Our History

Left: Antrim Baptist Church in 1879

Antrim Baptist Church History

The Antrim Baptist Church began with the meeting of five men and eight women at the home of Deacon Joseph Eaton in Greenfield, NH on December 17, 1805. At that time, it was known as the Peterborough and Societyland Baptist Church. It soon found a home in Bennington, NH, in 1812. Working out of a barn the church again needed to expand and moved to Antrim in 1852, meeting in Woodbury Hall on Main St. Over the next few years there were a number of attempts to raise funds to build a proper church building, but they failed. Finally in 1871, under the leadership of The Rev. William Hurlin, the present church structure was built at a cost of $6,200. It was dedicated free of debt!

There was a strong desire by the congregation to have a home to offer the church pastor. So, in 1879 the parsonage at 6 Concord Street was built and offered to the pastor to use. For 34 years the congregation made do for church gatherings and times of fellowship with picnics, and meeting in the church sanctuary, but in 1905 on the eve of the church’s centennial, the vestry, dining room, kitchen and pastor’s study was dedicated – again free from debt!

There were a number of families in the church that saw to the financial needs of the church for many years. Governor David Goodell and family, the Abbotts and family, along with the Hurlins and family, made sure that the Baptist witness in Antrim stayed true. In fact, when The Rev. William Hurlin served as pastor in the early 1880’s he was paid the grand sum of $500 for the year of which $400 came from just two families.

In 1924 the church membership undertook the goal of renovating the church sanctuary and installing an Esty Pipe Organ at a cost of $9,000 (a considerable sum of money for those days!). The Reverend Ralph Tibbals served as pastor for 23 years throughout the Great Depression and the Second World War.

In 1962 the church again decided to expand creating new Christian Education space in the basement of the church and adding an entrance to the Route 31 side of the church. Og Mandino, the famous author and speaker who lived in Antrim, always wanted a cross atop the church and after his untimely death, the current gold leaf cross was dedicated to his memory in 2000.

The expansion of the church continued in 2006 with the purchase of the John and Barbara Shea house to the left of the church on Route 31. This building served as the former Methodist Church until the beginning of the 1900’s and then was converted to apartments. The Antrim Baptist Church has totally renovated the apartments and currently rents them to tenants.