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HEPTONSTALL: Heptonstall Baptist Church History up to 1912.

HEPTONSTALL BAPTIST CHURCH

The Heptonstall Slack Church was inaugurated, in 1807, by thirty-seven members who withdrew from Birchcliffe. They engaged the meeting house which had been vacated by the Particular Baptists at Heptonstall. The following year a chapel was built, and James Taylor (a nephew of Dan Taylor) invited to the pastorate. In the year 1822, the Church had attained a membership of two hundred, and the Rev. Richard Ingham became minister. Ile was a native of Slack, and had been educated at Oxford for the Established Church. During his godly ministry of twelve years the Church increased to 300 members. His successor was the Rev. Wm. Butler, under whom the building was enlarged, and the Church continued to receive accessions. It reached its zenith in 1844, when it recorded a membership of 502 with a school 700 strong, and became the fourth largest Church in the General Baptist denomination.

The Rev. E. Bott undertook the charge in 1848, but a period of local depression arose through the decline of the home-weaving industry, which led to the migration of the people. Mr. Bott was followed by Rev. Caleb Springthorpe, who closed, in 1873, an honourable ministry of twenty years, during which new school premises had been built. Rev. J. Lawton was pastor from 1874 to 1882, and the present chapel was opened in 1879, costing £2500. Mr. Lawton still survives at an age of ninety years. Succeeding pastors have been J. Hubbard (1884-91); D. A. Spence (1891-3); J. K. Archer (1895-1903); who was followed by the present minister, Rev. E. G. Thomas. The Church has not been content to sit at ease in Zion. As early as 1816, it began a branch cause at Blakedean which it still maintains; also a cause at Broadstone where, after many years of work, an excellent chapel was built in 1892. The Church at Nazebottom was also the outcome of the Church at Heptonstall Slack.


Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2014
from the "Present Churches" section of
The Baptists of Yorkshire
by Rev. J. Brown Morgan
and Rev. C.E. Shipley