|Title||Booklet: A Century in the First Baptist Church of Hoboken, New Jersey, December 1945.|
|MULTIMEDIA LINKS||CLICK HERE to view the PDF; note - please be patient while file opens.|
|Collection||Hoboken Churches & Religion Collection|
|Credit||Gift of Leonard J. Taylor|
|Scope & Content||
Booklet: A Century in the First Baptist Church of Hoboken, New Jersey. Published at the time of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, December 1945.
Booklet, 6" x 9" high. 28 pp. plus cover, photos. PDF on file
A very useful history of this church which is no longer in operation. Full text is in notes.
Printed by the Poggi Press of Hoboken.
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FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
A CENTURY IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
Published at the time of the
ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY
of the Founding of the Church
[photo] FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
[photo] REV. FRED L. HAINER, D. D
A little over a year ago plans were made and committees appointed to arrange for the celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the organization of our church. Included in the plans was the raising of an anniversary fund to pay off our mortgage. In the minds of some was the fond hope that money enough might be received to redecorate the walls throughout the building. As we come to this celebration with our mortgage paid in full and our church redecorated, the pastor wants to express his sincere thanks to all who have in any way contributed to make these accomplishments possible. Only through the loyal co-operation of one and all have we been able to come to this happy occasion.
At such a time as this our minds go back across the years and our respects are paid to those who have toiled and sacrificed in order that we might enjoy this rich heritage. When we realize how God has watched over this church through these years, giving wisdom to her leaders and success to her labors, truly we are led to exclaim "What hath God wrought" and may we, to whom has descended this glorious Christian heritage, seek to make it more resplendent by our personal sacrifices and noble endeavor and transmit it to those who shall come after us, unsullied and greatly enriched through our consecrated living.
A spirit of pride should enter the hearts of all for the service that it has been our privilege, as a church, to render in the name of God. It also carries a challenge for the future.
Fred L. Hainer, Pastor.
A CENTURY IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF HOBOKEN
1845One hundred years ago, a small group of men and women met in a schoolhouse known as the "Hoboken Institute" to worship God. Among these three men and nine women who organized the First Baptist Church on November 2, 1845 was the mother of one of our members, Mary C. Applegate, who passed into the Great Beyond a few years ago. It happened that her sister, Susan Whitney Applegate, namesake of her mother, Susan Whitney, wrote a most interesting essay in 1904 entitled "Hoboken, When Grandmamma Was Young." She recalled: "We had no churches here. Grandmamma was obliged to mount her horse and ride to
the old church at English Neighborhood, now Ridgefield, nearly seven miles away. This old church is the second oldest in New Jersey. ... It was a long time before a church building was erected in Hoboken. The majority of the citizens were of the Reformed Dutch faith. As several new families of wealth had bought property, settled here, and were generous contributors to a church fund, old St. Paul's Church on the corner of Third and Hudson Streets was built in deference to their wishes.
"It was this church that almost all the villagers attended until there came to the town a few Methodists who worshipped in the small school house on Washington Street near Seventh Street. These were followed by a number of families from Bordentown. The majority of the men came as employees of the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company. These families were of the Baptist faith and formed with a few of the villagers what is now the First Baptist Church. These two denominations, Methodists and Baptists, worshipped in the little schoolhouse alternately each Sunday. The weekly prayer meeting was a union of the two. The young women were not ashamed during the day to be seen carrying candles to light the building, nor afraid to make a fire so that husband, brother and lover might attend when their day's tasks were over. The Methodists started the first Sunday School. Grandmamma's gir's, who were Baptists, helped them and made a personal canvass of the villagers for scholars. Our Catholic brethren never failed to attend service. Although they were obliged to go to Jersey City, no storm was too severe for them as they sturdily passed along the causeway which joined Jersey City and Hoboken."
On December 5, 1845, the Board of Trustees was incorporated as "The Trustees of the First Baptist Church of Hoboken in the township of North Bergen, Hudson County, New Jersey."
1846The first pastor was Rev. John Batey, who served the church until September 27, 1846. Nearly nine hundred dollars were collected for building the church to be located on the northwest corner of Meadow (Park Avenue) and Fourth Streets in "Church Square." Unfortunately this building never materialized, as a gale demolished the walls on November 23, 1846.
