First Methodist Episcopal (Stone) Church, Junius, Seneca Co., NY - NYGenWeb, part of the USGenWeb Project

First Methodist Episcopal (Stone) Church

"Manual of the Churches of Seneca County with sketches of their pastors, 1895-96", compiled and published by the Courier Printing Co., Seneca Falls, NY 1896. This transcription provided courtesy of Dianne Thomas

      The First society of Methodism in Junius was formed in a log school house just north of Magee Corners by Rev. Mr. North, a local preacher who had recently come to the town, and was located on the farm since known as the Malcolm Little place. The forming of the first class was the result of a powerful revival of religion which attended the faithful labors of this devoted man. Only one person survives who witnessed that time of refreshing, and was there and then converted, joined the first class, and gave this early history of our church to the Rev. H. Harpst. This person is Mrs. Labilla Porter. A school house was soon after built a little south of Magee Corner4s, and this former one abandoned. Our society was now transferred to the latter as the place of worship; but, abut 1825, meetings were commenced in a log school house, occupying precisely the spot where now stands the frame school house, near the present Stone church. This soon became a main center. The following are the ministers who served the charge previously to 1838: Reverands M. Nash, Palmer Roberts, J.Y. McKinney, John Shaw, Joseph Pearsall.
      February 20, 1838, Abel Birsey, Josiah B. Porter, James Stewart, Silas W. Vandermark, John McLean, Albert Sutherland, and Ray Twist, all since deceased, were present at a meeting at which it was decided that the Methodist society shall henceforth be called the First Methodist Episcopal Church in the town of Junius, and those persons were elected the first trustees of said church. December 17th, 1838, Silas Vandermark, Abel Birdsey, and Albert Sutherland were appointed a committee to take charge of and superintend the building of a House of Worship, Samuel Wooster being the preacher in charge. February 26th, 1839, Josiah B. Porter and Upton Nelson were elected trustees. At that meeting the following persons were present as voters: James Steward, Albert Sutherland, Josiah B. Porter, John TenEyck, Upton Nelson, John McLean, Abel Birdsey, Silas Vandemark, Gilbert Travis, John L. Hibbard, David Sutherland, Stephen Travis, Samuel J. Peck, Abraham Hill, Solomon Hill. February 26th, 1839, Silas Vandermark laid the cornerstone, and on August 22nd, 1839, the Stone church was dedicated in due form to the worship of Almighty God, Brother Silas Vandermark, assuming the unpaid debt of $500 on mortgage, toward which he ultimately, when canceled, gave another $100, having previously contributed $700. In the winter of 1839, under the ministration of Rev. Asa Story, a glorious revival of religion prevailed at which John L. Hibbard, brother of Sister Lancy Rodgers, was one of the first converts and became one of the chief supporters and pillars of the church. Of the old veterans who were instrumental in building the Stone church, Soloman Carman of Waterloo alone survives. The cost of the Stone church was $1,900 originally. A brick chapel, erected later at the cost of $1,000 was built by W.W. Runyan.
      The following preachers have served the charge since the house was built in 1839: Rev. Samuel Wooster, Rev. Asa Story, Rev. Joseph Pearsall, Rev. Bennett McKinney, Rev. John Shaw, Rev. Ralph Harrington, Rev. J.K. Tinkham (twice), Rev. Martin Wheeler, Rev. John Wooden, Rev. U.S. Hall, Rev. U. Harris, Rev. John Robinson., Rev. John Chapman, Rev. E. Latimer, Rev. Ralph Clapp, Rev. Deboyd Hutchins, Rev. J.H. Harpst (twice), Rev. Thomas Jolly, Rev. R.D. Edgar, Rev. Philip J. Bull, Rev. J. L. Edson, Rev. Thomas McMahon, Rev. W.W. Runyan, Rev. John M. Bull, Rev. Thomas McMullan, Rev. A.W. Webster, Rev. Thomas Dodd, Rev. J.Z. Kellogg, Rev. Francis A. Ball, Rev. James A. Roberts, Rev. C. Hinman, Rev. W.H. Bunnell, Rev. G.F. Robins. The following presiding elders have had charge of the district: Rev. Elijah Hibbard, Rev. M. Tooker, Rev. John Copeland, Rev. Dr. F.G. Hibbard, Rev. Moses Crow, Rev. John Nevins, Rev. J.M. Kellogg, Rev. Joseph Tuttle, Rev. Joseph Hogoboom, Rev. A.A. Sutherland, Rev. U.S. Beebe, Rev. Theron Cooper, Rev. Dr. L.C. Queal, Rev. J.C. Nichols, Rev. R.D. Munger. August 18, 1889, Rev. James A. Roberts and Rev. Gilbert Travis preached appropriate sermons to celebrate the semi-centennial anniversary of the building of the church, which still stands in excellent preservation.
      The officers of the church are: Bishop, Edward G. Andrews, D.D.; presiding elder, Rev. R.D. Munger; pastor G.F. Robins; stewards, George Story, Edward Payne, Walter Morehouse, Lena Pendill, John Seeber, John Lamson, Cora Lamson, George Risedorph, Lucy Phillips and Maggie Risedorph; trustees, G. Story, John Seeber and E. Payne; class leader, James Avery.

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