History of Church at Smithfield NY, near Bockey Wheaton cemetery where Joseph Curtis buried, shows it was a Great Awakening Church ("New Lights") and that George Whitefield preached one of his last sermons there in 1770. Mr. Whitefield had previously preached at Joseph Curtis father church in Wethersfield CT in 1740. From book History of Amenia NY:
THE CHURCH AT THE CITY. Of the church at the City,'"' in the west part of the town, there are no very early records. The oldest record now known begins, " The Records of the church of Christ in the towns of Amenia, Washington, and Stanford, Dutchess county, A. D. 1787, commonly known by the name of the United Congregational Church of Christ in Westfield Society." Then again " April 9, 1787, A solemn fast was held and two sermons were delivered, one by the Rev. John Cornwall, the other by the Rev. Blackleach Burritt, after which the following persons signed the covenant."t During the year 1787 thirty-six other names v/ere added. This could not have been the first institution of religious worship and of the ordinances by that people, as there was a house of worship erected there in 1750, which gave place to another in 1814, both on the site of the. * The "City" received that name, at the first settlement of the place, because three log houses were built there near each other. Those who flrst signed the covenant in 1787 were Stephen Kinnev, Kobert Willson, Timothy Wheeler, Joshua Wells, Jun., John Curtis, Selali AVells, VVm. Bell, Elizabeth Willson, Elizabeth Wheeler, Mary Curtis, Rebecca Shumday, Ahijrail Kinney, Anna Elliot, Anna Adams, Afterwards, Asa Hollister, Elisha Adams. Kojrer Southerland, Thomas Willson, Henry Kinney, Isaac Hunting, Kobert Willson, Jun., Joel Smith, John Slawter, Elijah Allen, Benj. Denton, <&c. present church edifice.^ That so many were ready to enter into covenant that year, and that they had a name by which they were " commonly known," indicate that this was a re-organization, or a more perfect organization of a Christian community. In 1812, July 7, "The Society unanimously voted that the church give the Rev. Eli Hydef a call to preach at the City Meeting-house, Smithfield Society, with this proviso, that all proper means be used to unite the two societies, and that the meetings be proportioned at the two houses as they shall agree. The other "Society" and "House" refer to the Separate Meeting-house and Society,'! which was located about two miles south of the City. There are no records whatever or tradition that shows the origin of that society, or of its name, or the reason of any division among this excellent Christian people. Perhaps the cause of any strife is now happily forgotten. It is a reasonable theory, suggested by the name, and by a history§ of the times, that a part of the church at the City became Separatists, or New Lights, and withdrew from the old church, in the early history of the congregation, when so many of the churches were agitated by that schism. The conservative and safer sentiments! of the congregation seems to have prevail- * In front of this church edifice was a little grove ofoaks?one of which remains. Under the shade of this grove a great congregation were assembled, June 20, 1770, and heard a sermon by that wonderful preacher, George Whitefield. Every place where he ministered seems to have been remembered, and all who heard his discourse rehearsed it to the generations that came after them. The Rev. Eli Hyde came to this church from Oxford, Chenango county, N. Y. Rev. Job Swift, D.D., afterwards of Bennington, Vt., was minister at the City in 1782. X The Separate Meeting-house?now standing?was built some years before the revolutionary war. Rev. John Cornwall, of Cornwall, Conn., resided near and ministered there many years.
Reed, Newton. Early History of Amenia (Kindle Locations 838-841). Amenia, N.Y., De Lacey & Wiley, Printers. Kindle Edition.