1847 Through the efforts of the "friends of Christian Missions", two thousand dollars were collected towards the first meeting house. Deacon T. W. Thomas recommended the purchase of a lot on the southwest corner of Washington and Third Streets. The beautiful baptismal window in our present edifice recalls the long service of Deacon Thomas. This window was given by the King's Sons, King's Daughters and Deacon Thomas' Sunday School class. One year after Rev. Josiah Hatt began his ministry, the first church was dedicated on July 1, 1847.
1852 The year 1852 marked the Seventh Anniversary of the organization of our church. Glimpses of the ciiurch at that time are revealed in an "Historical Sketch" prepared by Rev. Hatt for the Seventh Anniversary. It is interesting to note that the first subscription for the support of the ministry amounted to one hundred and fifteen dollars. During the first four years the ministry was supported mostly by the New Jersey Baptist State Convention and the American Baptist Home Mission Society. Although two years later the members were burdened with a debt for a new edifice on the corner of Bloomfield and Third Streets, these pioneers contributed nearly five hundred dollars to the cause of missions, Bible and tract distribution, and ministerial education. Rev. Hatt wrote: "Our Sabbath School is as old as the church itself. The Hoboken Tract Society was formed soon after. . . . We have joined recently our brethren of other denominations in organizing the Hoboken Bible Society for the supply of our whole population with the Word of Life." "We have never stood in the way of any other Christian agency, but have hailed the establishment of churches differing from our own in the hope that they might be rendered useful to souls beyond our influence. When then, two years ago, our house of worship was applied for on Lord's Day afternoon by Rev. Sticker, the Presbyterian missionary of Hoboken, it was at once resolved to tender him the free use of it, whenever practicable, so long as it appeared for the glory of God to continue the grant."
"At the time of our organization, there were but a few hundred inhabitants. Now we have a population of more than five thousand. It is true that one-half of this number are Germans and French peop.e." "Sabbath desecration is alarmingly prevalent. . . . The hum and bustle and coarse laughter and rude music, which almost always disturb the quiet and worship of the evening especially, tend to dissipate all reverence and respect for the dry. ... As a natural consequence, the sanctuary is neglected. . . . The great majority of the people prefer not unfrequently the public garden and the saloon." "Tippling is a crying sin among us." Fortunately the picture brightens later on in his address: "Seven years ?go, there were but sixteen recognized members. Now there are one hundred and twenty-eight."
1854 The memorial window facing the east, dedicated to Rev.
Josiah Hatt, reveals that his successful pastorate ended in 1854.
1858The church seal was adopted.
1859This year marks the close of the four years' pastorate of the Rev. A. S. Patton, D.D., commemorated by the memorial window facing the west.
1861 The oldest Minute Book of the Board of Trustees reveals that in 1861 the women of the church were organized and two societies raised $200 to help the church. Strawberry festivals were popular. Throughout its long career the Ladies' Aid Society has continued to aid the church financially through the devoted work of its members. For many years the society has been interested in missionary work looth at home and abroad. Mrs. William C. Rue has rendered years of faithful service as president of the Ladies' Aid Society.
1863 Glancing through the membership records, the names of Elizabeth Rue and Greene Rue appear in 1863. Since that time members of the Rue family have continued to serve our church. Two of our trustees are Mr. William C. Rue and his son, Charles Rue. Mr. W. C. Rue is the church treasurer.
1868 This year was notable for the organization of the First Baptist Mission Sabbath School, which trained boys and girls for more than twenty-five years.
1884The distinction of being the oldest member of our church belongs to Miss Freda Borries, who became a member in 1884. Previous to joining the church, she had been active in the Sunday School. She was an earnest worker in the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor.
1885During this year the Manual of the First Baptist Church was adopted.
1888 The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was organized on September 4, 1888. Most of the active members of the church received their training in Y.P.S.C.E.
1890 In 1890 Mathias H. Taylor joined the church. He was elected deacon in 1903 and served continuously until his death in 1942. For years he was the secretary of the Board of Trustees and treasurer of Missions and Benevolence. He held several offices in the Sunday School during his long membership. When the beautiful cross above the baptistry is illuminated during the Sunday Evening Cross Service, many of us recall that "Tice", as he was known among his friends, made it and gave it as a gift to the church. Since she became a member in 1887, Mrs. Taylor has been an active worker in the church and is now our second oldest member.
Our church on the corner of Third and Bloomfield Streets was sold in 1890 to St. John's Evangelical Church.
