In 1831, the church voted to allow the sisters to speak their minds in church. They were having a hard time obtaining preachers, so around 1835, a Elder Whipple preached to them half-time for $50 a year. Others were given licenses to preach also.  Meetings seemed to have been held alternately with Greenwood until 1846.  The Sabbath School was organized in 1842.

On March 8th, 1845, a religious society was formed, known as the First Baptist Church and Society in Andover.  By 1853, the decision was made to purchase a lot to build a church on, and it was done for $116. So during the year of 1853 a church was built on the corners of Elm and Church Streets.  The building of the church was supervised by I. Elwell, G. Bundy and William J. Lever.  The new church was dedicated November 30th, 1853.  The pastor, Rev. E. F. Crane, invited Rev. T. Sherdown to preach the dedicatory sermon.  The building would seat 200 persons, and cost about $3,000.

An unusual recorded fact is that there were no deaths recorded of church members for years 1862 thru 1870.

In 1864 a Rev. Shearer came to Andover to take over a pastor of the church, for salary of $150.  Under his leadership, the church was papered and painted and an organ was installed.  Some members weren’t too pleased with this as a church in no proper place for music “carryin'-ons.”

In 1875 more improvements were made to the church.  The old box stoves were replaced with a more efficient system.  A prayer room was built, and the old windows were replaced with new ones.

A Ladies Aid Society, was organized in 1881 and is still active but known as the Women’s Missionary Society.

In 1901 more remodeling was done and the auditorium was enlarged on the east side for cost of $3000.  While this was being done, services were conducted at Prest Opera House, which stood where “Smiley’s” Hardware (now closed) and Sylvia’s Hair Trivia now stands. The Dedication for the improvement was held from June 14th thru the 17th.

More improvements were done it 1918 with the installation of a new furnace and the church was redecorated.  Then in 1921 the Christian Endeavor which was organized in 1887 to help introduce young people to Christianity, took on the project of installing electricity throughout the church.  Also at this time, it was decided to sell the horse shed that was on the west side towards the back of the church.

The church celebrated its 100th birthday in Andover in 1929.  Sixty-five member and friends met for supper at the church with Mrs. Hattie Eggleston as hostess.  Rev. John McIntosh was pastor and speaker.  Misses Minnie Clair, Inez Youmans and Mrs. Floye Lever sang.  Miss Clair also read a church history which she had written, which much of this story was taken from.

Sometime in the following years the interior was redecorated and the carpet was replaced.  Mrs. Ruth Williams painted Bible scenes on the walls.

In 1954 a new Wurlitzer electronic organ was secured at a cost of $1,250.00, as a fitting climax for the 125th year.

On August 14th & 15th of 1954, anniversary services were held at the church, celebrating 125 years of religious service to Andover.  Saturday evening, after a dinner, an organ recital was held followed by a program.  Sunday morning, Miss Shepard and Rev. B. R. Croft, spoke while in the evening Rev. Carl Steward of the New York State Baptist Convention, brought the message.

In 1956 the church’s Nursery and Kindergarten rooms were refurbished.

In 1962 one front door was removed and a stone and glass entrance were added.

The 1970’s began with a very devastating flood hitting the southern tier on June 21st of 1972.  The remnants of hurricane “Agnes” dumped about 6 ½ inches rain in a 12 hour period. The only damage done was to the church and parsonage basements.  In 1974 a new heating system was installed and the basement redecorated.  And in 1975 the ceiling in the parsonage was lowered.

On Saturday evening, October 6th, 1979 the congregation and friends gather in the sanctuary for a concert given by Rev. and Mrs. John Holmes.  Some of the congregation appeared in costume and refreshments were served following the service.  Pictures of the past were also on display.  This event has helped us to appreciate the faith and labor of Christians of long ago.  We have inherited a tradition and sanctuary which we did not build, but is ready to be used for Christ and community.  The church building had been in use for 126 years as of November 1979.

By 1992, it was time for some more major maintenance projects, such as painting, renovating the church windows with new glass, and installing storm windows on the church.  About this time a new announcement sign was installed on the front of the church.  Also a free-standing library was built and installed in the prayer room.

In May of 1994, the church constitution and by-laws were revised.  At this same time, the church covenant was also revised; both were passed by the church congregation.

During the year of 1997 telephones were installed and a computer was purchased to ease the way of keeping records.  The biggest project for this year was the installation of an elevator from the basement to the sanctuary. Along with this, it was decided to make the basement toilet handicap accessible.

For the year of 2004 – 2005 the church kitchen was remodeled and the basement tiled.  The church now is able to host many fellowship dinners and now rents out the basement for functions.

In 2007 the lath and plaster walls of the sanctuary were taken out and replaced with insulation, sheetrock, and painted.  Then in 2008 the baptistery walls and ceiling were repaired from some water damage and the new wall mural was installed.  The Christmas of 2008 manger scene had the News’s publicity due to the fact that some young people stole the baby Jesus figurine from it.  The figurine was brought back and Pastor Frank Troutman prayed with the children and they accepted Christ as Savior, they were also given Bibles and invited to join our youth group.  The Youth group of 2008 averaged around 12 children every Wednesday night.

The church has a Food Pantry Ministry that reaches out to the hurting in the community and feed them both physically and spiritually

In 2009 under Pastor Frank Troutman’ leadership a new church “one board” system was put into place to act on behalf of church business.  Under his pastorate the Clothing Closet Ministry was established, and a separate building on 28 Main St. in Andover was donated for the cause.  Also the Men’s “Outdoorsman” Ministry was started on March 9th, 2009.  Ten men were in attendance at the first meeting with Dale Adams being elected as its first President.  The harsh winter of 2008 – 2009 took a toll on the parsonage furnace and it was replaced with a new one.  In 2009 the parsonage is awaiting to have new energy efficient doors installed on it.  Average attendance in 2008 was 57 people. Average attendance for 2009 thus far is 60. Praise God, he is still brining them in.

Below are a few photos as the Church appears in 2009.

4 Images NEEDED