Baptists and the American Civil War: October 15, 1865

iowa_mapAs Protestant Christianity continues spreading westward in the months following the war, Baptists, never a majority religious faith in the North, often find themselves a distinct minority on the expanding frontier. Such is the case today in the establishment of the first church founded in Ames, Iowa, a community established in 1864.

The few citizens of Ames interested in establishing a church are comprised of two Baptists, three congregationalists and three Presbyterians. Presbyterians had recently founded two churches in the vicinity of Ames, one on either side of the new town. Accordingly, the mixed group of Protestant believers in Ames decides to form a Congregational church in the middle.

Today, the handful of Baptists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists meet and pass a resolution:

“…We, members of different Evangelical churches, in good and regular standing in humble reliance upon Divine grace, and with sincere desires to promote God’s glory, do organize ourselves into a church of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be called the First Congregational Church of Ames, and to be in fellowship with the Orthodox Congregational Churches of the United States.”

In time Baptists churches are established in Ames, but for now, the town’s few Baptists worship together with other Protestants.

Source: “History,” Ames United Church of Christ (link)