Churches and Religion


The Southwest Oswego Baptist Church is pictured aboe in a well-known Oswego snow. The church, the oldest in town, is located at the intersection of State Route 104 and County Route 20. This view was taken in the winter of 1950 by the pastor at the time, Reverend Luther Bunting. He was a professional photographer as well as a minister. The church sits on a hill and i known as "the lighthouse on a hill."


The Baptist Church was organized in 1839 after an African American man passed through the area holding meetings. Its building was erected in 1852. The congregation had initially met in a building just south of what is Ontario Orchards today. It was called "the Tabernacle." One of the builders of the church edifice was Stephen Cobb, Southwest Oswego's first blacksmith. This view of the church is from the early 1920's.


This is the only known picture of one of the town's early pastors, the Reverend Isaac Butterfield, in 1950. He also served the West Baptist Church in the city of Oswego. Just over 40 pastors have served the congregation since its founding in 1839.


The Southwest Oswego Baptist Parsonage was bult in 1891 with a generous gift from one of its members, Sally Deming. This image was taken in 1901 by Lyman Place. The pastor, Reverend F.E. Brininstool, stands with his daughter in front. Both the house and garage are in use today.


In this 1890s photograph, the women's Sunday school class poses in a studio. They are, from left to right, (sitting) Nellie Martin King, Maude Kennedy, teacher Elizabeth Edwards (holding the bible), Edith Holmes, and Jennie Saban; (standing) Florence Rowe, Elsie Edwards Tice, and Clara Rowe.


The interior view of the Baptist church shows the quite ornate pulpite in the center, as well as the pump organ at the left. The baptistery would be in the floor behind the curtained rail. Note there is no center aisle. There are two caned chairs on each side of the marble-top communion table. The ceiling is made of tin


Rev. Rudolf Unger and his wife, Prudence, served the church from 1937 to 1941. Reverend Unger was an artist and painted a three-dimensional cross in the center of the chancel. The Ungers served during the church's centennial in 1939. One of the projects of that anniversary was photographing the individual families at their homes and farms. Reverend Unger took the pictures as slides, a new and creative process for 1939.