The corner stone for the present edifice on the northeast corner of Ninth and Bloomfield Streets was laid on June 18, 1890 at 4:00 P.M. During the impressive service, James Bates, Church Clerk, read the contents of the box and placed them, in position, Deacon A. B. Cruden presented the trowel and Deacon James Benson laid the corner stone.
1891 Much credit for the erection of this new building belongs to the Rev. John Finch. The programme of the dedicatory services lasted for five days "beginning Sabbath, September 27, ending October 2, 1891". The Building Committee were Rev. John Finch, James Benson, A. B. Cruden, Henry A. Bonynge and John A. Brown. One of the trustees was Andrew B. Van Woert, whose grandson, First Lieut. Andrew B. Van Woert is at present our Financial Secretary.
About this time twenty-five members left the First Church and organized the Second Baptist Church on a downtown site, because they believed that the lower part of the city would be neglected by the removal of Baptists from the Third Street Church to the uptown site on Ninth Street.
1896The Golden Jubilee was celebrated in November, 1896, although it had been postponed a year. An exodus of Hobokenites to the suburbs about this time resulted in the church losing many members and their financial support. Because the church lost heavily in unpaid subscriptions to the Building Fund, a large mortgage was placed on the new property which became a source of worry for many years.
1897The Baptist Mission, located on Second Street near Clinton Street, was sold for $4,000, to the City of Hoboken. Public School No. 5 adjoined the property.
1912Discouragement and impending ruin were brought on by a decreasing membership due to a fast changing population resulting from new arrivals in the United States not of the Protestant faith. The church was at a very low ebb, running behind about $500 per year in current expenses. The members were discouraged to the last degree, most of them with little hope in the future of the church. Including the large mortgage, the total debt on the church amounted to $11,972. A meeting was called in June to discuss selling our beautiful church, but the "Faithful" won the day and decided never to give up the fight.
A new era began with the call of Rev. Forrest L. Fraser to the pastorate on November 10, 1912. Within three years, 138 new members were added to the church roll. In 1913 the Duplex Envelope System was installed. The Second Baptist Church was persuaded to turn over their property to the New Jersey Baptist Convention. Most of the members of the Second Baptist Church united with the First Baptist Church. Our church conducted a thriving Mission Sunday School in the old Second Baptist Church. Two missionaries worked among the Italians, which was the first Protestant effort made in our city. This work was financed by several missionary agencies. The membership of the First Baptist Church increased to 238.
1913Theodore Herring joined the church during this year and later on began his long service as Sunday School superintendent and choir director. The beautiful Anniversary Hymn for the Eightieth Anniversary was written by Mr. Herring. This hymn
was sung also at the Ninety-fifth Anniversary. For the celebration of our One Hundredth Anniversary Mr. Herring has written a new hymn. Mr. Herring has the honor of being our lay preacher. He is the member of our Board of Deacons who has the longest service.
1914 The trustee who has served the longest is Judge J. Raymond Tiffany, who was elected in 1914 and began service on January 7, 1915. Although for years they have been non-residents, Judge Tiffany and Mrs. Tiffany retain their membership in our church. The Judge continues to take an active interest in the work of the Board of Trustees.
Quoting from the bulletin prepared by Rev. Fraser, "History of the First Baptist Church of Hoboken, New Jersey, 'In a Nutshell' ": "January 1, 1914, saw the beginning of a determined and heroic effort to pay off every red cent of debt. Since 1890 the First Church has never been a day without a blighting burden of debt. . . . We started out determined to, in 1915, celebrate the Seventieth Anniversary of the organization of this church and the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the dedication of the present beautiful House of Worship by paying our obligations."
Most of the money was pledged on the condition that the total be banked by December 31, 1915, including a $2,000 gift from the New Jersey Baptist Convention. Mainly through the strenuous personal efforts of Rev. Fraser, the goal was achieved and $11,775.97 was subscribed and paid to the Mortgage Debt Fund. On Friday evening, February 11, 1916, a "Mortgage Burning Celebration and Reception" was held in the church. The honor of burning the mortgage was given to Mr. Henry A. Bonynge, President of the Board of Trustees. This occasion was to be the Omega of Mortgage Burnings in the First Baptist Church of Hoboken. Tragic to relate, history repeats itself, and in 1944 the First Church again faced a mortgage of $11,600 and an ultimatum to make good within a year. This time the One Hundredth Anniversary will mark the second mortgage burning. We pray fervently that this will be the final fiery mortgage ordeal.
