On April 29, 1826, the “Baptists of Ripley Township” met and organized a church at Wattlesburg Corners which is located 2 1/2 miles south on Ripley-Sherman Road (Rt 76).
The first Pastor was Elder Butler with a salary of $20 a year. In 1828, his salary was reduced to $15 a year. This amount was apportioned among the male members who were also to furnish one-half cord of wood each.
1831 marks the beginning of missions in the church: each male member was assessed six cents to be used for home missions.
In 1843, the church went through a period of struggle. According to the records, this “period of indifference” lasted for several years until new officers were elected in 1847.
In 1891, after more than 30 years with out a pastor of their own, the Baptists of Ripley Village and surrounding territory met in a special meeting and formed the Baptist Union Church and Society. The services were to be held in a rented hall in the village, and the old Wattlesburg Church was to be a mission church. Eleven members still belonged, having never severed their relationship with the church during the long interval in which no services were held.
A building committee of six men was elected and it is to the untiring efforts of these men that credit must be given for the final successful completion of the church. On January 1, 1892, the lot was purchased on the corner of West Main Street and Goodrich Street. By January 1893 the church was up and nearly enclosed. On June 1893 the church was formally dedicated. The church would seat 600 comfortably.
From 1893-1906 the church enjoyed prosperity. During this period, 41 members joined the church. The house next door was purchased at this time and became the parsonage.
In 1912, through the generosity of Mrs. Elizabeth Spencer, the church was able to finance the building of a chapel, now used as the beginners and nursery department.
In 1919, electric lights were installed in the church and in December of 1921, the church was incorporated as the First Baptist Church.Â The church went through many pastors and changes during the early 1900s, which lead to the modern history of the Church. Rev. Claude Eggleston became the pastor on September 26, 1965.
At the annual business meeting in May of 1969, the Church Constitution was amended and the church united with the General Association of Baptist Churches.
Under the direction of Rev Claude Eggleston and his son Don Eggleston, the current church property building which is located at 9869 E. Side Hill Rd. Ripley NY was built and dedicated. The original church building is now the Ripley Free Library, and the church still owns the parsonage next door which is used for service and missions.
Don Eggleston has now been serving as Pastor since 1983.