North East Baptist Church has a long history and is one of the oldest Baptist churches in continuous existence in New York State. People who originally formed North East Baptist Church had been meeting in the Philipse (or Phillips) Patent of New York since 1751. That area is now Putnam County. Simon Dakin was chosen as pastor in 1753. Later he and other members relocated to the Town of North East, so named because of its location in the northernmost corner of Dutchess County bordering Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Our church was formally organized with a “covenant” agreement among members in 1773. Some of those early members had been converted under the preaching of the English evangelist George Whitefield. Plaques commemorating services held by the great preacher are found in the nearby communities of Sharon, Connecticut, and the Smithfield district of Amenia, New York.
Pastor Dakin donated land for a burying ground on what is now Merwin Road north of town. In 1775 a meeting house was erected at that location. In 1828 the cornerstone of a brick building was laid nearby, and the new church home was finished the following year.
As the railroad came to the area, property was purchased in the village of Millerton and a new building erected in the 1867 using the cornerstone from the previous meeting house. That blue church building at the corner of Route 44 and Maple Ave is still home to our congregation.
In January 1960, Henry Prause was called to be pastor of North East Baptist Church. He retired in January of this year after serving sixty-one years as minister of the same congregation! Pastor Prause and his wife Elizabeth have had a great impact and testimony in the church and community after decades of faithfully serving the Lord. Rick Totten was called as pastor and Wayne Conklin was appointed the assistant pastor when Henry Prause finished his long ministry at North East Baptist Church and moved to western New York.