The following article is an exact transcription of a privately-printed booklet printed in 1925 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Newark Presbyterian Church. The copy for transcription was graciously donated by researcher Neal Smith. Thank you again Neal, for this and past contributions!
Rev. Cyrus Murray Creighton, D.D.
Our Church was organized by a Commission of Geneva Presbytery, consisting of Rev. Henry P. Strong and Francis Pomeroy, Ministers, and Elders, Enoch Wing and Ambrose Grow, on April 20th, 1825. Thirty-seven members were received by letter from the East Palmyra Presbyterian Church and twenty-three members from the Phelps Church, which is now the Oaks Corners Church.
After organization the church worshipped in the Town Hall and the Soverhill schoolhouse on alternate Sundays. Early in its history they decided to build a house of worship and the first building was erected in 1827 on the ground purchased for $100, where the present building now stands. A description of that building was written by the late Andrew D. Soverhill for the Semi-Centennial, 1875.
The old Church was of rectangular form, somewhat like the old Methodist Church, now the Village Hall. It was painted white and rested on a low stone wall, facing a bare common, now the park. There were two rows of four windows, of the same size in the rear, the lower lighting the main floor and vestibule, the upper lighting the galleries and stair landings. Upon the front there was one such window each side of the door and four windows in the upper section, the two middle ones lighting the Session room, which was over the vestibule. The steeple rose from the front gable in two sections, both square, the upper section the smaller and surmounted by a railing.
The entrance to the Church was by two steps and platform a little wider than the doorway, thence through double doors to the vestibule, which was built the same size as the present one, the floor extending across the Church its whole interior width.
On each side next the walls, a staircase led to an upper floor, from which an entrance was made to the galleries and also to the Session room. This room was used for meetings of the Session, prayer meetings, singing school, lectures, etc. It had raised seats along its north and south sides, those on the north for females, the south for males.
The main auditorium was entered from the vestibule by two doors, one each side of the pulpit, their outer casings even with the gallery front.
The gallery extended along the sides and across the east end, and it was supported by large turned pillars. The choir occupied the east end of the gallery.
The main floor contained four rows of pews which were largely the private property of their occupants, the moneys arising from their sale being used to build the Church. The pews were painted white, the same as the other woodwork and each inclosed by a door, on the front of which was its number in large black numerals, and on its top the owner's name on a brass plate. This ownership caused much trouble and friction after the building of its successor, some insisting upon and claiming the pews situated as nearly as they could locate them where their former pews were located. At first there were pews under the galleries between the doorways and the first columns facing the pulpit, but these were subsequently removed to make room for two large box stoves, capable of burning cord wood. On three sides of these open spaces were benches where people congregated on arriving and remained until sufficiently warm to take their pews. These stoves were an evidence and prophecy of prosperity and wealth which manifested itself later in the gradual introduction of footstools running the length of the pews, wooden cuspidors and thin cushions covered with red or green baize, according to the taste and standing of the owner. All, however, were not wealthy and all did not participae in these luxuries.
The pulpit was situated between the entrance doors and raised above the pews. It was reached by a stairway along the wall. The pulpit was square in form, furnishing room for a Bible and hymn book with candlesticks on either side. Its height was such that a medium sized man required a platform in order to see over the pulpit.
The above sketch gives one a fair idea of the first building, which was typical of the Church architecture of a century ago. There was a deficit of $500 when the Church was finished. Mr. Pliny Foster, an Elder, mortgaged his farm to raise this deficit. Money was scarce and wheat drawn to Albany by wagon brought only two shillings a bushel.
The corner stone of the first Church was laid under Masonic auspices in the month of June, 1827. The records of the Church, with some silver coins, were placed in the stone. After a few months the stone was pried from the foundation and the coins taken by parties unknown. In the autumn of 1827 the church was completed and dedicated.
By 1850 the congregation had outgrown the old first building and it was decided to remove it and construct a new one. It may be interesting to record that the corner stone of the old Church was used for the building erected in 1852, thus doing away with the myth that the original corner stone had been thrown in the canal on account of the anti-Masonic agitation of that period. When this new Church was about completed it was burned down by an incendiary, and the people who had sacrificed so much assembled with tears in their eyes as they saw their Church burned to the ground. On July 4, 1853, the congregation met and decided to rebuild. Mrs. Helen M. Williams, the oldest resident member of our Church recalls an interesting episode.
My acquaintance with the Presbyterian Church of Newark began in the early months of the year 1854. The congregation was worshiping in the lower rooms of the building, as the audience room was not yet finished. A previous structure in process of erection had been destroyed by fire some two years before. In this connection the writer recalls hearing from the pulpit of the Brick Presbyterian Church of Rochester an appeal for aid in constructing a new Church building to succeed one which had been burned. The speaker read from Isaiah 64:11, "Our holy and our beautiful house where our fathers praised Thee, is burned with fire, and all our pleasant things are laid waste." There can be little doubt that the preacher was the Rev. G.R.H. Shumway, who had at this time been pastor of the Newark Church for ten years.
