After a sorrowful destitution of five months, the church called Elder J.A. Bullard in May 1855, who served sixteen months under circumstances of peculiar trial. His salary was $600.
January 1, 1857, Elder Almon Virgil, by invitation commenced a protracted meeting, which lasted several weeks and resulted in a large number of conversions. On February 22 he was called to the pastoral care of the church and remained fifteen months. Eighty-three were added to the church by baptism.
On the 18th of August 1858, Brother J. J. Keyes was called and had care of the church until ordained pastor on January 27, 1859. At this time the custom of holding a preaching service in the forenoon, an intermission at noon and Sunday School, followed with another sermon, was changed by vote, to “dispense with the afternoon service, and in place thereof have preaching in the evening at the church.rdquo; After serving the church eighteen months, Brother Keyes was dismissed February 10, 1860. His salary was $500.
A call was next extended to Rev. Abel Haskell and he entered upon his services as pastor of the church August 15, 1860. In 1861 the church was entirely remodeled, the gallery was removed, the big white pulpit removed giving place for the choir in an alcove between the two vestibules; a speaker’s platform with desk, placed at the north end of the audience room and facing the entrance, and new seats; the session room was built, a furnace installed, and new carpets for the main room and vestibules. A strip of land was purchased on the north end of the lot and the sheds moved back, all at a total cost of $2,500. The church was re-dedicated February 6, 1862. (Need pictures of sheds and building out back
In 1863 a series of meetings were held, the church greatly revived and 30 added by baptism. At this time the salary was raised to $700. In the private records of Brother Haskell we find under date of November 4th, 1865, “Covenant meeting; large attendance and good meeting. One Sister was dismissed by letter, and two Sisters were received as candidates for baptism after relating their Christian experience. The following Sabbath he gave his last public service to the church. Sickness followed and his death occurred December 21, 1865, “in the vigor of middle life and in the triumphs of faith.rdquo;
Rev. E. J. Foote became pastor of the church the first Sabbath in May 1866. The following year a most successful revival was enjoyed. The whole community was awakened, and the church was thoroughly engaged with a large number added. A baptistery was built, and in November, 1867, a steam heating plant was installed, walls decorated and woodwork refinished at a cost near $1,000. In the fall of 1870 a new pipe organ was purchased and placed in the south of the church at a cost of $1,100. During Brother Foote’s ministry the salary was raised to $1,000. After a successful pastorate of five years in which he baptized 77, Brother Foote resigned his charge of the church April 1, 1871, to the regret and sorrow of the whole community
September 10, 1871, Brother Forest A. Marsh was unanimously called to the work of the church, and began his labors on a salary of $1000. He was ordained October 26, and served the church very acceptably eight months, until the failing health of his wife compelled him to resign his charge and seek a more healthful climate.
Rev. A. L. Freeman accepted a call and began his ministry to the church in September 1873. In December the spacious and comfortable parsonage at 1884 Penfield Road was purchased for $1,610. (This remained the parsonage for about 64 years.) In the fall of 1875, the pastor, aided by Rev. C. M. Palmer commenced a series of evangelistic meetings that resulted in the reviving and quickening of the church and thirty additions to its membership. The labors of Pastor Freeman and his very helpful family were greatly blessed to the building up of the church and the good of the community. He served the church six years, baptizing fifty-three. He was honored in receiving the largest salary, $1,200 – given to any pastor in the history of the church. Brother Freeman died very suddenly September 29, 1902.
August 15, 1880, a unanimous call was extended to Brother Joseph R. Henderson to become pastor of the church at a salary of $800 and the use of the parsonage. Brother Henderson was ordained September 23, to the work of the gospel ministry, by a council composed of delegates from each church in the Monroe Association. He served the church efficiently and faithfully for three years, baptizing twenty new members.
Next, Rev. O. C. Kirkham accepted a call to the pastorate and commenced his labor on April 1, 1884. His salary was $800. He remained with the church nineteen months, baptizing three.
Beginning in January 1886 and laboring for several weeks in a gracious revival, Rev. Mortimer V. Willson then accepted a call of the church and assumed pastoral responsibilities April 1st. Thirty-nine were very soon added by baptism. He began an association with Rev. T. F. Parker, the pastor of the M. E. church, in preaching at out-stations, and began an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in meetings held in the schoolhouse of the “Brewer districtrdquo;, in January 1887. Members of the village churches and Christians of the neighborhood became involved and a large revival resulted. About twenty were received into the membership of the Baptist church while a large number united with the churches of Brighton, East and West Webster, and the M. E. church of the village.
In 1889 the church building was thoroughly repaired and the organ was moved near the platform. (At this time the organ had to be pumped. Usually a boy was hired to do the pumping, but sometimes members of the congregation were drafted to do the pumping.) Memorial windows replaced the old ones and a vestibule was added, thereby enlarging the auditorium. The walls were beautifully decorated, woodwork stained, exterior painted, and minor improvements made to furnishings at a cost of $2,000.
The 90th anniversary of the church was celebrated in the fall of 1894. Several revivals resulted in additions to the church; Brother Willson baptized nearly one hundred in his long pastorate. His term of pastoral care over the church was without parallel in its history; “a shepherd and a watchman for seventeen years, ceasing from labor on account of failing health and in a few short months called to lay down the weapons of his warfare to receive his crown of rejoicing.rdquo; With the death of three deacons and many of the strongest supporters of the church, and together with very many changes that came by removals or change of residence, only a small number remained of those with whom Brother Willson commenced his work in Penfield. Brother Wilson died in Sodus, May 20, 1903, aged 71 years and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Penfield
Rev. H. Clay Poland entered upon his labor April 5, 1903, as the twenty-ninth pastor, twenty were baptized during his ministry. He remained with the church eighteen months, closing his labors October 1, 1904.
During the period of 100 years there was a total of eight years that the church was without a pastor. The average length of pastorate was about three years and two months. The shortest period recorded was six months; the longest seventeen years. In the intervals between the dismissal of one pastor and the call of another the services were continued and pulpit supplies obtained, usually from the Rochester Theological Seminary.