Church History

History of Our Church

As early as the year 1800 the Church of Christ began to play a leading role in the life of the Town of Tuftonboro, the Baptist Chruch however was not organized untill July 1837 when a small group met in the barn of Jonathan Varney of Tuftonboro.  In August another meeting was held in Mr. Varney's barn and in September another meeting was held in the school house near Melvin Village.  Not until October, however, was the Church formally organized, for according to the minutes of the meeting held on October sixteenth it is noted that on that date a group of ten men and fifteen women met at the home of Peter Stackpole in Melvin Village and decided to organize a Church and together they drew up the following statement of purpose.

We whose names are undersigned, believing it for the glory of God and for the advancement of the cause and kingdom of our dear Redeemer, and for the helping of each other towards our Heavenly home, do this sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven.

We as brethren agree to walk together in love and to take the New Testament for our only rule of faith and practice."

Elder Busell was chosen pastor, Richard Caverly, deacon and Peter Stackpole, clerk.  The Society was to be known as the First Freewill Baptist Church of Moultonborogh and Tuftonborough.

 

After several reorganization, it appears that two separate and distrinct groups were formed; one of whcih carried the name of the Freewill Baptist Church , and the other the Freewill Baptist Society.  The former group conducted the religious services and the latter the business meetings.  Records indicate that the two groups were later merged (1940) and continued under the name of the Melvin Village Community Baptist Church which later bacame the Melvin Village Community Church.

 

Although the Church maintains a connection with the Baptist denomination it in no way considers itself in a strictly denominational light.  Rather it chooses to identify itself with the great Christian Church universal.  The privilege of membership is extended to all true disciples of Christ, regardless of their former labels, and together we gather from week to week for our common worship of Almighty God and the united study of His way of life.  It has long been the feeling of the members of the Church that, included in its essential constituency are the many persons who spend their vacation periods in the community and its surrounding area.  As a result of this feeling there has been a constant stream of "visitors" who, year after year, have ignited their hearts in worship with its  members and who have indellibly impressed on their memories a sense of their reverence and devotion to our common Lord.  And so it has been for more than one hundred and thirty-five years, scores upon scores of persons have met in the Chruch, have cemented fast friendships and have lifted their hearts and minds in prayer, preaching the praises to the God and Father of us all.

 

It seems appropriate to conclude this somewhat brief history of the Church by quoting the poem composed by,and dedicated to the Church by a former member, the late Mrs. Lucy S. Lewis.

 

In our little white church by the edge of the lake

May the spirit of welcome abound

The spirit of joy ev'ry heart over-take

And the chimes in the steeple resound.

 

May God's spirit of love shed its heavenly ray

Smiling down to remain evermore

To lighten, to brighten each hour and day

Of all people who enter the door.

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John J. Davis

August 1973

 

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