The new building was completed that year. The people rallied to the work of securing funds once more for their Church home. Mr. Joseph Miller and Mr. A.F. Cressy again gave $1000.00 each and the requisite sum of $12,000 was again pledged, leaving the financial condition most hopeful when the work was done. The Church was dedicated March 8, 1855.
Mrs. Williams continues her story in the following manner:
That "the people had a mind to work" was shown by the untiring industry with which the women worked in making cushions for every pew, in furnishing the pulpit chairs and a carpet for the entire floor of the audience room.
The Sunday school room was seated with portable benches of wood, having reversible backs which proved a convenience oftentimes in bringing teachers and scholars face to face. As these lower rooms were undisturbed in the building of the present new church, it may be said that the prayer meeting room was the one now known as the Nevin Class room. The seats were placed on the sides, having a central aisle reaching from the door to the desk, which was at the east end of the room.
It was the custom at that time for the men to occupy the seats on the south side, and if by chance a tardy housewife found the seats on her side of the room all taken, it was not without evident embarrassment that she took a seat among the brethren.
The weekly prayer meeting for many years was held on Friday at 2 P.M., and rarely indeed were the officers of the church absent.
In 1875 the building was greatly improved by adding a commanding front, removing the old-fashioned shutters from the windows and putting new windows in the Church. The galleries were removed and an alcove built on the east end for the organ and choir loft.
These improvements cost about $12,000, and were made during the earlier part of the pastorate of Rev. A. Parke Burgess. This enlarged and remodelled building served the needs of the church for many years and it was replaced and absorbed by the present building.
On November 14, 1913, the pastor called an informal meeting of about twenty-five men to talk over the matter of doing something toward building. The Nevin Bible Class had been meeting in the main auditorium of the Church and made a proposal that they build a ground floor room for their class by putting a partition across the east end of the old Sunday school room. They had representatives at this informal meeting and the whole matter was discussed thoroughly. It became evident that the Church was lacking in Sunday School room, and to take part of this room for the Nevin Class would still more handicap our Sunday School. A unanimous sentiment soon prevailed that the only wise thing to do was to look the whole subject of a new Church plainly in the face and see what could be done. A committee was named, consisting of W.C. Burgess, W.T. Peirson, Charles R. Clark, W.T. Purchase, and C.P.H. Vary, and they were instructed to take the matter of a new Church under consideration and report to a later meeting.
On December 5th, 1913, an architect came to Newark to look over the property and the committee discussed the problem with him. He subsequently submitted a floor plan of what he thought was the type of building we needed. This plan was carefully studied by the committee.
A larger number of men was called to meet in the old Sunday School room to hear the report of this committee. At this meeting we discussed the various ideas of remodeling the old Church as well as the subject of an entirely new building. After a full discussion each man expressed himself as in favor of a new building. Furthermore, the men decided that the next step to take was to present to the annual meeting of the society, which would meet in the early part of January, a full statement of what we had found out regarding the real needs of the Church, the new building, its cost and purposes.
At the annual meeting, Jan. 5th, 1914, after the regular business of the meeting had been disposed of, Mr. C.P.H. Vary offered the following resolution: "Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting that immediate steps be taken by the Presbyterian Society of Newark, New YOrk, to erect a suitable Church edifice." The chairman of the meeting, Mr. W.T. Purchase, called for a discussion of this resolution and after a full debate it was carried, with but two or three dissenting votes.
It was then moved by Mr. Frank Garlock and seconded by Mr. W.H. Nicholoy that the chairman of this meeting appoint a committee to make out a scheme to finance the effort. It was moved that when this meeting adjourn it adjourn to meet on Tuesday evening, February 3rd, 1914, to hear the reports of these committees. By resolution of the society the pastor was made an ex-officio member of all committees.
Plans Committee: Mr. C.P.H. Vary, chairman; Mr. W.C. Burgess, Mr. Charles R. Clark, Mr. Charles O. Warner, Mrs. T.E. Elliott, and Mrs. C.W. Winspear, with the pastor, Rev. C.M. Creighton.
The Finance Committee: Mr. W.T. Peirson, chairman; Mr. A.E. Williams, Mr. Frank Garlock, Mr. George A. Burnham, Mr. W.B. Rupert, Dr. E.A. Nevin, and by resolution of the meeting, Mr. W.T. Purchase.
At the adjourned meeting held on Feb. 3rd, pursuant to the call of the Chairman of the society, the Plans Committee reported that after going over the whole matter most carefully, the plans submitted by the architect, Mr. H.L. Larzelere, seemed to them to approach most nearly to what they had in mind for the new building. The committee asked the society to allow them to engage the services of Mr. H.L. Larzelere, provided suitable terms could be agreed upon and that the plans submitted by him be adopted by the society with such modifications as might seem wise to the committee. A motion made by Mr. Williams, and seconded by Mr. E.V. Peirson, that the report of the Plans Committee be adopted and their recommendations approved was carried unanimously.
The Finance Committee, through its Chairman, Mr. W.T. Peirson, made a report that their plan was to extend the subscriptions for the new Church over a period of four years.
