Olive and Hurley Old School Baptist Church

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Olive & Hurley Church
Olive and Hurley Old School Baptist Church
Denomination Primitive Baptist
Membership 136 (1832)
119 (1871)
104 (1879)
Former name(s) Baptist Church of Christ at Tongore
First Baptist Church in Marbletown
First Baptist Church of Olive
Union Baptist Church of Olive and Hurley
Founded September 6, 1799
Groundbreaking 1856
Completed 1857
Construction cost $1,650
Division Warwick Baptist Assoc.
Lexington Baptist Assoc.
Roxbury O.S. Baptist Assoc.
Lexington-Roxbury O.S. Baptist Assoc.
Pastor(s) Eld. William Connelly
Eld. William Warren
Eld. Jonathan Van Velsen
Eld. Almiron St. John
Eld. Isaac Hewitt
Eld. Jacob Winchell
Eld. John Davis Hubbell
Eld. John Clark
Eld. John Burroughs Slauson
Eld. George Ruston
Eld. Arnold Hill Bellows
Eld. Amasa J. Slauson
Olive and Hurley Old School Baptist Church
A white building with a square tower on top and black roof photographed from the right and lit by the sun from the left
South elevation and west profile, 2010
Olive and Hurley Old School Baptist Church is located in New York
Olive and Hurley Old School Baptist Church
Location NY 28, jct. with NY 30, Shokan, New York
Coordinates 41°58′24″N 74°12′45″W / 41.97333°N 74.21250°W / 41.97333; -74.21250Coordinates: 41°58′24″N 74°12′45″W / 41.97333°N 74.21250°W / 41.97333; -74.21250
Area 0.5 acres (0.20 ha)
Built 1857
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 98001392[1]
Added to NRHP November 19, 1998

Olive and Hurley Old School Baptist Church is an historic Baptist meeting house on NY Route 28, at the junction with Ulster County Route 30 in Shokan, New York. It was built in 1857 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.


On September 2, 1799, the first Baptist church in Ulster County was constituted at Tongore (now in the Town of Olive). Dr. William Connelly, a pioneer physician in the area, served as the first pastor.

By 1805, the church was known as the First Baptist Church of Christ in Marbletown and later the First Baptist Church of Olive. The first Meeting House was erected in Olive City in 1808.

By the 1830s, the once homogenous Baptist denomination in America was rapidly fracturing over issues of doctrine, salaried ministry, instrumental music, and the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. The Olive Church, by then one of several Baptist churches in Ulster County (i.e. Lattingtown – 1812, Kingston – 1832), took a stand with the conservative faction, which became known as the Old-School or Primitive Baptists, who sought to maintain the old doctrines and practices.

In 1851, the Baptist Church of Olive and the Hurley & Olive Baptist Church (which had been formed after an earlier split with the Olive Church), reunited as the Union Baptist Church of Olive & Hurley. In 1853, the enlarged congregation called for the ordination of Deacon Jacob Winchell to the position of Elder. A Presbytery (attended incidentally by Chauncy Burroughs, father of John Burroughs as a representative from the Second Roxbury Church) determined the candidate’s qualifications. Upon examination, Jacob Winchell was ordained and served as pastor until his death in 1867. He was the first native Olive resident to serve in that capacity.

By the mid-1850s, the old Meeting House in Olive was found inadequate. Plans were laid for building a larger structure. In 1856, a site was selected on part of the DuBois family holdings, which was on the north side of Plank Road (now State Route 28). This is the present site of the Meeting House, which is now located at Winchell's Corner in the heart of the village of Shokan. On May 1856, the lot was surveyed at the request of Jeremiah Matthews and Samuel H. Elmendorf, both of Olive village, and soon work was begun on the new building. In 1857, the church edifice was completed at a cost of $1,650.

In 1888, the Church was incorporated under the name of The Old School Baptist Church of Olive and Hurley. At that time, membership was approximately 120.

The congregation remained strong until the turn of the 20th-Century, after which the church began a slow decline. By the Second World War, membership stood at around thirty. Today, the congregation is gone, but the building remains as a testament to its pioneer heritage. Services are held annually in the Fall.