1917 When Dr. Melvia T. Shelford became pastor, he began a campaign to raise a fund to install electric lighting. Before the work began, the fund was on hand. When Dr. Shelford served as chaplain in Hoboken, "The Port of Embarkation" during World War I, the church became a center for army and navy men.
1924 During a business meeting held on March 10, 1924, two women were elected trustees, Mary C. Applegate and Ida E. Housman. This was the first time in the history of the church that women served as trustees. Following the resignation of Mr. Henry A. Bonynge as president of the Board of Trustees, Miss Housman was elected to this office on April 8, 1925, and has served as president since then. For many years William G. Christy has served as vice-president and William C. Rue as treasurer. Thomas D. Williams succeeded Mathias H. Taylor in the office of secretary of the Board.
1925 This year marked the Eightieth Anniversary of the church during the pastorate of Dr. Henry Clay Risner.
After assurances that the money would be subscribed, the church voted to install an electric organ. Unfortunately the subscriptions fell short of the goal and a mortgage was placed on the church. Our financial troubles increased. Fortunately through the aid of Dr. Charles E. Goodall, Executive Secretary, the New Jersey Baptist Convention gave us financial assistance.
1928 What a year! Like the old "One-Hoss Shay", the church was ready to fall apart. The roof leaked terribly and the foundation of the church was ready to collapse. A new roof, a new basement floor with a cement foundation, a new metal ceiling, new wiring and new paint were imperative. When the rain poured, the water descended through the roof of the auditorium and the floor and flooded the basement. A group of members sat in a front pew of the church after a Sunday morning service and discussed the dismal situation. Some were ready to sell the property, but others stood firm and said they would begin a campaign with Divine Help to restore the property. During this crisis the New Jersey Baptist Convention rendered us valuable service. Dr. Goodall interested a leading church architect, Mr. Albert Humble, who supervised the rebuilding of the church in our reconstruction program. Everybody in the church joined in the movement to raise the Building Fund. Through a supreme effort we did raise nearly $5,000, but the cost of rebuilding was more than we anticipated, resulting in an addition to our mortgage. The work of restoration was completed during the pastorate of Rev. Eugene Bowe. The church was beautiful again, when the sun shone through the memorial stained glass windows.
1930 The years rolled on and our financial difficulties increased, due mainly to the transient character of our population and the attraction of the suburbs for a number of our members. Hoboken continued to change from a residential to an industrial city and the Protestants became the minority group. Although Dr. Wilfred H. Sobey had earned the leisure of retirement after years of service in a Long Island church, he accepted the call to our church. After serving for a while, he realized the necessity of maintaining the Baptist cause in Hoboken and offered to continue his pastor?te at a much reduced salary, which the Board accepted reluctantly. Through his cooperation with the Board, the Hoboken Bank for Savings reduced the rate of interest on the mortgage, which was again a "millstone" about our necks.
1935 Among the old time members of our church were the Gahagan family. Throughout her life their only child, Florence, was interested in the financial problems of the church. She served as treasurer of the Ladies' Aid Society and Financial Secretary of the church. A number of years after her marriage, Mrs. L, G. Nilson became seriously ill and died on June 1, 1934.
In 1935 the church received the first bequest of $5,000 from the Florence H. Nilson Estate and the assurance that another bequest of $5,000 would be paid after the decease of Mr. Nilson. Through the assurance of the first bequest, the Board of Trustees recom-
mended that the church call a pastor to succeed Dr. Sobey, who passed away in service on June 18, 1934. Rev. C. Robert Pedersen accepted the call in 1935.
After paying pressing obligations and providing for a special reserve fund, much needed repairs were made on the stained glass windows and the organ. In December, 1935, the church celebrated its Ninetieth Anniversary.
1940 Rev. William. E. Cusworth succeeded Rev. Pedersen in the pastorate and was ordained during the Ninety-fifth Anniversary Celebration held during December, 1940. This anniversary will be remembered for the unveiling of the bronze Memorial Plaque in memory of Florence Gahagan Nilson. Although many men and women have rendered service for the Master that cannot be measured, probably the crucial need for financial assistance experienced by the Board of Trustees in 1935 prompted them to suggest the memorial plaque for Mrs. Nilson. The second bequest had been paid to the church before the celebration of the Ninety-fifth Anniversary. During the memorial service, "Lest We Forget", led by the president of the Board of Trustees, memorial gifts were presented. Our pastor had suggested the memorial gifts. The first gift, a beautiful book mark for the pulpit Bible, was a gift from the Rue family in memory of William Randall Rue, known as Billy to his family and friends. The Cusworth family gave an American Flag for the pulpit in memory of Rev. W. J. Cusworth. Through the efforts of Mathias H. Taylor, chairman of the Board of Deacons, in securing subscriptions, members and friends had the opportunity to give hymn books, each bearing a memorial book plate. Following the presentation of the gifts, the Nilson Memorial Plaque was unveiled by the youngest member of the Board of Trustees, Charles Rue.