Mr. W.H. Nicholoy was appointed a special committee to solicit funds from persons who once were members of this Church, but are now living in other parts of the country.
Twenty committees of two were appointed to canvass the congregation for subscriptions during the week of Feb. 15th to 22nd, and this week was advertised as the time for general subscriptions for the Building Fund of the new Church.
These plans submitted to the society all had in mind making the old church over into a social center for the whole community, which seemed to all to be the need of our village. The meeting adjourned, to meet March 3rd, 1914.
At the meeting March 3rd, 1914, the plans for the building had not been completed by the architect and the society discussed the whole subject of the use to which the old building should be put. The meeting adjourned to April 7th, 1914.
At the meeting on April 7th, 1914, the Finance Committee reported that the amount raised by subscription was $17.500. At this meeting various resolutions were offered, suggesting financial schemes, but the general plan of the Finance Committee was adhered to by the society. Mr. Charles R. Clark offered a motion that the Chairman of the meeting appoint a Building Committee, which was subsequently done, consisting of the following persons: Mr. R. Spencer Post, chairman; Mr. John H. Fortmiller, Mr. E.V. Peirson, Mr. Charles Crothers, Mr. C.P.H. Vary, and the pastor, Rev. C.M. Creighton. Mr. Crothers subsequently resigned from the committee. The meeting adjourned, to meet May 19th, 1914.
At the adjourned meeting, May 19th, 1914, Mr. A.E. Williams reported that Mr. W.T. Peirson had been elected treasurer of the Building Fund, and that the subscriptions to date amounted to $22,850. The Building Committee reported that it met on May 9th, 1914, and organized, making Mr. John H. Fortmiller, secretary. Mr. Post also reported that the Building Committee was working on plans suggested by the Plans Committee. These reports were accepted and adopted by the society. The meeting adjourned to meet again at the call of the Chairman.
The Building Committee and the Plans Committee realized that the project which was in mind was more than the society could possibly hope to finance, and so the plans were modified from time to time so as to eliminate the social center scheme in part, and at the same time use the old Church as a Sunday School building with modern equipment. This matter was discussed at length at the annual meeting of the society Jan. 4th, 1915.
The complete modified plans were presented to the society at the adjourned meeting held April 8th, 1915. These plans were accepted and adopted by the society and the Trustees were empowered to make such arrangements as seemed to them best to facilitate the work of the new building. At this meeting also the Building Committee made a full report of its work with the estimated cost of the new building.
Ground was broken for the new structure on April 8th, 1915. Mr. Charles W. VanBuren of Newark, New York, was awarded the general contract, with H.L. Larzelere as supervising architect.
The cornerstone of the new Church was laid July 30th, 1915. Rev. John Chester Ball, pastor of the Church from 1901-1904, was present and made an address. Rev. Carl W. Scovel, pastor of the Church from 1905-1912, was also present and made an address. The cornerstone was laid by the Chairman of the Building Committee, Mr. R. Spencer Post. The following documents were plaed in the box in the cornerstone: Names of former Pastors, names of all Ruling Elders, the Deacons, the Trustees, the Plans Committee, the Building Committee, the Finance Committee, the list of all Subscribers, the Financial Statement for 1915, Programme of Semi-Centennial 1875, the Roll of the Church, the Local Newspapers, a Form of Pledge to the Building Committee, a Certificate of Payment, a Photograph - Interior and Exterior of Old Church, a Copy of the Church Bulletin and a Copy of the Program of Laying the Cornerstone.
The Church occupies a beautiful site at the east end of the village park. It is of classic architecture, having an imposing entrance on the park.
The auditorium, built to the north of the old Church and opening into it by six sliding doors, is sixty-six feet wide by seventy-four in length and has a seating capacity of six hundred fifty. The auditorium is finished in fumed oak and the decorations are in two colors, buff colored walls and cream colored ceiling.
The Sunday School rooms are built around a half circle in the old Church edifice, the superintendent's desk facing the south, the class rooms, twenty in all, being built along the west, south, and east ends of the old auditorium. Across the old Church a partition cuts off a room 22x56 on the east end and is used for the Primary Department. Above this room of the same dimensions is a room used by the Junior Department of the Sunday School. A balcony around the semi-circle accommodates Intermediate classes for the school.
The kitchen and dining room are under the new auditorium and are modern in every way. The seating capaity of the new dining room is about three hundred.
The former Sunday School room of the old Church is left as it was and is used for a play room. There is a men's room with a shower bath on the west end of the old Sunday School room and the ladies' rooms are under the main entrance of the new building.
The Men's Bible Class meets in the old Sunday School room and the old Primary room is used for social purposes. A parlor and rest room is made of the old kitchen, enlarged to a room 22x32 and finished with hard wood floor and beautiful furniture.
The combined seating capacity of the auditorium and the Sunday school room when thrown together is about 1000.
A modern lighting system has been installed and the effect is most pleasing.
The building is heated by a battery of hot air furnaces and a fan system, which forces the hot air over the entire building. A vacuum cleaner is installed and used for keeping the whole building clean.