Founding Documents (1799)[edit]

Church Covenant[edit]

We, who desire to walk together in the fear of the Lord, do through the assistance of His Holy Spirit, profess our deep and serious humiliation for all our transgressions.

And we do also solemnly, in the presence of God and each other, in the sense of our unworthiness, give ourselves unto the Lord, in a church state, according to the Apostolic Constitution, that, He may be our God, and we, His people: (2. Cor. 8:5 & 6:16) through the everlasting covenant of His, free grace, in which alone we, hope to be accepted by Him through his blessed Son Jesus Christ, who, we take to be, our high priest to justify us, and sanctify us, and our prophet, to teach us, and to be subject to him as our lawgiver, and the King of saints, to conform us to all his holy laws and ordinance for our growth, establishment, and consolation, that we, may be a holy spouse unto Him, and serve Him in our generation and wait for his second appearance as our glorious, Bridegroom, being fully satisfied, in the way of Church communication and of the grace in some good measure upon one another’s spirits.

We, do also solemnly form ourselves together in a holy union and fellowship, humbly, submitting ourselves to the discipline of the gospel, and all holy duties, required of people in such spirituous relation that we, may conform to the discipline of the gospel.[2]

Articles of Faith[edit]

We do in the first place profess and believe, that there is but one only living and true God, possessed, of all possible perfection and divine attributes, and that in, this divine and infinite being there are three substances, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, of one substance and eternally, and that the Son of God the second person in the Holy Trinity, being verry and eternal God who made the world and upholds, and governs, all things, and did when the fullness time was come, took upon him man’s nature with all essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin, who is the alone mediator between God and man, the prophet, priest, and king head and Saviour of his church the heir of all things, and Judge of the world unto whom God the Father did from all eternity give a people to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, and glorified:

We believe that the eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect, and that it is alone by the grace of the covenant, that all, the final saved did obtain life and blessed immortality:

We believe that when God made man, he was made upright, yet did not long abide in this honor. Our first parents, by their transgression, fell from their original uprightness and communion with God. We in them whereby death came upon all: all became dead in sin and wholly defiled in all the faculties, and parts of soul and body they bring the root and by God appointed, standing in the room and stead of all mankind the guilt of the sin was conveyed and corrupt nature derived from them by all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, being conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death and all other miseries – spiritual or temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus sets them free from this original corruption, whereby we are indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all that Is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to do evil., so that man by his fall into a state of sin hath wholly lost his ability of will to that which is spiritual:

We believe the doctrine of the everlasting love of God to His Church; the eternal election of a definite number of the human race to grace and glory- particular redemption, justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ, pardon and reconciliation by his blood, regeneration and sanctification by the influence and operation of the Holy Spirit, the final preservation of the saints in grace, the resurrection of the dead and the eternal judgement.

We believe the holy scriptures the Old and New Testament – the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, and by which all controversies of religion are, to be determined:

We believe that those whom God calls, by his Spirit and grace out of the world, being instructed by the Word of God, ought to submit to the ordinance of baptist by immersion, according to the primitive manner, and the communion of our Lord, that they, may walk in all the ordinance of the Lord blameless as Zacharias and Elizabeth of old.

Covenant Agreement[edit]

We promise, in the fear of the Lord and by the assistance of His Holy Spirit, and grace, to perform the following duties:

  • 1stly We do promise to watch over each other's conversation and not to suffer sin upon one another, so far as God shall discover it to us, or any of us, and to stir up one another to love, and good works, to warn and rebuke, and admonish on another with meekness according to the rule left us by Jesus Christ:
  • 2ndly We do promise and engage to endeavor to walk in the way of holiness, humility and brotherly love as much as in us lieth to render our communion, pleasing, and agreeable to the will of God, and comfortable to ourselves, and lovely to the rest of the Lord’s people:
  • 3rdly We do promise in a special manner to pray with and for one another, and for the increase of the church, and for the presence of God in it and for the peace of Jerusalem, and for all in authority as commanded:
  • 4thly We promise to meet together on the Lord’s day and at other times as the Lord shall give opportunity to serve and glorify God in the way of worship to edify one another and not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is:
  • 5thly We promise to bear one another’s burdens and to have fellow feeling for one another in all conditions both as to outward and inward trouble:
  • 6thly We promise to strive together for the truth of the gospel, the purity of the way of God and his ordinance and guard against causes of division and to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace:
  • 7thly We promise to, according to our ability or as God shall bless us with the good things of this world, to communicate to our pastor or minister, God having ordained that they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

These and all other duties we humbly submit unto promising and proposing to perform them not in our own strength, but in the strength of our blessed God whose we are and whom we desire to serve to whom be glory now and forever more.


