Waterville United Baptist Church
Property for the church was purchased in 1867. The church building, which measured 52’x45’ and had 10’ posts and two front doors, was constructed by John Mallory, John DeWitt, and Charles VanWart.
Two aisles led from the doors to the platform. The original seats were used until 1979, when they were given to another church and replaced with padded pews.
Kerosene lamps were used to light the church until the 1920s when they were sold and replaced with gas chandeliers. Although they gave much better light than the kerosene lamps, the chandeliers had to be lowered several times during a service so that oxygen could be pumped into the chamber.
Tall cylinder stoves stood on either side of the doors. At least two cords of wood were needed to warm the church for services throughout the winter. In 1943-44, an oil furnace and electric lights were installed.
The first open horse sheds often blew over and broke up in the nearby creek. In 1903, Joseph Estabrooks built a 100’ shed with two double doors facing the road and smaller doors on each end. The construction included ‘Tamarack Knees,’ naturally curved roots used as braces and joints. In 1946, the shed was sold and moved.
Around 1940, tall windows topped with triangular stained-glass panes were installed.
Smith and Cummings built the church basement in 1960. In 1965, the platform was enlarged; the furnace was moved from the front end of the basement to the back; the floor was tiled; veneer was put on the walls; and the stairway to the basement was remodelled.
In 1970, new storm doors and windows were installed. In February 1978, Wendall Everett drew the plans for a steeple which was built by Sonny Sharkey later that summer. A set of double front doors were installed beneath. The walls were insulated, drywalled and topped with oak panelling. A cathedral ceiling was built. During this time, a well was also dug, and a kitchen and washrooms were installed.
In 1985 an addition was built on the back of the church to house a Baptistry, a larger platform and choir area, and two Sunday School rooms. Downstairs, a lounge, office, pastor’s study, and nursery were finished and furnished. Both Sunday School rooms were carpeted and dividing doors installed.
In September 1990, a new asphalt roof was put on. Wendall Everett, Gary Everett and Kenny Anderson built the addition to the front of the church in July and August of 1992. It included a much roomier entryway, and an additional room which at different times down through the years has been used as a classroom, a sound room, and is presently the pastor’s study. A room in the basement for the youth was also constructed, as well as a wheelchair ramp to the front door.
In 2017, Waterville United Baptist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary. As a special project for this landmark occasion, the congregation raised money and bought upholstered chairs for the sanctuary to replace the orange upholstered pews.
Information graciously gathered and provided by Joyce Cummings, Assistant Clerk, Waterville United Baptist Church