Mr. Cusworth introduced the Monthly Hymn Sing held at the close of the third evening service each month and became the leader. After his resignation, Miss Evelyn Paddock, our organist, volunteered as song leader and Miss Mabel Housman, as pianist. During the pastorate of Mr. Cusworth, the Sacrifice Dinner was inaugurated to help raise money for the World Emergency Fund.
1942Soon after Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, our Service Honor Roll was placed in the vestibule of the church.
1943In December, 1943, Dr. Fred L. Hainer began his ministry in our church. During the past two years, new members have been added to the church, due partly to Dr. Hainer's friendly calls. Both the Monthly Hymn Sing and the Sacrifice Dinner for the World Emergency Forward Fund have been continued.
Realizing the need for a religious and social organization for teen-age boys and girls in the Sunday School, the Baptist Young People's Society was organized on February 9, 1944. Unfortunately the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, which had trained church leaders for several decades, had lapsed years ago. This new organization, based on Y.P.S C.E. principles, devotes a part of each meeting to a religious service and the remainder to a recreational
program. The meeting is held usually on Wednesday evening. The first president was Jerome Biggio, Jr., who was succeeded by Alice Johanssen. Dr. Hainer, Mrs. Hainer and Miss I. E. Housman constitute the Advisory Board.
1944Since the beginning of World War IT, the Service Men's Committee, assisted by the pastor, has tried to keep in touch with our men in service. Nearly every Sunday, Dr. Hainer has listed the name and address of a man in service in the Church Bulletin with the request to write. Each Christmas, subscriptions for the Reader's Digest have been sent to the men on our Honor Roll. Mr. William G. Christy has served as chairman of the Service Men's Committee and Miss Betty Williams as assistant. The other members of the committee are: Mrs. Lavinia D. Bailey, Mrs. Oscar Maicus and Mr. Robert E. Frenz. On June 4, 1944, a Service Flag was dedicated during a Memorial Service. Even before 1941, First Lieut. Andrew B. Van Woert, the first member called to the service of his country, was serving at Pearl Harbor. At the close of World War II, 43 stars had been placed on our Service Flag. During the Memorial Service held in 1945, a gold star was placed in honor of Walter Braisted, who gave his life for his country on August 31, 1943, while crossing the Strait of Dover as an aerial gunner.
The year 1944 was marked by two achievements: the refinancing of the mortgage held by the Hoboken Bank for Savings and the inauguration of the One Hundredth Anniversary Fund Campaign. On June 23, 1944, Mr. William C. Rue, our treasurer, received a letter from the bank stating that the present liquidation of the mortgage was unsatisfactory. Thanks to the generosity of the bank, the church was making a $300 annual payment on the principal of the mortgage. After several conferences, the bank agreed to make a substantial reduction on our mortgage of $11,600, provided cash was paid at a stipulated time. On August second, the Board of Trustees submitted the proposition to the bank that the church pay $4,000 in cash on or before December 1, 1945, as this date marks the One Hundredth Anniversary of the church. The Executive Committee of the bank approved the proposition, pending the approval of the church. At a special meeting held on September 17, 1944, the church unanimously approved the proposition. The next step was the formulation of the plan to raise the $4,000 by December 1, 1945. Following an inspirational sermon by Dr. Hainer on Sunday morning, December 10, 1944, the president of the Board of Trustees presented the plan to raise the Anniversary Fund. Mr. Fred L. Brush was appointed by the trustees as treasurer of the One Hundredth Anniversary Fund and Mr. Thomas D. Williams as secretary.
1945Members and friends pledged generously and within several months the full amount of $4,000 had been paid in cash to the bank. The mortgage had been paid in full. Now the goal was to raise sufficient money to renovate the church and the basement. Gradually the red mark rose on the second One Hundredth Anniversary Fund Thermometer placed near the pulpit. Encouraged by the pledges and the cash payments, the Board of Trustees signed a contract in June, 1945, for the restoration of the church auditorium and the painting of the basement. The momentous event of burning the mortgage will be celebrated on December 16, 1945. Let us thank God that the
old church may continue as a House of Worship and serve the community for another one hundred years and thereafter.
