On the western edge of Otsego County, in Central New York, the Town of Edmeston (pop. 1824) lies sheltered by gently rolling hills. This is a beautiful rural area filled with farms, forests, streams and ponds, about 18 miles west of Cooperstown. A part of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Country, Edmeston is an old town with a strong heart. It has a reputation for being a close knit, caring community, where love for one’s neighbor is played out on a daily basis.
While the hearts of other cities or towns may beat to the tempo of music or business, Edmeston’s heart takes its slower, but steady rhythm from its churches, its school and its caring people. Second Baptist Church is one of three churches in town and works ecumenically with the Methodist and Catholic Churches. Edmeston Central School provides excellent Kindergarten through Grade 12 education. Several businesses provide employment in the area, including New York Central Mutual Insurance Company, Pathfinder Village, Inc. (a residence for persons with Downs’ Syndrome), and Otsego Mutual Insurance Company. Health care is easily accessible through Fox Hospital in nearby Oneonta, Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, and the Edmeston-Burlington Health Center just outside town.
The congregation of the Second Baptist Church takes seriously its role as part of the community’s heart and its mission to reach that heart for Christ.. The vision statement adopted by the congregation encapsulates this mission: “Second Baptist is a church which prepares people for ministry and enables them to serve in various ways and settings to build up the body of Christ.”
The part of the body of Christ known as the Second Baptist Church, was founded in 1846, following a series of meetings held by the Methodist Church in the winter of 1845-46. Many residents of Edmeston found the Lord during those meetings. Some felt that the ordinances and organization of the Methodist Church would not satisfy their consciences, but that the two other Baptist churches, Taylor Hill and Burlington, were too far away to join.
Therefore on May 30, 1846, ten brethren and eleven sisters met at the Methodist Church and organized the Second Baptist Church.