An acousticon provides for the deaf of the congregation.
Taking into account the fat that the old building was used in its entirety, we have a modern Church that will meet the needs of the village for many years to come.
New furniture has been provided in the whole building and the organ has been remodelled with four new stops added and a new case and console built.
The entire cost of the building, including the furnishings, is $72,000.
During the building of our Church the above picture gives the Session. Mr. Pullman, Mr. Cleveland, and Mr. Bryant have died, Mr. Harry Brown has moved to Mt. Morris, N.Y.
TRUSTEES DURING 1915-16
Standing, left to right - John H. Fortmiller, E.V. Peirson, W.T. Peirson.
Seated - Joseph W. Mclellan, W.S. Goodsell.
Mr. Mllellan and Mr. Goodsell have since died.
Mr. E.V. Perison, Mr. R. Spencer Post, Mr. John H. Fortmiller, Mr. C.P.H. Vary
Mr. Post has removed to St. Petersburg, Florida. He was ___ upon whom the responsibility rested for the construction of the Church.
Mr. Post gave the first $1000 to the Building Fund, and on assurance that the Church would raise its entire indebtedness by April 20th, 1925, has promised $500.00
We have fulfilled the contract as the Church begins its second century of life with the whole indebtedness subscribed.
All the windows of the auditorium are furnished by families and classes with one of the Sunday School windows furnished by the Foster Bible Class.
The windows were placed in the Church under the supervision of the Window Committee, Mr. W.H. Nicholoy, Mr. W.C. Burgess, and Rev. C.M. Creighton.
|The East Chancel Window||The Bethel Class|
|The West Chancel Window||The Aldine Class|
|The West Window||The Peirson-Bailey Family|
|The West Balcony Window||The Nicholoy Family|
|The East Window - 2 North Panels||J.P. Welcher Family|
|The East Window - 3 Center Panels||The Philomathean Class|
|The East Window - 2 South Panels||Mrs. M.H. Wilbur|
|The Est Balcony Window||Mrs. Nancy D. Burnham|
|The West Gable Window||Miss Ethel Williams|
|The West Sunday School Window||The Foster Bible Class|
The Burgess Memorial window was removed from its place in the north elevation of the old church when that part of the wall was torn away, and placed in the southeast corner of the old building in the present primary room.
|Communion Table, Pulpit Furniture||Mrs. Emma Mott Garlock and Miss Alice L. Mott|
|Pews||The Ladies'Aid Society|
|Acousticon||Mr. and Mrs. C.P.H. Vary|
|Carpet||The Ladies' Aid Society|
|Dishes||Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Williams|
|Nevin Class Chairs and Tables||Mr. and Mrs. Byron Thomas|
|Three Parlor Chairs||Miss Ethel Williams|
|One Parlor Table||J. Stuerwald & Son|
|Sunday School Center Light Fixture||The Owego Class|
|The Center Light Fixture in Auditorium||The Aldine Class|
|Equipment for Play Room||James Edgett, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Conover|
|Sunday School Chairs||Miss Margaret Peirson|
|Mirror for Men's Room||W.B. Roche|
|The Pulpit Bible||Mrs. Frank Jessup|
|Sunday School Desk||Miss McLaughlin, Mrs. W.T. Peirson, Mr. Waldo Dunn, Mr. E.V. Peirson, Mr. Fred Stuerwald|
|Bronze Church Tablet||Miss Eva Beal|
|Parlor Couch The Home||Department of the Sunday School|
|Two Jardinieres||Mrs. Blanche Nellis Sutton|
|The Baptismal Font||Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Perkins in 1895|
|Architect||H.L. Larzelere, Rochester|
|General Contractor||C.W. VanBuren, Newark|
|Windows||M.T. Lamb, Brooklyn|
|Heating and Ventilating||Kelsey Heating Co., Syracuse|
|Plumbing and Roofing||Garlock Hardware Co., Newark|
|Electric Wiring||Beach Electric Co., Newark|
|Lighting Fixtures||Wheeler-Green Electric Co., Rochester|
|Vacuum Cleaner||Wheeler-Green Electric Co., Rochester|
|Mill Work||S.N. Keener Co., Newark|
|Decorating||E.D. Colburn & Co., Newark|
|Pews, Pulpit, etc.||Dittmar Furniture Co., Williamsport, Pa.|
|Sunday School Chairs||Empire Seating Co., Rochester|
|Choir Chairs, etc.||J. Stuerwald & Son, Newark|
|Carpet||Howe & Rogers Co., Rochester|
|Organ||C.M. Topliff, Rochester|
|Acousticon||General Acousticon Co., Rochester|
|Interior Glass||J.H. Gustafson, Rochester|
Rev. Adam Campbell, 1826-1828
Rev. Peter Kanouse, 1828-1830
Rev. James Boyle, 1830-31
Mr. Boyle was a Canadian by birth and had begun his preparation for the Priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a noted evangelist and over eighty persons united with the church during his short pastorate. He subsequently relinquished the work of the ministry and became an anti-slavery lecturer, and later practiced medicine. He was a man of great eloquence.
