New York USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Founded in 1785, the church was originally called Yorktown Baptist Church. It is now called Community Church of Yorktown and is sometimes referred to as "the Church at Hunterbrook."
The Yorktown Church Cemetery also known as Old Baptist Church and Yorktown Community Church Cemetery has been a final resting place for many early Yorktown residents.
The current church history goes back to 1785 when the Yorktown Baptist Society, a branch of the Stamford Baptist Church, was organized.
However the church yard has been a burial site prior to the revolutionary war.
In 1788 the Yorktown Baptist Church was officially constituted, with Elder Reuben Garrison as the first pastor.
Services were held in homes until the first Baptist meeting house was built in 1802, during the pastorate of Elder Isaac Rhodes.
This original building, which was later moved to the corner of Baptist Church and Hunterbrook Roads and remodeled, has at times served as a parsonage. In recent years it has provided housing for the church caretakers.
In 1848 the present Greek Revival-style building, larger than the first building, was constructed and dedicated to the Lord. Services were held under various pastors and visiting preachers until 1890, after which the church was mostly closed for 27 years.
In 1917 Rev. Harry B. Roberts, pastor of the Yorktown Presbyterian Church, began holding Sunday after noon services in the Baptist Church building.
In the following years a movement was begun to buy the building from the Baptist Society.
The purchase was completed in 1924 and a non-sectarian Community Church, complete with constitution and by-laws, was organized. In 1933 Rev. Roberts became permanent pastor of Community Church and that year conducted the first of our continuous Christmas Eve candlelight services,
In 1940, under the leadership of Rev. F. Gordon Ham, the church was incorporated as The Community Church of Yorktown under the religious corporation laws of the State of New York. Fellowship Hall and our Sunday School classrooms were added to the building in the early 1970s, while Malcolm Foster was pastor.
The church cemetery, which church members are gradually reclaiming from the woods, hosts dozens of Tompkins and pre-Revolutionary War residents
Building of the Croton Dam
Fifteen hundred bodies were moved out of the six cemeteries that lay in the path of the Croton River, which flows from Connecticut to the Hudson River.
One of those hamlets was the community of Huntersville. Now part of Yorktown, the 6-square-mile area lies roughly within the boundaries of the Taconic Parkway to the east, the reservoir and Route 129 to the south, and the Town of Cortlandt to the west. According to Christopher Tompkins, author of "The Croton Dams and Aqueduct," the center of old Huntersville is now underwater.
There are many reburials from Huntersville in the church yard.