The church was organized in July 1806 by Dr. John McKnight, who had been sent by the New York Missionary Society specifically for this purpose, over the opposition of the pastor, Elkanah Holmes, whose Baptist principles on matters of infant baptism and church organization caused conflict between him and the Missionary Society. McKnight gave a list of eight persons who had been previously baptized and were in full communion at either of the places where the Tuscaroras had formerly received mission services-Oneida and New Stockbridge. These eight were Nicholas Cusick and his wife, Paulus [Apollas?], Peter, Jacob, Christian, Molly, and Margaret. He also baptized four others: Sacharissa [Sagwari'thraeh, or "Spear Trailer," a Turtle Clan sachem] and his wife, Captain William Printup, and George. The church then elected and McKnight ordained Cusick, Sacharissa, and Paulus as ruling elders. John Elliot, who the Tuscaroras as schoolmaster in 1827 and was later licensed as a minister, gave a slightly different list of the original members in his 1828 report to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, which had taken over charge of the church. His list included: Sacharissa and his wife, Nicholas Cusick and his wife Elizabeth, Apollas, Mary Pembleton, William Henry, and Catherine. Report of Dr. McKnight, August 4, 1806, ibid.; John Elliot to David Green, July 29, 1828, ABC.18.3.1, Vol. 6, Box 2, No. 87, Houghton Library, Harvard.