History of Cold Point Baptist Church
In 1843, a group of members from the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church, directed by Rev. Robert F. Young, came to Cold Point and organized a Sunday School in the old school house, presently across the street from the Church. Following several services, Rev Brown baptized a group of persons in the Wissahickon Creek, and in 1845 this small band purchased a lot with a view to building the first church. In February, 1854, 53 persons applied for dismissal from the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church and began the organization of the Plymouth Baptist Church.
From the early Church minutes, it was noted that John Getman was the first deacon, David Marple was the first treasurer, and hennery Hentz served as the first clerk. Jonathan Batdorf served as a deacon for 48 years and a trustee for 45 years. David Marple had a record of 33 years; E. L. Kirk 31 Years, and Samuel H. Freas 29 years. We note that Charles W. Lewis servers as church clerk and treasurer for 54 years and John Killmer served many years as deacon and worker.
The lot where the old parsonage was built is located at the foot of Cold Point Hill and in the wedge between Militia Hill Road and Cold Point Road. The parsonage was purchased during the pastorate of Rev J. T. Griffiths. In 1868, it was noted that during the construction of the present Church 363 hogsheads of water was used, and hauled by Deacon Jonathan Batdorf. Also, 1,500 bushels of lime were furnished by Deacon David Marple, and hauled by his son, Enoch Marple.
During the celebration of the 80th anniversary, the presiding pastor, Dr. J. H. Sheppard fittingly termed Cold Point Church as “God’s Acre” and compared it yo a “mountain Climb, whereby we stop occasionally to look back, then on to further heights. During the pastorate of Dr. Sheppard, a Robert Morgan Pope organ was installed.
Cold Point Church is the mother church of the Spring Mill Church. Miss Elizabeth Dick started the first Sunday School there and 15 members with letters of dismissal from Cold Point formed the Spring Mill Baptist Church.
In 1946, the first building of Cold Point Baptist Church was dismantled and a new parsonage was completed in Frebruary, 1947. During the summer of 1963, the second floor was converted into two beautiful pine paneled bedrooms.
In 1961, the Chruch sanctuary was re-decorated. New pews, carpeting, and pulpit furniture were added to enhance the beauty of the sanctuary. The lectern, pulpit, pulpit chairs, hymn boards and flower stands were given in loving memory of those who faithfully served the Lord here in His House. In February of 1965, the Church and Community Club dedicated a modern kitchen to the memory of Mrs. Emma Ettinger, who was a faithful member of the club and church. In 1966 the exterior of the Church was re-plastered. The windows In the tower were removed and the tower was covered with white siding. A large lighted cross was given by the family and dedicated to memory of Mrs. Theodore Nitterhauer, who had faithfully served as Superintendent of the Beginners Department of the Sunday School for 25 years. She was more fondly known as “Aunt Minnie”
The Spares and Pairs group was organized in February, 1971. It serves the Church in various capacities and seeks to bring others to the knowledge of our Lord. On December 8, 1971, a very faithful member, Mrs. Effie Killmer, passed into eternal life at the age of 91. She had been a member of the church for 75 years and served in every office of the church. She was the organizer of the Church and Community Club in October, 1927. It is this kind of devotion that encourages His people to carry on the work of the Church in a restless, weary world. Mrs. Killmer was a direct descendant of Charter Member David Marple. Mevey Marple Boyer was the only member who was a direct descendant of David Marple. Another member, Hannah Adair was the descendant of Charter Member Hanah Wolf.
In the spring of 1973, the interior of the sanctuary was redecorated as well as the Sunday School rooms. The black-topped driveway was made possible by the generosity of Mr.& Mrs. Henry Hemsley. In October 1974, a Conn Electronic organ was installed to replace the Robert Mortin pipe organ that was dedicated in the year 1934. In October 1976, the Church observed the two hundredth birthday of our nation in the form of a worship service in keeping with the early Baptists. Many worshipers attended in Colonial costume which added much more to the service. In December 1976, the Church and Community Club disbanded, having served the Church and community for fifty nine years.