And to this Covenant we the members have freely set our names – 6th day of Septm 1799

Eld. William Connelly Rebecah Bishop
Dea. Peter Winchell Elizabeth Jacson
Mathias Matross Elizabeth North
James Winchel Susanah Winchel
Daniel North Rachel Smith
Asa Bishop Easter Post
John Merihew Catherine North
Lewis Jones Mary North
Jonathan Brown Freelove Turner
Fredrick Haver Sarah Winchel
Lawrence Dinge Sarah Besimer
David Brown Elizabeth Bell
Stephen Bush Mary Winchell
Josiah Hollister Phoeby Robins
Robert Embry Lydia Connelly
Abiah North Lucia Abby
Samuel Boys Mary Hollister
James Evins Eliza North
Benjamin Buly Easter Boys
Schul.. White Susin Denis
Daniel Shearwood Hannah Brown
Peter Cudney Elizabeth Boys
Elin Evins
Lydia Bishop
Martha Lane
Mary Matross
Sarah Cudney

Certificate of Incorporation (1888)[edit]

State of New York, } ss: Ulster County.

We, the undersigned, the Chairman and Secretary (of the meeting held pursuant to notice heretofore given), members of the Church and Society hereinafter mentioned, do hereby certify that on the 19 day of May 1888, the persons belonging to such church and society, or congregation, of full age, in which divine services or worship is celebrated, according to the rites of the Old School Baptist Church, and not already incorporated, met at the place of public worship heretofore occupied by the said Church in the town of Olive, Ulster County, N.Y., for the purpose of incorporating themselves, and did, therr and there, elect by plurality of voices, Lorenzo Eckert, Peter P. Elmendorf and Hiram Cudney as Trustees of said Church and Society; and the same persons did therr and there also determine by a like plurality of voices, that the said Trustees, and their successors, should forever hereafter, be called and known by the name or title of the Trustees of the Olive and Hurley Old School Baptist Church.

Witness our hands and seals this 5th day of June, 1888.

Chairman Jonathan V. Winchell Secretary Alvah Bogart

Signed in the presence of James A. Betts

Restoration Efforts[edit]


  • A grass roots effort was begun by local volunteers to restore the historic Meeting House began.
  • The building and surrounding property were listed on the New York State & National Registers of Historic Places.


  • The Church was awarded a $4,400 grant from t he Preservation League of New York State. The grant covered the cost of a Conditions Survey of the Meeting House.
  • The Church was awarded a $7,000 matching grant by the “Sacred Sites Program” of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. This grant was applied toward replacement of the building’s roof and reconstruction of the belfry.
  • The Town of Olive Archives (with untold hours of volunteer work) published “Country Tears – City Water” – the first multimedia production of its kind in this area. All proceeds from the sale of the CD-ROM were applied toward restoration of the Meeting House.
  • The belfry completely rebuilt and roof replaced.
  • The Blue & Yellow Historical Marker was dedicated by the Historical Society of the Town of Olive. Marker donated by Chester A. “Chet” Lyons, Jr.


  • Eagle Scout candidate Scott B. Kanvin of Boy Scout Troop 66, lead a restoration of the old privy and clean-up of the church property.


  • Most foundation sills were replaced. Broken concrete slabs were removed from front porch. Porch reinforced with concrete.


  • Interior walls and ceiling restored (walls repainted to match original salmon color.)
  • A new cedar roof and new reproduction shutters installed.
  • New, massive blue stone slabs from a local quarry installed on front porch.


  • Hand rails added. Major renovations completed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Minutes of the First Baptist Church of Marbletown, book 2

External links[edit]