Churches of Antwerp
The following information was extracted from Evert's History of Jefferson County, New York 1797 to 1878.
The First Congregational Church of Antwerp
Rev. Isaac Clinton, the principal of the Academy at Lowville, first organized the church in 1819. The original members were William Randall, Percival Hawley, Edward Foster, Elijah Hoyt, Hosea Hough, Mrs. Hawley, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Frances Eaton, and Mrs. Polly Copeland. The group went back and forth as to be Presbyterian or Congregational. Rev Charles G. Finney labored during July, August and September 1824 and many were moved by his powerful sermons. There were forty-one conversions to the church. This got the church started and in 1831 they built their first meetinghouse. Japhet Chapin was mostly responsible for building this edifice. The church grew under the direction of twenty-two different ministers and nearly seven hundred members in the aggregate. In 1869 the congregation built one of the finest stone church buildings in the area at a cost of $20,000.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
The first Episcopal service in Antwerp was the baptism of Annis Elizabeth daughter of Alexander P. and Elizabeth S. Sterling, at Sterlingburgh, September 6,1855. The first organization was Frederick Hyde, a young deacon, followed by Rev. Wm. A. Ely, deacon. The first wardens were Oliver Child of Philadelphia and Alexander P. Sterling of Antwerp. Services were first held in Mrs. Wm. Gill’s house until 1871 when the church was built on lot donated by Mrs. Gill, Mrs. Laton Bentley succeeded in raising $2000.
The Catholic Church
The commencement of Catholic services in Antwerp began in 1849. They purchased the brick church built by Mr. Parrish. The church is in charge of the priest at Redwood.
Baptist Church – Antwerp Village
The Baptist church was organized in 1824. Among its first members were Daniel Coolidge, Jerome Woodbury, Eli Whitford and his wife, Walter Colton, Obadiah Chamberlain, and Richard Huntley. Reorganization was affected in 1836 with Obadiah Chamberlain, David Manning, and Joseph Palmer as trustees. Their meetinghouse was completed in 1843. Divine worship ceased in 1865 and their last meeting was held in 1866. There the Methodist Protestant Society of Antwerp later used building as a place of worship.
Methodist Episcopal Church – Antwerp Village
This society used the building built by the Baptist. This building was completely destroyed by fire. Through subscription they were able to have new building dedicated nine months later. The membership at this time is about one hundred fifty.
Methodist Protestant Church
In 1868 Methodist Protestant classes were organized in Antwerp, viz.: one at Hoard neighborhood with forty-two members; one at Hall’s corners, with twenty-two members; and a third at Rockwell Creek, with thirty-eight members. They met in their local schoolhouses.
The M. E. Church – Sprague’s Corners
The organization of Methodist at Sprague’s Corners was effected in 1837 with trustees: Isaac Sprague, John Howe, Elijah Steele Jr., Abel Goodenough, William Brown, Martin Michel, and Samuel Kingsley. They purchased land from Moses Burge a building site with John Howe being the architect and builder. This was demolished and C. C. Miller, as architect, erected the present church edifice.
Free-Will Baptist Church – Sprague’s Corners
In 1870 there was a union of the Antwerp and Fowler Baptist society with the Wesleyan Methodists of Sprague’s Corners. The Wesleyan society, which was merged with the Free-Will Baptists, was formed in 1845 with Emor Bell, Allen Woodward, and Abel Goodenough, trustees. The reason for the secession from the M. E. Church was a disagreement on the question of slavery. The other member of the union, the Antwerp and Fowler Baptist church—dated its existence from 1838 when Amos Sheldon, I. H. Bosworth, Alexander Wright, Leonard Pike, Ansel Clark, and Moses Burge organized the church as trustees.
The Presbyterian Church – Ox Bow
The Ox Bow Presbyterian Society of Antwerp and Rossie formed in 1820 with Abraham Cooper, Rueben Streeter, James Ormiston, Abraham Lewis, James Douglas, Abner Benton, Orren Matthews, and Percival Hawley, as trustees. Principally people from the south of Scotland formed the organization. There grew up a dissatisfaction, which resulted in dissolution of the church’s allegiance to the Assembly, and a change of name to that of “The Associate Reformed Church of Antwerp and Rossie." This took place in 1837 under trustees: Andrew Culbertson, James Dickson, Robert Darling, John Barrow, William Fleming, and William Turnbull. After 1852 they resumed their original relations to the General Assembly, as a regular Presbyterian church.
The Methodist Episcopal Church – Ox Bow
A Methodist church organization existed in Ox Bow in 1833 with Ira D. Shepard, William H. Collar, Samuel Bonfy, Ebenezer Beardsley, and Abraham Lewis, trustees. Connected with the church is a flourishing Sabbath-school, under the superintendence of Mr. Joseph Graves.