After one hundred years, our Sunday School under the superin-tendency of Lan Wong continues to work for the religious training of our boys and girls. As we come to worship in this beautiful church, let us read the message on the central panel of the choir loft:
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."
May we remember the many men, women, boys and girls who have entered the baptismal waters and witnessed for Christ. Sometimes we have been discouraged, when boys and girls who have grown up in this church leave this community and establish homes in other parts of our country, or when transients enter into our fellowship and soon move. Instead of being discouraged, we should thank God that this old church has been privileged to train men and women to spread the Gospel, like a pebble cast into a pond spreading ripples to the further shores. As we enter the next one hundred years of service, let us remember:
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."
Ida E. Housman, M.A.
Hoboken, New Jersey December, 1945
IN HONOR OF THOSE WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY IN THE ARMED FORCES
Some have given "the last full measure of devotion". Countless sacrifices have been made by our loved ones. These priceless lives and valiant efforts must not be in vain.
With deep appreciation and genuine humility, we dedicate ourselves to the living out of lessons learned by those who have served faithfully all over the world and in the homeland. We know that the greatest tragedy would be that we fail to use what they have been forced to learn during the war.
Therefore, we dedicate ourselves:
To INCREASED PATIENCE in our relationships, that we may understand better all of life;
To A GREATER TOLERANCE and appreciation of all peoples, of whatever creed, nationality or race;
To A CLOSER COOPERATION with all those who
seek to build a more perfect democracy in these United States and a United Nations of the world;
And to AN ENLARGED FAITH IN GOD, that we may see clearly and have the courage to fulfill God's purposes in His world.
CHAPLAIN (CAPTAIN) PAUL K. SHELFORD.
Tokyo, Japan October 24, 1945.
WORLD WAR II
OUR CHURCH HONOR ROLL
* Walter Braisted (* = Gold Star)
Charles E. Bailey
Jerome Biggio, Jr
Gerald M. Crowley
Donald J. Gurry
Andrew B. Van Woert
Robert Van Woert
MESSAGES FROM FORMER PASTORS
1912 - 1916 REV. FORREST L. FRASER
Sincere congratulations on your attainment of the century mark in service for our Lord. The added fact that you come to this auspicious hour, "debt free", adds joy to joy. However, the crowning fact is that as Christians, you are debt-free to God, through the price Jesus paid to "Redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." God grant that the future in your fellowship may out-strip the best of the past.
The First Baptist Church of Hoboken is near and dear to my heart. In fact it is a part of my life and always will be. Those years of service beginning in 1912 can never be forgotten. It was there, that among other experiences, we said "good bye" to our dear son Henry; saw a more than twenty-five year old debt paid; witnessed the union of the Second Baptist Church with the First; the establishing of an Italian Baptist Church in the Second Baptist Church property; the cementing of many everlasting ties of friendship; the starting of a substantial group on the Christian way; sharing laughter and tears; making mistakes and acting wisely;— all of which and more have been woven into a multi-colored spiritual fabric, known as the History of the First Baptist Church of Hoboken.
The challenge to the Christian Church was never so great as today. Your city and environs and the whole wide world utters the "Macedonian cry". We may be out of debt financially and the full price has been paid for our waywardness: but, we are still in debt to the teeming multitudes who are lost in trespasses and sins. That God may find it possible to use you, one and all, to do a truly outstanding piece of work for Him, is my prayer and my expectation. Mrs. Fraser, whose life is still part of dear old Hoboken First Baptist, joins me most heartily in the sentiment of this message.
Greensboro, North Carolina October 28, 1945
1922 - 1926
DR. HENRY CLAY RISNER
Perhaps as never before the whole world is now hungry for its three profoundest needs: someone in whom one can believe, because one lives by what he believes; someone he can obey, and someone he can adorably admire. These three qualities are discovered by His witnesses, often translating through blood and tears Paul's "more excellent way," which is chimed from the eternal belfry of First Corinthians, thirteenth chapter and is the world's
most thrilling anthem, — "Love never faileth, — taketh not account of evil," — all of these ineffable qualities of character building immortalized for one hundred years by this blessed church which is as a "City set on a hill."
