First Baptist Church of Cold Spring

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First Baptist Church of Cold Spring

The Church on the hill, Cold Spring Baptist Church is located just outside that village on Main Street (NY 301) in Nelsonville, New York, United States. It is the oldest church in the town of Philipstown, which includes both villages, and has been in use continually since its 1833 construction. Its white steeple, at the rise on the line between the villages, is a Nelsonville landmark.

It is also the only frame church of any note within the Hudson Highlands. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and is situated next to Gothic Italianate home at 249 Main Street, which is also on the National Register.


The church is a frame clapboard structure on a stone foundation. The projecting entrance bay frames the doorway with corner pilasters and a plain entablature. The doorway itself is also pilastered, with bracketed capitals and a modillioned cornice.

From this rises a tall pendented steeple, atop an octagonal cupola whose arched openings are filled with louvered panels. The roof is gabled with returns; the projecting eaves are likewise bracketed. All sides have rounded stained-glass windows and corner pilasters.

A later addition, on the rear, has a lower but similar roof and dentilled cornice. Two other additions are of similarly sympathetic styling.


The congregation was formed in 1808; it met in members' homes until 1831, when it had grown big enough to afford a church of its own. Samuel and Mary Gouverneur, owners of a large estate that became much of present-day Nelsonville, donated the land in 1831. A man named Davenport (first name unknown) designed the church; William Bowne built it for $825 ($18.3 thousand in 2008 dollars).

It has been added onto several times since and partially rebuilt once. In 1854 the steeple and rear lecture hall were added. A baptistry was carved out of the interior 20 years later. Finally, a 1962 addition to the rear added classrooms, a kitchen and dining room. The interior was damaged by a fire in 1978; it was restored and reopened two years later. Rev. Timoth M. Greco is currently serving as Pastor of the church.

Building Activity

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