Rev. Henry Snyder, 1831-32
In 1832 there were thirty-five members given letters to establish a Church in Port Gibson. This Church did not live long, and the members were given letters to East Palmyra, and some returned to Newark.
Rev. James Ware, 1832-35
Mr. Ware was a rather eccentric man in some ways. During his ministry here his wife died, and neither at the funeral nor afterward would Mr. Ware allow his friends to wear black, saying, "We sorrow not as those who have no hope," we should wear white instead of black and rejoice with those in glory.
He preached a strong sermon on the proper expressions of mourning and so great was the impression made that few for several years used black while in mourning.
Rev. George W. Elliott, 1835-36
During his ministry thirty-one persons united with the Church.
Rev. David Cushing, 1837-43
Mr. Cushing was a man of ability in the pulpit, but seemed to lack balance in finance and organization. The bell that now calls us to worship was bought during his pastorate. He seems to have paid for the bell out of his own funds and years later when he was forced to resign because of serious disagreements in the congregation, he asked the Church to buy the bell. This they refused to do at first, but when workmen appeared one morning to take the bell out of the tower a settlement was made and the bell is with us still. So serious had the situation become between the pastor and the people that Presbytery dissolveld the pastoral relation.
Rev. George R.H. Shumway, 1844-69
Mr. Shumway was a remarkable man in many ways. He was first of all a scholar. He gave the historical address in 1857 when Lyons Presbytery was set off from the Geneva Presbytery. That pamphlet is in the possession of several members of our society at this time.
Mr. Shumway was here during the Civil War and his strong Unionist preaching gave much offense to some of the congregation.
On the occasion of his 25th anniversary and his closing of his ministry a notable service was held in which Hon. Demas Barnes of New York and other participated. Mr. Stephen K. Williams presented to Mr. Shumway a testimonial and a purse of $1900, contributed by friends inside the Church as well as those abroad. Mr. Shumway died in 1874.
Rev. A.C. Sewall, 1870-72
While a student in the Auburn Seminary Mr. Sewall was asked to supply the pulpit until the end of the seminary year. On September 5th, 1870, the Church called Mr. Sewall to the pastorate and the call was accepted. The Lyons Presbytery met in this Church and after examination, ordained Mr. Sewall to the gospel ministry and proceeded to install him pastor over the Church. Rev. Dr. Conditt of Auburn Seminary preached the installation sermon. Dr. Sewall, father of the young minister, gave the charge to the pastor-elect, and Dr. Eaton of Palmyara the charge to the people. This is the only ordination and installation of a pastor-elect held in this Church during the century of its existence. The society purchased the building now used as the Newark Hospital for a manse. To the manse Mr. Sewall in due time brought his bride, whose lovable nature and social gifts made her at once a general favorite. To them in this home was born their only son, Rev. Charles G. Sewall, now pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Rye, N.Y.
"I wish that my dear father were able to send you his own greetings, which would be affectionate and hearty. That being impossible, let me say for him what I am sure he would say. May God's rich blessing rest upon you all and upon the Church which has just completed its first hundred years of service. May a spirit of enthusiasm and zeal pervade all your anniversary celebration, and may the next hundred years be filled with better work and larger service than the last."
Rev. William R. Young, 1873-74
"Mr. Young was here only ten months as supply to the pulpit. He performed the marriage ceremony for Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Williams. Mr. Young was drowned in Maryland shortly after leaving Newark.
Rev. A. Parke Burgess, D.D., 1874-1900
"On February 16th, 1874, Dr. Burgess was called to this Church. During his long ministry he was never installed pastor, but acted as Stated Supply for twenty-six years.
"Dr. Burgess was a man of culture and musical ability. His book of verse, published by his sons after his death, is worthy of the fine character which was his. During his pastorate he had a record of seven thousand five hundred pastoral calls, three hundred and fifty weddings, and over eight hundred funerals. He was in truth the pastor at large for this whole community.
"Dr. Burgess organized a Christina Endeavor Society in this Church, which was the third society in the United States. Through his guidance the Church adopted the individual Communion cups.
"He was a man ahead of his time in many ways, especially in his broad interpretation of the Christian life and experience.
"On March 1st, 1900, Dr. Burgess resigned as minister from this Church, after spending twenty-six of the best years of his life in her service. Among his papers after his death was found the following poetical tribute to the Church:
THE OLD CHURCH Good bye, old Church, if this must be
My life and love were given thee;
My holiest faith and fondest thought
Into thy very walls are wrought,
And every fresco tint is fair
With fadeless memories painted there.
Good bye, old Church.
"On the evening of August 29th, 1901, coming from Sodus Bluff to Newark, Dr. and Mrs. Burgess were fatally injured in a wreck of the Northern Central R.R., both dying the following day.
"The life work of Dr. and Mrs. Burgess is set forth in a book "In Memoriam," edited by their sons, W.C. and F.D. Burgess, who are living in Newark at the present time.
