OSSETT: Ossett Baptist Church History up to 1912.



At Ossett we have two causes, the mother Church at South Ossett having recently celebrated the centenary of the beginnings of the Baptist interest in the town. The Church is the outcome of the work of the Baptist Itinerant Society, Dr. Steadman sending his students from Horton College to preach in the cottage of Mrs. Fothergill. In 1819, a barn was rented and furnished for worship. The Church was not organised until September 17th, 1834, when it numbered fifteen members. The first pastor at Ossett was Rev. Robert Carr (1841-6). He preached in a Geneva gown and bands, which were known locally as "wattles." Rev. W. Rowe was minister from 1846 to 1851, and I find no record of another settlement until that of Rev. E. Dyson, in 1872. In 1860, their barn was offered for sale, with an adjoining cottage and plot of land, and these the Church bought for £280. The cottage they fitted up as a schoolroom.

The present chapel was built in 1868, having cost £1,200, the membership of the Church being twenty-nine. Mr. Dyson remained for six years, during which period the counsel and aid of the Home Mission were sought. Rev. J. W. Comfort was pastor from 1877 to 1882, and Rev. E. Greenwood began in 1882 a ministry which did not close until 1904. In 1894, a new school was erected, and, in 1899, £700 was spent in adapting it to day-school purposes, there being no public schools in the town other than those of the Anglican and Catholics. In 1894, several members were dismissed to form the Central Church. In 1906, Rev. T. R. Lewis became joint pastor of the two Churches at Ossett, resigning in 1908, to be followed in the next year by Rev. C. Cotes. The Church has enjoyed a most successful centenary effort, which has resulted in the renovation of the chapel, in which new galleries have been added and other improvements made, costing £1,000.

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