Not long ago, as I lay here in a hospital nigh unto death, I received a message from my long cherished friend and the church's efficient trustee, Honorable Raymond Tiffany. . . . An overwhelmingly refreshing and sustaining comfort came to me with thrilling and melting sweetness. As stars shine brightest in deeper tints of blue, there flashed before me a vision that had left its stamp upon me through the years. First, from the loving and inspiring memory of the older members, among whom was Deacon M. H. Taylor. Then there was the vision of those unsurpassed young people of the church. Out of this unusual group of young people went Andrew Van Woert to Harvard and Paul Shelford to the Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. I thank God for the happiness that comes to me that Paul's father, Dr. M. T. Sheiford, was my predecessor and friend in the pastorate.
The golden glint of time, through memory, all have been to my soul as melted gems to the human eye. May the gulf stream of God's golden fulness come ever flooding, singing in with abundant assurance that "Life is ever Lord of death and Love can never lose its own."
Winston-Salem, North Carolina October 26, 1945
1935 - 1939
REV. C. ROBERT PEDERSEN
Cordial greetings and sincere congratulations to you on this your One Hundredth Anniversary- To have survived the changes of the century just ending is no mean accomplishment. That you have done so is to have reason to celebrate and to receive praise.
Followers of the Master have, however, never spent much time in congratulating themselves on past records. They have, for the most part, left that for others. Perhaps this is true because as Christians they have been mindful of the Master's words, "Ye have done that which ye ought to have done." So, if they have looked back at all it has been to see how far they have come si s they have girded themselves for the job yet to be done.
And there is a task ahead. A confused, battered world yearns deeply for better things. It dares to believe that God has richer blessings in store for His children than they have yet received. At the moment it is bruised and bleeding and bewildered. It needs love and compassion to bind up its wounds. It needs light and guidance for the long road ahead.
"Ye are the light of the world", said Jesus. May his spirit be in your hearts, burning brightly, that light may shine forth in .the years to come, as in the century just passed.
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."
Margate City, New Jersey November 8, 1945
1939 - 1943
REV. WILLIAM C. CUSWORTH
My heart rejoices at the news of a "Blessed Fire" to take place at the First Baptist Church in Hoboken. The burning of the mortgage, which for so long has been a dark shadow over the church, is wonderful. It does not come as a complete surprise, for I knew that when you put your "shoulder to the wheel" you could do anything.
My experience with you will never be forgotten. It was Hoboken that gave my start in the ministry. A grand beginning it was: for in the four years of service together, we worked with complete harmony, giving increased opportunity and responsibility to all who served for expanding our program locally and abroad. I have watched with pride the work you are doing and pray always for you.
Now that the First Hundred Years, those hardest years, have passed, great things can be expected from Hoboken. Your great zeal for the work of the Kingdom and your willingness to sacrifice of your time, talent and money to the Lord makes success assured.
New York, N. Y. October 26, 1945
DATES OF INSTALLATION
1855Rev.Alfred L. Patton
1873Rev.Webster R. Maul
1880Rev.George L. Hunt
1896Rev.James R, Hunter.
1899Rev.William C. Richmond
1901Rev.R. Janish Holmes
1907Rev.Charles F. Fields
1912Rev.Forrest L. Fraser
1916Rev.Melvia T. Shelford
1922Rev.Henry Clay Risner
1927Rev.H. Eugene Bowe
1930Rev.Wilfred H. Sobey
1935Rev.C. Robert Pedersen
1939Rev.William C. Cusworth
1943Rev.Fred L. Hainer
ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE
Ida E. Housman, Chairman
William G. Christy
Gerald M. Crowley
Mrs. F. L. Hainer
Mrs. R. L. Leach
Mrs. W. C. Rue
J. Raymond Tiffany
Fred L. Brush
Mrs. J. E. Church
Robert E. Frenz
Theodore A. Herring
Mrs. O. Maicus
William C. Rue Thomas
Thomas D. Williams
As we trust we have, by Divine Grace, been brought to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the influence of His Spirit to give ourselves up to him; so we do now solemnly covenant with each other, as God shall enable us, to walk together in brotherly love, that we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully warn, rebuke, and admonish our brethren, as the case may require; that we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves, nor omit the great duty, both for ourselves and others—that we will participate in each other's joys, and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy, to bear each other's burdens and sorrows—that we will seek divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectly and watchfully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lust—that we will strive together for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, and through life, amidst evil report and good report, seek to live to the glory of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1945 CHURCH DIRECTORY
Minister ..............................................................Rev. Fred L. Hainer, D.D.
