The West Stephentown Baptist Church was founded in 1829 as the Stephentown-Nassau Union Church. It was the daughter church of the Stephentown Center Baptist Church which was founded in 1783. The West Stephentown Baptist Church was built on the town line dividing the towns of Stephentown and Nassau with the intention of serving the outlying of both townships. Support for the new church was strong and the raising of the building cost of $1350 went well. The ministry of this new church was readily received.
In 1879, with the deterioration of the sill on the east side of the building, serious consideration was given to razing the building. However, after much prayer and thought, the decision was made to renovate the building. The renovation was an enlargement and improvement and also changed the look of the building, inside and out.
Following World War I, in 1919, the clear glass windows of the sanctuary were replaced with imported stained glass. It appears that the European influence experienced by the servicemen would have its impact in West Stephentown.
A major change would impact the church in 1925 with the installation of electric lights. This would mean an increase in evening meetings.
The changing times Of World War Il brought about a decision to be officially incorporated on December 27, 1943, as the West Stephentown Baptist Church. A strong Gospel preaching ministry was continuing to have an impact on the community.
The 1950s brought many changes to the church. The present kitchen was built in 1952 and has served many meals over the years. Our first electric organ was purchased in 1954. The calling of the first full-time pastor occurred in 1957. We also installed the new pews, this took longer than expected due to a train fire which destroyed the first pews that were shipped by rail. The church purchased the adjacent home Of the former town justice to serve as a parsonage. The church grew with an influx of new families and many children. The first Vacation Bible School was held that summer. In the years that followed. Sunday School attendance increased to 150 and the decision to build an attached education wing was undertaken in 1966. Prior to this, in 1964, a major redecoration of the sanctuary occurred including the installation of wall to wall carpeting
During the 1960s and early 1970s, the ministry to teenagers and young adults became a major part of the work in West Stephentown. As a result, the decision was made to build a Retreat House, across the road from the church, to minister to the youth. This ministry was very active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the summer of 1978, the church took a step of faith in funding the drilling of a well for drinking water. As the Lord would have it, the well was only 80 feet deep and had a flow of 42 gallons minute. The owner of the well drilling firm donated the well to the church.
In the last decade, the church sanctuary has undergone two expansions to accommodate the increases in attendance. These represented various expansion phases that would lay the groundwork for our present expansion. Adjacent land Mas donated and a large parking lot installed to allow for more parking.
In response to our present and future needs, the church has pursued this present expansion phase, the building of a new sanctuary with offices and restrooms, as part of a master plan.
Rev. Trygve (Trig) C. Tomlinson has been the pastor of the church since August 1978.
If you have any old photos of the building we would love to show them here Contact.