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Honey Creek Freewill Baptist Church

One year after Rev. Rufus Cheney founded Wisconsin's first Freewill Baptist Church in New Berlin in 1840, he traveled southwest to the Town of Spring Prairie on the Walworth-Racine county line to establish a second church in Honey Creek. Seven of the area's first settlers--Benjamin Hoyt, Susan Hoyt, Benjamin Fowler, Nancy Fowler, Ann Hopkins, Mary Heath and Benjamin Augir--met in the Hoyt home on February 6, 1841, and formally organized the Honey Creek church.

The church would serve Wisconsin as one of its Quarterly Meeting sites and continued uninterrupted until 1911, when Wisconsin's Freewill churches united with the American Baptist church.

Appropriately, the congregation's first church bears a striking similarity to Rev. Cheney's New Berlin church:

Original Honey Creek Freewill Baptist church.
The original Honey Creek Freewill Baptist church.

The congregation developed rapidly, reaching a membership of 81 by 1852 and 96 in 1864. At its peak in 1897, under the monistry of Rev. George Moor and Rev. J. J. Hull, membership reached 140, and it was perhaps that growth that prompted the congregation to replace its early frame sanctuary with a handsome brick church.

The second Honey Creek Freewill Baptist church
The second Honey Creek Freewill Baptist church.

Rev. A. A. Gloverr's calling card, ca. 1907
Calling card for Rev. A. A. Glovier, pastor of the church from 1906-1907.
(Courtesy Walworth County Historical Society)

The building remained in use following the merger with the American Baptist church until, nearly a decade after the merger, the structure was destroyed by fire. It's congregation built its third sanctuary in 1922, a church that continues to function as the Honey Creek Baptist Church.

The third Honey Creek Baptist church
The third Honey Creek Baptist church.