Rev. John Chester Ball, 1900-1904
"John Chester Ball, son of Chester A. and Margaret (McLean) Ball, was born in Vernon Center, N.Y., November 11, 1861. He enrolled in Oberlin in 1885 as a freshman, and was graduated in 1889, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He took his theological course in Auburn Seminary, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1892. With the exception of the three year period form 1904 to 1907, when he was President of Keuka College, N.Y., his entire life after graduation from the seminary was spent in the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, his various charges being in Pompey, N.Y., Utica, N.Y., Newark, N.Y., Corning, N.Y., and Oil City, Pa. In September, 1919, he suffered a partial stroke of apoplexy while speaking in his Church in Oil City, and from this he never recovered. The Church granted him a leave of absence until April, 1920, but in June, 1920, he resigned the pastorate and returned to Corning. He died at the hospital in Corning, March 14th, 1922. He was married May 25th, 1892, to Mary E. Tracy of Oberlin. He is survived by his wife, by a sister, Mrs. Miriam B. Feller, and a son, Ralph Blackmar Ball, of Philadelphia.
Rev. Carl Wadsworth Scovel, 1905-1912
"Mr. Scovel was born at Lakeville, N.Y., the son of Rev. Dwight Scovel and Ellen Wadsworth Scovel, who was the daughter of Rev. Charles Wadsworth, a Presbyterian minister who organized the Church at Richfield Spa.
"Mr. Scovel graduated from Hamilton College in the class of 1888, and went as a teacher to Robert College, Constantinople, where he spent three years. Returning to America he graduated from the Auburn Theological Seminary in 1894. He was assistant pastor at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, and later pastor of the Babcock Memorial Churh of the same city, from which Church he was called to the pastorate of the Newark Church in 1905.
"In 1912 Mr. Scovel was called to the First Presbyterian Church of Cortland, N.Y., where this week they are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Church's life.
"Frederick Scovel, their only child, graduates from Hamilton College this year.
Rev. Cyrus Murray Creighton, 1913- "Born in Douglastown, New Brunswick, Canada, Mr. Creighton came to the States in 1888. He is a graduate of Park College, Parkville, Missouri, in the class of 1897, and of the McCormick Theological Seminary in 1900. His first pastorate was in Pewee Valley, Ky. While pastor there he made the trip through Palestine and in 1905 married Miss Bertha Baldwin of Delavan, Illinois. During the school year of 1906-7 they spent seven months in Edinburgh, Scotland. On returning to the States a call to the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church of Ypsilanti, Michigan, was accepted, and he was pastor of that Church till 1911. On account of a serious surgical operation, the following year was spent in California.
"In 1913 he was called to the Church in Newark and began work the first Sunday of April, 1913.
"During the present pastorate the new Church was built, greatly to the credit of this congregation, and we all rejoice that the entire indebtedness of the building project is subscribed for in full.
"Harriet Baldwin Creighton is their only child, who graduated from the Newark High School in the class of 1924.
Elders from 1825-1925
John G. Kanouse
James H. Reeves
John N. Harder
Joseph A. Miller
Samuel R. Tracy
Bailey D. Foster
Stephen O. Bryant
Silas S. Peirson
James R. Garlock
John R. Westfall
A. Eugene Williams
B. Pliny Foster
George W. Luce
John H. Fortmiller
James J. Mallery
S. Ray Peirson
Frank P. Bartleson
Robert L. VanDeusen
Ray W. Marble
Warner C. Landfield
Marvin C. Welcher
Ward B. Pulver
Thomas R. Loomis
John G. Kanouse
Samuel R. Tracy
John P. VanDeusen
B. Pliny Foster
It is impossible to give a complete roster of the present membership, which numbers seven hundred and over.
April 20th, 1825
From East Palmyra
Peter J. Landres
Isaiah Robinson and Wife
From Oaks Corners (Phelps)
Theodore Partridge and Wife
Isaac Hathaway and Wife
Silas Hathaway and Wife
Bethuel Dodd and Wife, Anna
John G. Kanouse & Wife, Elizabeth
Peter Cook and Wife, Rachel
Peter VanBlaricum and Wife, Mary
Sally Lusk Luverna Sears
Rev. Milan B. Williams
Rev. Louis A. Peirson
Rev. Manfred P. Welcher
Rev. Willard Cooper, Missionary to Siam
Miss Lorissa Cooper, Missionary to Siam
Miss Cora M. Stone, Missionary to Japan
Lindsay S.B. Hadley, Missionary to China, now in work among Mountaineers, U.S.A.
Miss Flora Cronise, Missionary to Africa
Mrs. Mary Brenton [Miss Minnie Foster], Missionary to China
Miss Grace Woodside, Missionary to India
Miss S. Eugenia Nicholoy, Berry School
Roger M. Allerton
Charles H. Baldwin
W. Everett Nicholoy
Francis S. Chambers
Paul V. Fortmiller
Albert L. Reigner
Roy W. Robinson
Miss Helen M. Spear
S. Carlyle Stratton
Leslie H. Vialis
Edwin W. York
The Pastor served for some weeks with the Y.M.C.A. at Camp Dix, N.J., during the first part of the year, 1918.
