Church History

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The Church

The Cemetery

Early Church Discipline


The church in its earlier days. Many 
thanks for Blair Haverstock and the 
Facebook group: 
Who Remembers Old Hammonds Plains?

The Church

First Baptist Church of Hammonds Plains was established in 1833. The original church building was erected in 1843, located on lands adjacent to the present facility, in the Baptist Meeting House on the site of the Burying Ground, now known as the Hammonds Plains Baptist Cemetery

The Baptist Meeting House was built on the site of the Burying Ground, both of which were made possible by a donation of of one acre of land by Mr. Amos Melvin, in 1824. The existing building was erected in the early 1900s in a new location, slightly removed from the first. 

First Baptist Church Hammonds Plains officially joined the Association of Baptist churches in Nova Scotia in 1843. According to Dorothy Bezanson Evans in her book, Hammonds Plains the First 100 Years, the first pastor was Rev. Mr. Richardson, who arrived in Hammonds Plains in 1828. She asserts that the Baptist church probably began around that time, and prior to the construction of the meeting house, services were held in private homes throughout the community.

The church became affiliated with the United Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces. The Convention was renamed the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches in 2001. While the original church signage still shows the name as the First United Baptist Church, the church Constitution was formally amended in January 2002 to recognize the church name as First Baptist Church of Hammonds Plains. 

The church has a long and noble history in the community of Hammonds Plains. Most of this information is in the archives in the library at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. Click here for a list of documents available via WebCAT.

The church building was expanded and developed over the years to meet the needs of a growing congregation and community. Today it contains the sanctuary, an office, two kitchens, a large hall and a full-size gymnasium with basketball facilities. There is plenty of on-site parking. The facilities are available for rental for special events and to community clubs and organizations. Contact us for availability.

The church went through cycles of feast and famine, resulting in a number of glorious revivals. More information about this history is available in early church minutes, housed in the Baptist Archives in Vaughan Library at Acadia University. The anecdotes below are were summarized from Baptist archives by Pastor Lois McLean (2008).

1856
In July 1856, the pastor said he would resign at the end of the year if there was no improvement in the activities of the church. In October, there was a strong desire for revival and special meetings were scheduled. Twenty-seven were baptized on October 12 and several more over the next few months.

1876
There is a gap in the church minutes from June 18, 1874 to April 1, 1876. Then "The church had been blessed for some time by the outforcing of the Spirit of the Lord. Was made to rejoice by a number coming forward and offering themselves to the church." There is a list of 11 who were accepted for baptism. In May, 28 more were baptized on one day. "In the settlement there are about 50 Protestant families, in nearly all of which some of the members have experienced the power of Christian truth."

1928
Forty-three were baptized in "the greatest revival that the church and community had ever experienced."

The Cemetery

The Hammonds Plains Baptist Cemetery is under the control of the church. Church members and their families may choose to be laid to rest in the cemetery. 

The cemetery was always known as the Baptist cemetery, however, it was not deeded to the church until 1967. Until that time, many community members were interred in the cemetery regardless of church affiliation.  

For more information about the cemetery, as well as a list of headstone information, please visit the Hammonds Plains Cemetery website, authored by George Newbury and Blair Haverstock. 

Early Church Discipline

The following tract is from the historical work by Dorothy Bezanson Evans, entitled "Hammonds Plains the First 100 Years", page 75:

How far the Baptist church has slipped from the disciplines of the early years! It was custom to use Saturday afternoons to prepare for the Sabbath. Conference meetings were held, which all members were expected to attend. At these meetings members "told the exercises of their minds," and this was required before communion. Members who quarreled with one another were also required to resolve their differences before coming to the Lord's table; and could be excluded...if they failed to do so. Not only were members excluded for quarrelling and for failing to attend conferences, they were harshly criticized for worldly ways. Woe betide them if they were caught dancing! 

 

First Baptist Church Hammonds Plains, 2009. All rights reserved.

Images used with permission from www.morguefile.com digital archive unless otherwise noted..