 1965, a new
vestibule was added to the front of the building. In 1966 the
interior of the church was renovated and redecorated. New
lighting fixtures were added and the exterior was painted. The
church voted to affiliate with the General Association of Regular
Baptist Churches and the Empire State Fellowship of Regular
Baptist Churches. Our church marked the 150th anniversary of
the founding of the church in this year also.
Since 1818 many changes have come. Paths have changed
into roads and big highways, houses have replaced cabins, the ox
carts are gone, the horse and buggy too. The forest wilderness
has .given place to large open fields, the predatory animals have
retreated to less inhabited areas, the settlers who pioneered
our more favorable situation are also gone.
When we compare our day with what was in that day, we
know that 175 years is quite a long way back. In 1818 there·
were scarcely any roads here, no railroads anywhere, No mail
service or telephone, no phonographs or radios, and no automobiles
or airplanes. But God was and there were people who
needed God and the Savior. The preaching of the word of God
and the seeking after the souls of men began.
This church has been like a greenhouse. Seeds were
planted by teachers such as Lillian Burns, Betty Lou Detrick,
Julia Clark, Cora Carpenter and Harold Spaulding. The seeds
were nurtured, grew and moved on to become firmly grounded in
such places as Baptist Bible College, Cedarville, Houghton, and
Buffalo Bible Institute. From there these plants were planted
to bloom where God placed them. Some have become pastors, some
teachers, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers, to begin the
process again. Like a ripple in the water spreads farther and
farther, so have the lives which began in Sunday School here.
ODDS AND ENDS
In May 1932, Harold Spaulding was elected Superintendent
of the Sunday School. He served until 1951.
A Missionary Society was formed in 1933. A committee for
this was formed. Mrs. Rice, Mrs. Burger and Mrs. Wakenhut served on this committee.
Esther Detrick was received by letter in 1932. Members
received in 1937 were: Marguerite Spaulding, Carl and Donald·
Beyers. Letters were given to Mr. and Mr. Ellis Church ( Bertha
Spaulding). A letter was given to Evelyn Spaulding Rogers in
January 1939 and one to Laura Church Mackenson in 1940.
Members received in 1943 were: Nennah Blakely, Betty Lou
Detrick, Shirley Detrick. Received by letter were: Mrs. Cora
Carpenter, Mrs. Alta Blasdell and her children--Roy Howard, Willo,
Robert, Leon and Alta. Members received in 1947 were: Alice Beyers,
Grant Blasdell, and Clyde Carpenter.
Letters were given to Willo Blasdell Srock in 1950 and to Donald
Beyers in December 1951.
Bertha Carpenter united with the church April 29, 1951.
In 1950 a Bible School was started. It was led by Betty Lou
Detrick, Mr. Cora Carpenter and Nancy Ellis.
During the winter of 1959-60 we had a great amount of snow
It was very cold that winter and there was no snow melt during
the winter. In the spring it got warm and stayed warm so that all
the snow melted at once. At that time Roy Blasdell was starting
the fires in the furnace on Saturday nights. On one such night
he came down the basement steps and stepped into about a foot of
crystal clear ice cold water.
In the 1970's our church was the Eastern Depot for hospital
supplies for Dr. Kenoyer in Assam India. These supplies included
rolled bandages, surgical squares, hospital gowns, layettes and quilts.
Other improvements since our 150th anniversary include; fold
down stairs to the belfry space, new hymnals, circulating fans in
the auditorium, vinyl siding on the church, carpeting in the nursery,
new roof on the church and a new well at the parsonage.
Several of the church record books are missing so that all
information may not be included that should be.