Stonington Baptist Church is an Independent Baptist Church located in the village of Stonington, just off PA Route 61 about half way between Shamokin and Sunbury PA. The church has a rich heritage dating back to 1794 when it was founded as the Shamokin Baptist Church by Rev. John Patton under the auspices of the Philadelphia Baptist Convention. The church became known as the “Mother Church” because it was the first Baptist Church in Central Pennsylvania. From its membership or through its influence many other Baptist Churches were founded throughout the region.
The first house of worship was built on Short Road near the Shamokin Creek in Shamokin Township. The church flourished at that location, with an attendance of about 150. In 1845 the 25th Session of the Northumberland Baptist Association met on at the Shamokin Baptist Church and resolved to establish a “literary and theological institution in this State”. The following year, the University at Lewisburg (as it was known for many years) was founded. That University later became known as Bucknell University. In 1843 the Shamokin Baptist Church divided on good terms mostly for reasons of travel convenience. Part of the congregation founded the Rush Baptist Church in Shamokin Hills. The rest of the congregation relocated to its present location on the “Old Reading Turnpike”. A house of worship was built and dedicated in 1873 on land donated by Harriet Wilhour. The project cost $3,000.00 and according to the record “left the congregation deeply in debt.” The church was named
the Old Shamokin Baptist Church. The name was changed to Stonington Baptist Church to better reflect its new location, and was formally incorporated using that name in the 1980’s. Today the members and friends of the Stonington Baptist Church endeavor to maintain and expand the impact of the ministry begun long ago by our forbearers.