OUR HISTORY (1816 –

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BAPTISTS FROM EXETER (1816-1828)

Probably the first Baptist in Hampton Falls was Betsey Fifield Dodge, who was converted under the preaching of Rev. Elias Hull. In 1816, Rev. William Hooper, pastor at Exeter, preached in Mr. Dodge’s house, in what is said to be the first discourse ever delivered by a Baptist in Hampton Falls.
 
From this time, Mr. Dodge’s house became a place of resort for Baptist ministers, and so continued during his lifetime and that of his son, George H. Dodge. It also became the place for Baptist preaching until the erection of the academy building in 1834. Here services were held by distinguished Baptists. It is said that Elder Peak, a noted Baptist evangelist, preached about 100 times in this house. Dudley Dodge died in 1834 at the age of 62 and his wife Betsey Fifield died in 1855 at the age of 85.

BEGINNINGS OF A CHURCH (1828-1834)

In the fall of 1828, the following two persons were dismissed from the Baptist church in Exeter to constitute what was then called the Baptist Church in Seabrook and Hampton Falls: Dudley Dodge and Mary Dodge.  
 
These two, together with Hannah Down, Ruth and Lydia Brown and Anna Knowles of Seabrook constituted themselves into a Baptist church at the house of Richard Dodge, on the evening of October 28, 1828. At that time they invited Rev. T.P. Ropes to become their pastor. At a meeting held in the brick school house in Seabrook, November 24, they received Huldah Gove to their fellowship. And on the morning of December 2, at the house of Richard Dodge, they received Mrs. Sally Chase and Mrs. Elizabeth Green, and in the afternoon of the same day the church was recognized and Mr. Ropes was installed as their pastor by a council of ministers and delegates from neighboring Baptist churches. These services were held in the old meeting house in Seabrook, built in 1763, which was first occupied by the Presbyterians until 1799, then by the Congregationalists and by the Baptists in 1828. From the fall of 1828 to the fall of 1834, they continued to worship in Seabrook and then in the new academy.

A MEETING HOUSE IS BUILT (1835-1836)

The meeting house in Hampton Falls was opened for service in September 1836, dimensions 40.5 x 55 feet and costing $2,117.58. In the summer of 1859 it was repaired and improved at an expense of $2,000. The roof was then slated, the tower replaced by a spire, the high singing gallery over the entrance taken down, the pulpit lowered, the walls frescoed, floor carpeted, and the pews upholstered. The committee was George H. Dodge, John W. Dodge, and Nathan Brown. Rev. Mr. Ropes, a connection of Dudley Dodge, continued as pastor from September 1828 to April 1830. After the departure of Mr. Ropes, the church candidated for about two years; then Rev. Oliver Barron was pastor for about a year, then Calvin Monroe, and Rev. James W. Poland supplied for about two years.

EARLY CHRUCH GROWTH (1836-1858)

Rev. Samuel Cook was pastor from May 1835 to April 1838 and during his ministry the meeting house was built and the membership nearly doubled. Over the next five years until 1843, four different pastors assumed the pulpit until Rev. Zebulon Jones commenced the longest pastorate of the early years of the church, beginning in November 1843 and remaining until the summer of 1851. During his ministry, 26 were added to the church. From 1851 to 1858, three more pastors served, with the last one being Mr. E.B. Law, who saw membership reach 98.

ESTABLISHING THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN SEABROOK (1859-1868)

During the summer of 1859, the meeting house was closed for repairs and in June of that year, 21 members were dismissed to help form the Seabrook Baptist church. Four more pastors served for short times from 1859 until 1868.

DARK DAYS & STRUGGLE (1869-1871)

Just here occurs the darkest period in the history of this church. With the exception of 12 Sabbath supplies by Rev. Otis Wing, the church remained closed until October 1870, a period of two years and three months. At this time Mr. Moulton, a licensed preacher from Jefferson, NH came and volunteered his services and remained until January 1871.

SEMINARY HELP & GLOBAL INFLUENCE (1872-1915)

From that time until August 1872 the church was supplied by students from Newton Theological Seminary, principally by J.T. Burkoe and H.H. Beaman. Among the other students who supplied were George Churchill and Rufus Sanford, who became missionaries in India, and Frederick Erileth and B.P. Cross who went on to be missionaries to Burma.
 
In August 1872, H.H. Beaman became the joint pastor of the Hampton Falls and Seabrook churches and so continued until April 1876. After that, he preached for three months at Hampton Falls, where he was ordained on October 2, 1872, and had resided during his joint ministry. Rev. T.J. Burgess was settled as pastor in September 1876, at a salary of $500 and house rent. After him came Rev. C.R. Bailey until 1889, then Rev. W.W. Wakeman from 1890 to 1897, and then Rev. Mr. Small, Rev. C.A. Parker, and Rev. G.S. Campbell, each for short stints.

HISTORY OF PASTORS AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH HAMPTON FALLS (SINCE 1915)

Years at HFFBC
1915
1919-1924
1924-1932
1932-1939
1939-1943
1943-1945
1945-1947
1947-1961
1961-1962
1963-1967
1967-1969
 
1969-1973
1974
1974-1976
1976 – Present 
1985-1992
1994-2006
2000-2004
2004-2009
2006-2012
2007-2009
2010 – 2015
2015 – Present
2015 – Present
Name
G. Stewart Campbell
Charles A. Parker
J. Chester Hyde
Donald B. Weymouth
Harry L. Smith
Milton Baker
David S. Kimball
Everett R. Scruton
Dr. William Lane (Interim Pastor)
Carlyle Saylor
Paul Ferrin 
Stanley Piepgrass (Interim Pastor)
Frank DeFalco
Dr. Robert Fillinger (Interim Pastor)
Dr. Peter W. Stine (Interim Pastor)
Rev. Dr. Kenneth G. Lawrence
William Fisher (Associate Pastor)
Rev. Jeffrey Hastings (Youth Pastor)
Rev. Dean R. Glover (Christian Ed. Pastor)
Rev. Dean R. Glover (Pastor of Outreach and Mentoring)
Rev. Dan Odom (Pastor of Education)
Anton Reginald (Youth Pastor)
Grant Winnes (Pastor of Student Ministries)
Grant Winnes (Pastor of Adult Ministries)
Steven White (Pastor of Student Ministries)
 
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