South Apalachin Baptist Church celebrates bicentennial

South Apalachin Baptist Church celebrates bicentennial

Pictured is the South Apalachin Baptist Church (SABC) located at 4116 Pennsylvania Ave. in Apalachin, N.Y. Pastor Daniel Crane and other church officials welcome members and the community to enjoy several presentations each Sunday during the month, as well as interesting displays in celebration of SABC’s bicentennial. (Provided photo)

A month of celebration, starting Nov. 6, is planned to recognize the bicentennial of the South Apalachin Baptist Church (SABC), located at 4116 Pennsylvania Ave. in Apalachin, N.Y. The history of the church dates back to October 1816, and today, fellowship and outreach of its members continues, which has significantly contributed to the community.

Pastor Daniel Crane, along with Bicentennial Chairperson and church Secretary Vivian Novak, and other church officials, invite members and the entire community to celebrate and enjoy multiple guest speakers each Sunday in November as well as learn about church history and browse displays.  

Books, newspaper clippings, historical documents and research, old offering plates, and quilts made by the ladies missionary, among other items, will be available to view. Concluding the month, on Nov. 27, church members and guests are invited to a special dinner.  

South Apalachin Baptist Church celebrates bicentennial

Pictured is South Apalachin Baptist Church (SABC) Secretary, Vivian Novak, who is also the chairperson of SABC’s bicentennial celebration. Novak stands next to the logo she designed in celebration of SABC’s 200-year anniversary. (Photo by JoAnn R. Walter)

Presentations by guest speakers who have been affiliated and influential in the ongoing life of the church will cover several topics.

James Walter, SABC pastor from 1969-1995; along with Tri Cities Mission Director Ray Jones; Gary Whipple, a Peru missionary; and past interim Pastor Gilbert Parker will present history on Nov. 6.

The Nov. 13 topic of outreach includes speakers Duane Blasdel, the director of Mapleridge Ranch; Pastor Dale Linebaugh and Davis College President Ray Namie, a missionary with World of Life; and Bruce Scott, SABC associate pastor.

Nov. 20 highlights Thanksgiving with speakers Jake Blasdel, missionary with CCO; SABC Associate Pastor David Titus; Mark Sims, who was a missionary to France; Pastor David Pitcher of the West Warren Congregational Church; and Pastor Larry Jennings, pastor of the Warren Center Baptist Church and former SABC associate pastor.

South Apalachin Baptist Church celebrates bicentennial

From left, Pastor Daniel Crane of the South Apalachin Baptist Church, and Peggy Crane, welcome church members and the community to the bicentennial celebration of the church that is occurring throughout the month of November. For an event schedule, visit or for more information call (607) 625-4367.

The future will be the featured topic on Nov. 27 with speakers Dan Delevan, former SABC associate pastor; Pat Blasdel, former Director at El Racho de Paz; and Sal Maiorana, a former associate pastor.

SABC’s beginnings have been traced back to a Vermont missionary who was followed by several families that settled in Tioga County, near Owego, 14 of who organized as a church group.

An original trustee of what was known as the First Free Will Baptist Society leased a small plot of land in 1844 near the Apalachin creek for the purpose of building a “meeting house.”

In November 1859, a fire destroyed that meeting house, and by 1866 a new building, which cost $1,500, was dedicated on the same site. The tattered bill of materials from that building is the earliest piece of original history in SABC’s possession.

Transition occurred during the World War I years, and following the 1916 centennial the church became known as the Owego Free Baptist Church.

Fast forward to 1954 when a two year building project took place on the property, and then in 1957, the South Apalachin Baptist Church officially took the name as it is known today.  In the 1970’s, a parsonage and gymnasium were added. 

Positive changes have occurred, such as the repaving of the parking lot and driveway, updates in the foyer, installation of new carpets, a partial replacement of the roof on both buildings, and the installation of LED lighting throughout the entire property, as well as other remodeling.

Generations of families attend SABC today and enjoy numerous programs such as Sunday school classes for all ages, monthly family fellowship dinners, and a number of youth ministries, ladies programs, retired men’s fellowship, and many more. SABC also extends the use of their property to the community, for example a home-schooled group holds classes there.

Pastor Crane and Novak shared a similar sentiment about the bicentennial, “We are blessed to be part of SABC’s rich history.”

For more detailed bicentennial history, which includes “Tales of Two Hundred Years,” along with a calendar of events, visit the SABC web site at  For general information or to register for the Nov. 27 dinner, call (607) 625-4367. 

1 Comment on "South Apalachin Baptist Church celebrates bicentennial"

  1. Vivian: Howdy! We worked together at D&R many years back. You gave me some ground cover plants. They are purple in color. By chance do you recall the name? You had told me that they were invasive…you weren’t kidding! I have been working diligently this year trying to eradicate them! Hope all is well! JT

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