1080 Julia St., West Englewood, N. J. Tel. TEaneck 7-6688-J
Organist .............................................................. Evelyn Paddock
OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH
Church Clerk ....................................................... Betty Williams
Financial Secretary ..................................Andrew B. Van Woert
Treasurer .............................................................William C. Rue
Treasurer of Missions and Benevolences ..........Mrs. R. L. Leach
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
President ..............................................................Ida E. Housman
Vice-President ................................................William G. Christy
Secretary .....................................................Thomas D. Williams
J. Raymond TiffanyWilliam C. Rue
Fred BrushCharles Rue
Chairman .................................................................Jerome Biggio
Senior Deacon ..............................................Theodore A. Herring
Thomas D. WilliamsLan Wong
Robert E. FrenzGerald M. Crowley
Mrs. L. D. Bailey Mrs. J. Biggio Louise Bruch Dora Heck
Mrs. Thomas D. Williams
Superintendent ............................................................ Lan Wong
Assistant Superintendent ................................Thomas W. Smith
Secretary ......................................................................Grace Gage
Treasurer .......................................................... Mrs. K. McClain
Pianist................................................................ Mrs. F. L. Hainer
Teachers: Frances Adcock, Mrs. J. Biggio, Mrs. F. L. Hainer, Ida E. Housman, Mrs. M. Johanssen, Geraldine LeClaire, Mrs. K. McClain, Evelyn Paddock, Thomas W. Smith, Gertrude Widmer
LADIES' AID SOCIETY
President ............................................................. Mrs. W. C. Rue
First Vice-President ............................................. Mrs. E. Terhune
Second Vice-President .................................... Mrs. J. E. Church
Secretary ........................................................Mrs. W. G. Christy
Treasurer .............................................................Mabel Housman
Missionary Leader ..........................................Mrs. F. L. Hainer
Chairman—White Cross ...............................................Dora Heck
BAPTIST YOUNG PEOPLE'S SOCIETY
President .............................................................. Alice Johanssen
Vice-President ........................................................ Alfred Dayton
Secretary .................................................................. Gloria Bohlin
Treasurer ............................................................ Thomas Johnson
BAPTIST HOME SOCIETY OF NEW JERSEY
Manager ..................................................................... Dora Heck
BAPTIST RED CROSS UNIT
Chairman .................................................. Mrs. W. C. Lockwood
Sexton ............................................................................ Perl Potts
ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY HYMN
Tune Waltham, L.M.Theodore A. Herring
Our Father God, to thee we raise Our gladsome hymn of grateful praise For all thy watch care from above For all thy tender, guiding love.
An hundred years through storm and calm Relying on thy mighty arm Our church has stood unto this hour Upheld and guarded by thy power.
To all, who through the passing years Have faithful been mid hopes and fears We honor pay and here proclaim Our grateful blessing on each name.
And now our God, to thee we pray
That we too in the future may
Unto thy cause be ever true
And do as thou wouldst have us do. Amen.
page twenty four
ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY
DECEMBER 9th Through DECEMBER 16th
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9th
11:00 A.M.—Anniversary Sermon ................ Rev. Fred L. Hainer, D.D.
8:00 P.M.—Community Service
Scripture Reading ....................................Rev. H. Bruckner
Prayer ..................................................Rev. F. J. McClement
Greeting .....................................................Rev. H. T. Beatty
Sermon ................................................Rev. A. Q. Wettstein
Cross Service ............................................Rev. F. L. Hainer
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12th
8:00 P.M.—Anniversary Reunion Service—
Scripture Reading and Prayer—
Deacon Theodore A. Herring
Address ...................................... Hon. J. Raymond Tiffany
One Hundredth Anniversary Birthday Party
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16th
11:00 A.M.—Sermon by a Former Pastor ...........Rev. C. Robert Pedersen
8:00 P.M.— Greetings ..........................................Rev. W. C. Cusworth
Sermon ......................................................Dr. Roy B. Deer
Mortgage Burning ....................................Board of Trustees
9:30 P.M.— Hymn Sing .............................Miss Evelyn Paddock, Leader
Miss Mabel Housman, Accompanist
page twenty five
The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
Genesis 31, 49.
Taylor, Matthias H.
Taylor, Mary Georgia
VanWoert, Andrew B.
Taylor, Leonard J.
|Year Range from||1845|
|Year Range to||1945|
First Baptist Church