The church on North Garnavillo. Real photo post card, ca. 1955.
On Saturday, June 26, 1858, Edwin B. Alderman and Lydia A. Alderman and Eliphet Kimball Mary E. Kimball, Jane Trester, Mary Baker and Anganett Swazee met at the house of Mr. Kimball in Anamosa and proceeded to organize the first Baptist church of Anamosa. Elder Daniel Rowley, of the Iowa Baptist State Convention, was present and acted as moderator of the meeting; E. B. Alderman was elected church clerk. The church voted to have public services at the courthouse at three o'clock p.m., on the next day, at which time they were to be recognized as a regular Baptist church.
The first pastor was Elder N. B. Homan, who was also pastor of the church at Fairview. The following ministers have been pastors of the church: N. B. Homan, 1858-1860; U. R. Walton, 1860-1861; N. B. Homan. 1861-1868; M. C Kempsey, 1868-1869; M. T. Lamb, 1869-1870; Robert Leslie, 1870-1871; C J. B. Jackson, 1872-1876; H. W. Thiele, 1876-1877; C. F. Tucker, 1877-1879; J. C. Burkholder, 1879-1882; C. L. Morrill, 1882-1884; C. C. Smith, 1885-1890; A. H. Ballard, 1890-1895; W. E. Glanville, 1895-1904; J. M. Deschamp, 1904-1907; E. K. Masterson, 1907-1908; John Heritage, 1908 to the present time.
The following have served as clerks of the church: E. B. Alderman, 1858-1860; S. R. Moody, 1860-1864; C French, 1864-1865; J. R. Cook, 1865-1866; H. C. Griffith, 1866-1868; I. H. Brasted, 1868-1870; Milton Remley, 1870-1874; H. M. Remley, 1874-1887; Jennings Litzenburg, 1887-1889; H. M. Remley, 1889-1896; I. H. Brasted, 1896 to the present time.
The church held prayer meetings and services at the home of the various members and in the courthouse or other halls, where they could be accommodated, until 1868, when they erected a substantial brick building forty by sixty feet with a high ceiling and a bell tower. The building cost six thousand dollars and at the time of dedication, Sunday, March 1, 1868, all the remaining indebtedness was paid. At the time of its erection it was the best church building in Anamosa or Fairview township. It has been one of the rules of this church that it would not go into debt, and from the time of its organization up to the present time, outside of the deficiency of one or two hundred dollars in current running expenses, there has been no indebtedness. This church has sent out a great many good members and efficient workers to other churches. There have been since its organization up to September 1, 1909, five hundred and seventy-six members. The number at the present time is one hundred and thirteen. About the year 1886, the church built a substantial brick addition providing church parlors and Sunday-school rooms. In 1905 the church was further improved by putting a furnace beneath the audience room putting in a new sloping maple floor, new hardwood casings to the windows, new pulpit and choir platform, new baptistry, a gallery, and stained glass windows, and reseating the entire church with the most improved seats. This improvement cost over three thousand dollars. The value of the church property at the present time is about ten thousand dollars. The audience room is exceedingly neat and beautiful. The church also owns a parsonage worth about two thousand, five hundred dollars. The present officers of the church are: pastor, Rev. John Heritage; deacons: Dr. H. W. Sigworth, C. T. Myrick, I. H. Brasted, Henry Morey and John Barrett; treasurer, B. E. Rhinehart; clerk, I. H. Brasted; trustees: A. H. Morey, C. H. Anderson and Alfred G. Remley. Mrs. Lydia Alderman, now living at Riverside, California, is the only surviving charter member.
The Sunday-school has the following officers and teachers: superintendent, Mrs. John Heritage; assistant. Miss Nellie Hackett; secretary, Robert G. Remley; teachers: B. E. Rhinehart, Mrs. H. L. Haase, Mrs. I. H. Brasted, Nellie Morey, Mr. H. L. Haase, Miss Ethel Scroggs, Mrs. Judson McCarn and H. M. Remley. The Sunday-school was first organized in 1867. The first superintendent was E. B. Alderman, who served three years. Milton Remley was then elected and served three years; C. W. Coe then served three years; H. M. Remley served three years. In 1879 John Stewart, the noted butter maker, was elected superintendent and served for three years; I. H. Brasted was elected and served about the same length of time; C. T. Myrick was then elected and has been reelected a good many times. Since then the following persons have been superintendent in the order named; A. E. Myrick, C. B. Hungerford, Fred B. Sigworth, A. L. Remley, H. D. Myrick and the present superintendent. The school has always been self-sustaining and has always had plenty of funds. Upon retiring from the superintendency, H. M. Remley became the teacher of the old people's Bible class and has taught that class from that time to the present time, over thirty years. His class now consists of eighteen members, with an average attendance of eleven or twelve members. Four members of the class are over eighty years old and the average age is over seventy years.