The History of Adams First Baptist Church of Honeyville
The Honeyville Baptist Church, known to the Baptist Convention as the Adams First Baptist Church, is located on the Adams Center-Rodman road (Route 177). Although founded in 1802, it was not until 1838 that the building was established on its present site, where, outside of a few alterations, it still embodies many of its original features. The edifice is of New England architecture, its clapboards painted white and the windows of stained glass.
According to historical records, in September of 1802, a meeting was held at the residence of David Grommons at Honeyville. After which regular worship meetings were held every Sunday. In September of 1805 the members of the congregation were advised to form an organization, elect officers and take their place as a church in regular standing. The following week, at the residence of John Kidder who lived a mile north of Adams Center, action was taken to establish the church and it was named the First Baptist Church of Christ of Adams.
In May of 1806 the church sent delegates to a convention of churches held at Rutland, which marked the formation of the Black River Association. In July of that year the first pastor, Elder Littlefield, was received into the church and a year later, the Rev. Timothy Heath became the first ordained pastor.
The first meeting house was built in 1824 when the Rev. Joshua Freeman was pastor. Prior to this time, the meetings had been held either at the Heath residence or the schoolhouse. The new meeting place was a log building of medium size and had no steeple. There was a gallery and a high pulpit. It is said that in the early beginning between 600 and 700 people attended and it was not possible to seat everyone. People stood outside and listened to the pastor through the open windows. To accommodate the growing congregation, the first church building was sold and 1838 a new church was erected on the present site. In 1902 the church observed the 100th anniversary of its founding and a centennial of the church building was celebrated in 1938. From 1948 through 1951 the church was remodeled and redecorated. The sanctuary was made smaller and a bit lower. A modern kitchen and dining room were added to the same floor.
In 1960, the Ladies Aid Society had a well drilled and water was put in the church. An electric organ was also installed that year. The kitchen was enlarged in 1969. Mr. and Mrs. Sacile Brown painted the whole outside of the addition.
The Honeyville Baptist Church is the oldest church in the Association and until the Civil War, it was also the largest. During the 1840’s the membership reached a peak of 453, double the size of any other congregation in the Association. Numerical decline started with the organization of Baptist Churches in Adams and Adams Center.
Through the years the church has identified itself with missionary work and charitable organizations. Women’s, men’s and young people’s societies have long been strong factors in the interest held in the church. Honevyille Baptist Church continues to grow in worship and community outreach.