In January 1978, Rev. Charles H. R. Fore resigned to accept a pastorate in Kansas City, Kansas. His resignation was effective April 1978. His replacement was found in Rev. William T. Evans, who was called to be Interim Pastor beginning the first of April, 1978. A month prior, in March, a very dear friend, faithful member and Sunday School Teacher, Priscilla C. Gates went home to be with the Lord. Gifts in her memory were used to refurbish a classroom for junior and senior high school students.
In October of 1978, the Sunday School room was painted, new lighting was installed, an acoustical ceiling was installed as well. This, in addition to new drapes, added much to the atmosphere of worship.
Also in 1978, two beautiful Crimson King maple trees were planted in front of the Church in loving memory of Mrs. Priscilla C. Gates. The trees were a gift from the Adult Sunday School class, of which she was a member.
A friend to everyone, and a faithful Church Member, Mr. Theodore, at the age of 79, passed into eternal life on February 4, 1979. He was a trustee for forty Five years and a Church member for sixty five years. He was never too busy to help with any job that needed to be done in the Church. We are reminded of the verse of Scripture: "Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might."
In April, 1979, Rev. William T. Evans was called to the Church Pastorate, after having served as interim pastor for a year.
In May of 1979, the trustees installed a microphone and amplifying system in the sanctuary. Mr. Richard Brinton did the work for this project, which was greatly appreciated by all who worship at Cold Point.
An installation service for Rev. William T. Evans was held on June 3, 1979. Many local pastors, laymen and representatives from the American Baptist Association participated in the service. A lovely lunch was enjoyed following the service. The parsonage was redecorated for the Evan's family. In October, 1979, two maple trees were planted in front of the Church in memory of Mr. Theodore Nitterauer. The trees were presented by the Adult Sunday School class. "Come unto Him all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." - Mathew 11:28
Pastor Evans was forced to retire in 1985due to illness. II Timothy 4:7-8 reads: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness..." Pastor Evans served Cold Point and his God in a way that will be remembered and loved by all those who knew him.
In 1985 Ron LaFreeda and Robert Ettinger was issued Lay Pastor licenses and alternated Sunday worship messages until January, 1992, when the Church called the current pastor, Robert Ettinger to be full time. On March 29, 1992, he was ordained by the Church through the Philadelphia Baptist Association and the American Baptist Convention. He is the present pastor.
In the last 12 years, much has been accomplished. Physically, a new roof was installed, the church parking lot was repaved, the social room was repainted and tiled, the sanctuary was repainted, the eaves were redone and covered with siding, the bell tower was recovered with siding, a new heater and boiler were installed, and a new refrigerator was purchased. Our thanks go out to the many that have helped in the care of the Church building.
Spiritually many have come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We continue to teach and preach the Holy Scriptures as the inerrant word of God. there have been baptisms, marriages, births, dedications, and we have seen miracles to boggle man's mind. We have had saints pass through our doors: Alice Potts, Richard Burgess, Fred Stringer, Mary Wellwe, Ashton Ottey, Joe and Anna Garnett, Bob and Olive Smith, Margaret & Ernie Naile, Al Webb, Ester LaSpina, June Gerhart, Mildred Thomas, Bob & Florence Townsend, and many more. We have been a part in sending two more children of God into the ministry: Nathan Pierce and Joe Zillmer.
April of 2004 saw Cold Point Baptist Church celebrate 150 years of service to God. These 150 years of Service are only made possible by God and the saints who have been and remain at Cold Point. we read in III John 4-7: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: Because that for his name's sake they went forth..." Our anniversary service was followed by a wonderful luncheon that packed the meeting room of the church with Church family and Friends. A wonderful time was had by all.
2005 saw one of the most challenging years of Cold point's history. Early in the morning on August 15th, a lightening bolt caused a severe fire to our beloved church. After four months, the rebuilding project has started. We met at the Chapel at George Washing Memorial park until 2007. We were able to return in July of 2007... Praise the Lord!