Church and Family History Research Assistance for Saratoga County, New York



The history of Wilton Church which we have obtained comes from accounts and letters, published in the Signs of the Times, as follows: "MEETING IN SARATOGA COUNTY. After traveling about 170 miles, we arrived on Wednesday the 2nd inst. at the Meeting-house in Wilton, where we met with a number of the dear disciples of the Lamb, in whose company we enjoyed a most delilghtful season. The following ministering brethren were present, viz., Elder John Leland and Noah Y. Bushnell of Massachusetts, Jacob St. John, Job Champin, John Coleby, Bro. Bennet, E. Raymond, G. Conklin, G. Beebe, E. Finch, and Brother Carr, the two last named belong to the Wilton Church. Of these brethren, five are aged and hoary headed, the others were middle aged, and young men. At 10 o'clock a.m., the worship of God was introduced with prayer and preaching by our venerable brother Leland, who was followed by nearly all the ministers present. Our readers may form some idea of the tenor of the preaching, by the subjects or texts which were selected and dwelt upon. The following is a list of them, viz: Leland - Eph. 2:8,10; Beebe - Rom. 8:35; Raymond - Acts 10:42; Conklin - Psalms 69:29; Bushnell - Matthew 6:13; St. John - Psalms 110:3. On Thursday afternoon the Elders and brethren present were invited to assist the Church in setting Brother Stutely Carr apart to the work whereunto (they believed) the Holy Ghost had called him; after receiving satisfactory testimony from the Church, and from the mouth of the candidate, of his moral and christian character; his call and qualifications for the work of the ministry, as also his doctrinal sentiments; by request, Elder Leland preached on the occasion from Mark 16:20, "And they went forth and preached every where," &c. After prayers hands were laid upon the brother. The fellowship of the brethren was then expressed in primitive form by the right hand, and an appropriate exhortation to the newly ordained brother by our aged brother Elnathan Finch, pastor of the church, to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, which closed the solemnities of the occasion.

Also, a letter from Elder Stutely Carr, as follows: "Wilton, N. Y., April 8, 1837, DEAR BROTHE BEEBE:- Having many things to write to you, and not being used to putting my thoughts in writing, I hardly know where to begin. I feel sometimes as though I was alone in this barren land. It is very seldom I can meet with any Old School Baptist Preachers to take counsel with; I have been trying to defend that faith which was once delivered to the saints, that faith which justifies the soul, without the deeds of the law; even the faith of God's elect, who were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy, and without blame before him in love. This is the foundation of my hope, and therefore, I both labor and suffer reproach, because I trust in the living God, and not in the inventions of men. I am at present trying to preach to two churches; I have met with some opposition, and a pretty good share of reproach, like this, "He is an excluded member; the church to which he belongs is excluded, and the ministers who ordained him were excluded, and although he preaches truth, yet he opposes the benevolent institutions," and if the members of churches are allowed to go to hear him, our craft is in danger; therefore let us pass such a resolution as this: What? If any man confess that Jesus is the Christ, he shall be put out of the synagogue? No, but this, No member of this church shall invite, encourage, or go to hear that man, Carr, who preaches in the south part of this town."

Brother Beebe, this looks to me like the fulfillment of scripture, "If any man will live godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution." And again, "wicked men and seducers shall wax worse, and worse, deceiving and being deceived, nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his." We have peace within our own borders, for which we have reason to be thankful; we have also received a small addition to our number since you was here. I want to see you again, do, if you can come here this summer, and let us know by your paper, that we may make an appointment; we wish you to give an invitation to Old School Baptist ministers and brethren in general to call on us while passing through the country; for we are weak and a feeble band, and need encouragement and instruction. I pray the Lord may prosper you in your undertakings for the good of his cause: may he keep you humble, and prepare you by his grace, to defend his truth both by your pen and voice. When I heard you was about to remove, it filled my heart with sorrow, lest I should never see your face in the flesh again, nor hear you declare a finished salvation; but I feel to say, God's will be done: be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Remember the admonition of the Apostle, "Feed the flock of God, which he has purchased with his own blood, taking the oversight thereof, not of constraint but willingly, not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind, not as lording it over God's heritage, but as an ensample unto the flock; and when the chief shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." Farewell, ELDER STUTELY CARR."

Elder Stutely Carr and Elder Elnathan Finch (1761-1845) were both members of this church; also Bro. George W. Beal. Due to loss of records, no other names are available at present.

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