A Brief History of Harmony Baptist Church
Harmony Baptist Church was organized in September of 1839.
At that time there were thirty three members. They met for worship in a log building known as the Old Republican Meeting House. On January 9th, 1840, James M. Thomas became the first minister. The oldest known church roll is dated 1842. Harmony continued to worship at the Republican Meeting House for fourteen years.
Late Nineteenth Century (1850 - 1899)
In 1853, a new wooden church was built. When the church was completed, the old log meeting house was given to the Methodists. The new church cost $800.00 to build. In April of 1861, a Sunday School was organized with five classes. On October 26th, 1879, thirty eight ladies met and organized the first Women's Missionary Society. Thirty eight men also enrolled their names to form a Men's Missionary Society. The church was remodeled in the fall of 1861. The church was repaired, the seats were cushioned and covered in brown calico, the old time pulpit was removed, and a modern rostrum was built at a cost of $568.19. The envelope system was adopted in 1890 as the best plan for systematic giving. In 1891 the members voted to buy an organ.
Early Twentieth Century (1900 - 1949)
In 1905, a tract of land with a house was purchased. The house became Harmony's pastorium and was occupied by Reverend W. B. McCuen and family. It was he who encouraged the members to build a new brick church. He came up with the idea of each family planting an acre of cotton to raise money for the new building. Reverend McCuen left Harmony before his plan could materialize, but Dr Adams followed through with this plan in 1906. This project yielded $3000.00. This along with gifts to the building fund raised a total of $9,500.00. The actual cost of the new building was $8,000.00. It took two years to complete the building. In 1912, the RA's were organized with ten boys. In 1913, the YWA's were organized. They raised money to buy a piano. The old organ was never heard again at Harmony. Electric lights and a modern heating system were installed in the church in 1936. In 1937, a new fence was erected around the cemetery.
More Recent Changes (1950 - present)
In 1952, our first educational building was completed. In 1968, construction began on a new tri-level educational building. This was completed and dedicated on April 13th, 1969. Stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary. The first educational building was redecorated and air conditioning was installed for all the facilities. In 1995, a new heating and cooling system was installed. Over the last couple years, Harmony has replaced the entry doors on the sanctuary, installed new carpeting, new paint and the pews have been recovered. New carpet and painting have also been done in the educational building.
The beautiful sanctuary, located on Harmony Church Road in Edgemoor, appears much as it did when completed in 1908, and is a familiar landmark in eastern Chester County, reminding us of our mission.