Sunday, February 10, 2013

Penley Corner

Penley Corner
Winter 2013

From the late 1700's, families of the free Baptist community, predominantly farmer's and cattleman, met in homes and schools in the South Auburn, Danville, Poland, and Minot communities. Due to its close proximity to the majority of the congregation, the farmhouses and school around Marston's Corner were often selected as a meeting place. After a disagreement within the congregation (rumoured to stem from arguments as to whether or not Adam and Eve had belly buttons...), the congregation split and went their separate ways.  

Captain John Penley-- gentleman farmer, prestigious landowner, maverick cattleman, respected legislator, and father of 18 (yes, eighteen!)-- donated a quaint riverfront lot for the establishment of a meeting place for the Danville and South Auburn area free Baptists. Completed in 1833 the small church was christened and its doors opened for service. Three other churches in the surrounding farm communities joined together for the first service at the new church. The church was used regularly for just over one year. Since 1835 it has only been used once a year for an annual meeting of the Penley family and other interested parties.  

The historical record is quiet as to whether or not the term "free Baptist" specifically refers to "free from ever going to church more than once a year" Baptist. One, of course, can hypothesize....





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