Rev. C.M. Creighton, D.D., Moderator
Mr. E.H. Clark, Clerk
Mr. F.P. Bartleson
Mr. John Elve
Mr. John H. Fortmiller
Mr. B. Pliny Foster
Mr. J.J. Boynton
Mr. W.H. Nicholoy
Mr. W.C. Landfield
Mr. A.E. Williams
Mr. R.L. VanDeusen
Mr. S. Ray Peirson
Mr. R.W. Marble
Mr. F.E. Thompson, Chairman
Mr. Staniland Scarth, Clerk
Mr. P.H. Collins
Mr. Willard B. Garlock
Mr. Morris R. Clark
There are no records that would show the exact date of the organization of the first Sunday School. However, during the pastorate of Mr. Shumway the school increased and was kept open during the entire year, while before that only summer sessions were held. The Sunday School has been maintained all these years by the unselfish devotion of people who have taught and contributed their money toward its advancement.
General Supt., Mr. Frank P. Bartleson
Asst. Supt., Mr. John H. Fortmiller
Secretary, Miss Elizabeth Wright
Treasurer, Mrs. Archie G. Leroux
Secretary of Literature, Miss Ethel Williams
Leader, Miss Isabel Foster
Assistant, Mrs. Clarence Lindstrom
Supt., Miss Winifred LaPointe
Teachers - Miss Sarah Pardee, Miss Beryl Ellis, Miss Vida Thomas, Miss Virginia Ehrhardt, Mrs. J. Herve Reeves, Mrs. George Unger, Miss Helen Wenban, Mrs. John LeClair
Supt., Mrs. S. Peirson Price
Teachers - Mrs. Gordon Meyer, Miss E.L. Flood, Miss Louise Bryant, Miss Martha Leroux, Mrs. Earl Welcher, Miss Bertha Frey, Miss Marion Bingham
Supt., Mr. Frank P. Bartleson
Teachers - Mr. A.E. Williams, Mr. E.H. Clark, Miss Eva Beal, Miss Eldyth Proper, Mrs. Frank P. Bartleson, Mrs. Edith Green, Mrs. B.P. Foster, Dr. E.A. Nevin
President - Miss Eva Wilder
Vice-President - Mrs. Irwin Frey
Secretary - Mrs. Vernon Gridley
Treasurer - Miss Sarah Pardee
President - Mrs. Morris R. Clark
Vice-President - Miss Laura Leroux
Secretary - Mrs. Erwin Thomas
Treasurer - Mrs. Willard B. Garlock
President - Mr. Willard B. Garlock
Vice-President - Mr. R.W. Marble
Secretary-Treasurer - Mr. Charles A. Welcher
Teacher - Mr. A.E. Williams
President - Mrs. J.A. Partridge
Vice-President - Mrs. George H. Rankert
Secretary - Mrs. Mary Pardee
Treasurer - Mrs. O.R. Tillotson
Chaplain - Miss Eldyth Proper
Alpha - Miss Helen Knox
Beta - Miss Vida Thomas
Purser - Miss Hazel Howland
Scribe - Miss Martha Leroux
Mrs. F.P. Bartleson, Teacher
President - Mildred Thomas
Vice-President - Sarah price
Secretary - Evelyn Fortmiller
Treasurer - Dorothy Vanderbrook
The formation of this Society was due to the interest in Mission work and the desire for greater knowledge of it on the part of a small band of women who gathered in the Sunday School room fifty years ago, to organize a Foreign Missionary Society.
The first officers were Miss Anna Blackmar, president; Mrs. S.A. Peirson (later Mrs. VanBenschoten), vice-president; Miss Eva Hill, secretary; Miss Minnie Cronise, treasurer.
A History of the Society from its beginning was prepared by Mrs. E.B. Elliott, read at the Fiftieth Anniversary, in 1924, and a copy is in the safe of the Church.
The present officers of the Society are:
President - Mrs. L.H. VanTassel
First Vice-President - Mrs. J.L. Metcalf
Second Vice-President - Mrs. C.M. Creighton
Secretary - Mrs. L.H. Wheat
Treasurer - Mrs. Carl K. VanEtten
Secretary of Literature - Mrs. Minnie Sedgwick
Secretary of Stewardship - Mrs. B.P. Foster
Secretary of Associate Members - Mrs. J.L. Vialls
Patroness of Young People - Mrs. Gordon Meyer
Chairman of Visiting Committee - Mrs. George Nye
Sewing Committee - Mrs. R.W. Jessup, chairman; Mrs. Fred Stuerwald, Mrs. E.T. Dunn, Mrs. Walter Muth, Mrs. A.D. Snyder, Mrs. F.J. Kopp
Box Committee - Mrs. George C. Peirson, chairman
Committee on Resolutions - Mrs. Abram D. Smith, Mrs. E.B. Elliott
Program meetings - Second Friday of each month at three o'clock, excepting June, September, and November at 3:30.
Sewing meetings - Third Friday of each month at 2:30 o'clock.
