The history of Hydetown Baptist Church - Titusville Herald: Country Letters

The history of Hydetown Baptist Church

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Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2019 5:00 am

Some people think Hydetown Baptist Church should have had a big celebration this past April 27. It would have been the church’s 140th anniversary. The church leaders decided to wait 10 years and throw a big shindig for our 150th anniversary. I thought that would be a great idea. I’ll be in much better shape in 10 years, and I’ll only be in my 80s. I’ll probably still be working out every morning. I do one sit up getting out of bed, and I do about 20 repetitions of my coffee mug with each arm. Then I take a short power nap.

A lot of people don’t know this, but it was my great-great-aunt, Louisa Ridgway, who started Hydetown Baptist Church. In the old writings, it tells that she was affectionately known as “Aunt Louisa.”

I love the way the history reads. Being moved by the Holy Spirit, as we believe, Mrs. Louisa Carr Ridgway conceived the idea that there should be a Baptist Church in Hydetown.

On April 27, 1879, a meeting was held, and there were resolutions of organization drawn up and adopted. As acquaintance of Louisa’s, Elder J.L. Bailey, of Salina, Pennsylvania, was asked to come and preach from time to time. Well, they must have like him because they called him to be their first pastor.

The charter members were: Louisa Ridgway, Mrs. Harriet Roffee, Mrs. Helen Kerr and Mrs. Anna Spaulding.

After they organized, they met in the school house and the pastor and his wife boarded around. The Reverend Bailey served the Hydetown church from 1879 to 1884. The first Baptist church building was built at a whopping cost of $2,047.88, and the lot was purchased for $100. Good luck finding a deal like that today!

The first church was right beside the house Dick Ridgway lives in.

In 1905, it was decided to build a new church. The new church would cost $1,240. The new church was finished in 1908 and dedicated Feb. 17, 1909. Since then, we have made a couple of additions, plus we purchased the borough building to use for a fellowship hall.

Come on out. Pull up a bridge and sit a spell. We’ll swap some tales!

Church schedules

— Hydetown Baptist Church: Pastor Jeff Sterling — Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 11 a.m., worship service. Wednesday, 7 p.m., prayer and Bible study. All are welcome.

Sunday Sermon: “The Mind of Christ” Philippians 2:5-11.

Hydetown United Methodist Church: Pastor Dean Cooney — Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship service.

A final thought

It’s July! July is “Anti-Boredom” month. It is also national “Pickle” month, national “Picnic” month national “Grilling” month and today in particular is national “French Fry” day, so get the family together, do some of your favorite summer activities and the perhaps top it all off with some pickles and french fries. Don’t forget that tomorrow is Sunday, a day for the family to worship together.  

Contact us

Jeff and Robin may be reached, at (814) 775-0107, for anyone wanting to make positive contributions to this column. People submitting news are asked to limit news and activities to those of the Hydetown area.

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