Burnt Cove Church COMMUNITY CENTER

The Burnt Cove Church has always been rich with history but now, too, the magic of performing arts.

Lazarus Gott arrived on the island in May 1857 from the Ellsworth Quarterly Conference and organized the Baptist Society. Soon after the Society was organized, a sewing circle was created for the purpose of building a church.

 

Today’s church edifice owes its existence to the indefatigable efforts of the members of this sewing circle. The women said: we must have a church, we will will have a church. Each brought to the treasury as a nucleus fund one egg and one skein of yarn. That was the starting point. The yarn was knit into mittens and sold, some of the eggs were hatched.

 

That resolute band worked 13 long years before the superstructure was erected. Outsiders, seeing the determination of those faithful sewing circle members, gave a little now and then. In 1867 a meeting was called by Stephen Morey, Thomas Fifield, and Stinson Matheues to see about building a church, but no record can be found of the results of that meeting. In 1870, they were ready to build the church, and Peter Mills took the money and went to Ellsworth and bought the lumber. The church was built by Moses and Lemuel Joyce, Butler Mills, Herbert Belledeu and John Gross. Jessie Hamblen drove the first nails. Perseverance built the church, put a bell in it, and bought an organ.

The steeple was built from the floor and jacked up to its place on the roof. The church lot and land for the cemetery was given by Amon and Ambros Thurston to the Baptist Society. In 1875 Charles Haskell of Penobscot Maine gave the church its Bible. The first preacher was Lafayette Collins. Josiah W. Stinson was the first janitor, followed by Joseph Fifield who served for a long period of years. It was Joseph who, in 1887, decided he wanted a bell in the belfry to call the people together. He talked the matter over with Deacon Peter Mills and they decided to buy a bell by subscription. The bell, still operable today in the belly, was run for the first time on September 6, 1887.

 

In 1887 the sewing circle purchased an organ from Reverend B.S. Fifield who was an agent for the New England Organ Company. In 1958 the church was thoroughly repaired, the roof shingled and the building painted inside and out. In 2003 the roof was again repaired and shingled, the building painted, and the steeple replaced by Bob Williams and Kendall Eaton. In 2004 there was a dedication ceremony for the new steeple.

© 2019 by Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House

207.367.2788 | info@operahousearts.org.org

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