While this organization has been in existence for a long time in the Church, there are no exact records previous to 1890. The late Mrs. E.K. Burnham, for so many years an efficient worker in this Society, prepared a history of the organization from its beginning to 1905. A copy of this paper is in the safe of the Church.
The ladies meet each week to work, and every year they make a substantial contribution to the finances of the Church.
The present officers of the Society are:
President - Mrs. Frank Wright
Vice-President - Mrs. W. Burcroff
Secretary - Mrs. C. Conklin
Treasurer - Mrs. A.E. Williams
Since the very beginning this church has had excellent music. The late L.J. Bryant read a paper on the History of the Choir, in which he had sung for over sixty years. He gives a complete list of the leaders of the choir, and this valuable paper is on file in the safe of the Church. In the early days the leader of the choir was paid a small stipend, but generally the salary was traded out for use of certain rooms in the church for music classes which the leader had in the village.
Our choir today numbers about thirty voices with occasional outside soloists from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.
In the first days of the church the only instrument used was the bass viol, played by Mr. A.F. Cressy. About 1848 a small melodeon was used, which is still in the possession of the Church, but sadly out of condition.
In 1870 a committee was appointed to look into the matter of a new organ for the Church. Mr. W.H. Nicholoy, Mr. Fairchilds, and Mr. Cressy were the members of this committee. They bought an organ from Andrews, Utica, N.Y. On March 8th, 1872, the organ was dedicated and a recital given by Mr. Herve D. Wilkins of Rochester, N.Y.
About the year 1890-1 the organ was moved from the west end of the Church and placed in the alcove in the east end, which had been erected in 1875, when extensive improvements had been made on the building.
When the present Church was built the organ was stored and after the completion of the building it was again installed in the Church with great improvements, made by Mr. C.M. Topliff, Rochester. A new console, four new stops, and a new case were added. The organ is a beautiful toned instrument, especially the wood pipes, which have gained in timbre with age.
Mr. Newton Pashley, a student of organ in the Eastman School of Music, is the accomplished organist and choir director.
SUNDAY MORNING, APRIL 19TH
Historical Sermon - Rev. C.M. Creighton, D.D.
"Call him not old, whose visionary brain
Holds o'er the past its undivided reign,
Turn to the record where his years are told -
Count his grey hairs - they cannot make him old."
TUESDAY EVENING, 8 O'CLOCK
Address - Rev. Sherman L. Divine, D.D.
Central Church, Rochester, New York
Then sow - for the hours are fleeting,
And the seed must fall today;
And care not what hands shall reap it,
Or if you shall have passed away
Before the waving cornfields
Shall gladden the sunny day.
FRIDAY EVENING, APRIL 24TH
Fellowship Supper at 6:30
Rev. George Black Stewart, D.D., President Auburn Seminary
Rev. Carl Wadsworth Scovel, Pastor, Cortland, New York
Rev. Thomas Tighe, Palmyra, N.Y.
Rev. Frank A. Boyd, Pastor M.E. Church, Newark, N.Y.
Mr. W.C. Burgess, son of Rev. A. Parke Burgess, D.D.
Mr. E.V. Peirson President First National Bank, Newark, N.Y.
Note:- Mrs. Pliny Foster and Mrs. Alice Reeves have charge of an historical exhibit in the Sunday School room.
SUNDAY, APRIL 36TH
Sermon - Rev. C.M. Creighton, D.D.
"What can we do, o'er whom the unbeholden
Hangs in a night with which we canot cope?
What but look sunward, and with faces golden
Speak to each other softly of a hope?"
SUNDAY, APRIL 19TH, A.M.
A. Prelude, Adagio (From 5th Sonata) - Guilmant
Anthem, Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace - West
Offertory, Even Me - Warren
Quartette - Mrs. Gordon Harris, Mrs. C.M. Creighton, Mr. Franklin Young, Mr. Elias D. Croucher
TUESDAY EVENING, APRIL 21ST
A. Allegro (5th Sonata) - Guilmant
B. Will o' the Wisp - Nevin
C. Volga Boatman's Song - (Russian Folk Song)
Opening Choral, The Lord is in His Holy Temple
Anthem, Unto Thee, O Lord, I Life Up My Voice - Henrich
Response after Scripture, Bless the Lord, O My Soul - Ippolitoff-Ivanoft
Offertory - Mr. Franklin Young
FRIDAY EVENING, APRIL 24TH
Familiar Hymns will be sung, led by the girls of the Choir.
SUNDAY, APRIL 26TH
Prelude, In Summer - Stebbins
Anthem, The Lord is My Strength - Nevin
Offertory - Mrs. F.C. Donnelly
If thou to hardship now enure
The soul, in this life's overture
To greater music, we entreat
That we, through darkness, death, defeat,
May triumph in Thy triumph sure
Members received by letter - 201
Members received on profession of faith - 211
Members granted letters to other churches - 187
Baptisms - 169
Funerals attended - 314 Marriages - 132
Total amount for current expenses - $139,700
Total for benevolences - 28,787
Average for year - $14,000
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