Genesee Baptist Church began in 1845 as a Sunday school that was established in a local home to provide Christian witness to the boisterous frontier community known as “The Rapids,” and later as “Castletown.” That original Sunday school grew and relocated to larger quarters, its nucleus becoming a new church organization–The Rapids Mission., a mission of the First Baptist Church of Rochester. In 1868, a frame church was built on Genesee Street at Terrace Park. On Sunday, October 29, 1871, this church was organized as the First Baptist Church of the Rapids. In 1915, it was renamed Genesee Baptist Church. The church was later organized under the chairmanship of Professor Joseph H. Gilmore of the University of Rochester, who was also the author of the hymn, “He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Thought!” In 1922, that building was moved to its present location, 149 Brooks Avenue. The western wing of the present church building–the Memorial Parlor–is actually the old church, bricked over. Member Philip Kron, a deacon and a generous benefactor, oversaw the purchase of the land and construction of the church. The church sanctuary’s stained glass windows honor him and others who were instrumental in the development of Genesee Baptist Church.
Genesee Baptist Church has moved forward for 140 years and with God’s help and the congregation’s love it will continue to move on without breaking the line of righteousness. God called Genesee Baptist Church to make a difference in the southwest part of Rochester. we have been able to rise above all obstacles that come before us. Whenever the call has come for the congregation to take a leap of faith, we have always stood the test of challenge and sacrifice. That is because our members’ hearts are all on one accord, which is augmented by the beauty of our differing gifts. Our only purpose is to serve the Lord and to use our gifts to reach out to others.