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First Baptist Church

Damascus In 1800 Thomas Shield, a Philadelphia Baptist and the original owner of the huge land tract called Damascus Manor. "erected at his own expense a substantial house of worship on the north side of the Great Bend Turnpike." Seven years later the house and lot were deeded to the Reverend William Purdy. Thomas Shield. Jr. and others "for a regular Baptist Society when it should be organized." The structure built by Thomas Shield was used as a church for 32 years. 1n 1821 the Baptist Society was chartered and in 1832 a small wooded church was built near the Delaware River. The Damascus First Baptist Church still stands 175 years later. The building's classic lines and soaring spire, spacious vaulted, and white interior with original pews bear witness to the faith and dedication of generations of members. Early books record the minutes of each covenant meeting and the names of those baptized. In the foyer is a framed certificate bearing the names of all contributors to a 1874 renovation. An early fanlight window is now used as a cupboard for the display of communion vessels. Pastor Stuart Hunt has led the large and active congregation since 1986. The Damascus Christian School was established by the church in 1977 and is in a separate building behind the church.

Text by

Line Drawing by Judith Hunt

From 1993 through 2008 the Honesdale National Bank published an annual wall calendar, each featured 13 historic sites. The sites were chosen and researched by a committee of the historical society and artwork was commissioned to Judy Hunt and William Amptman by the bank.

This page was one month of the calendar and was made possible through the Wayne County Commissioners and a Tourism Promotion Committee’s Tourism Grant.