New Horizons Genealogy

"Specializing in New England and New York Colonial American Ancestry"

Pastors Of The
Presbyterian Church
Town of Greenville
Greene County New York

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The dates that follow the pastors' names cover the periods that they served the church. The list covers only the period for which the church records have been transcribed or abstracted.

HOTCHKIN, Beriah, 1792 to Sept. 7, 1824. Installed, June 18, 1794. "He was born in Guilford, CT, Mar. 27, 1752. The circumstances of the family precluded the idea of educating their son, and he was apprenticed to the trade of a tanner, currier, and shoemaker, which useful trade he followed till past 30 years of age. He was thoughtful and studious from a child, and eagerly improved every opportunity to cultivate his mind, until in 1785, he received license to preach, from the Morris County Associated Presbytery. Before coming here he was pastor of the Congregational Church in Guilford, CT, his native place. He was ordained and installed there in 1785. Rev. Benjamin Trumbull and Jonathan Edwards took part in the services. He preached his first sermon in Greenville, Apr. 5, 1789, in Benjamin Spees' barn. He soon returned to his old home, but remained there but a short time. In the Spring of 1789 [?] he returned with his family. He preached on what was then called Leet's Hill, East Durham. He was unanimously invited to take charge of the church here, and was offered the round sum of 275 3s 9d. per annum, with the bonus of 50 acres of land, embracing Botsford's Hill and the meadows lying between it and the brook. He built the old kitchen belonging to the residence of Nelson Knowles, on the north side of this tract. It contained but one room, but made him a comfortable home. He accepted the call, and in 1793 [error] he came for the third time among the people to whom he devoted the remainder of his life.

In 1824, he retired from the pulpit. He died at Plattsburg, NY, Jan. 26, 1829.

Extracted from Beers' History of Greene County, pp. 304-5.

At a church meeting, held on Apr. 18, 1794, it was "voted that this ch. do give Rev. Beriah Hotchkin a call to settle with us in the work of the gospel ministry." A council was called of the churches in Sheffield, Egremont (?), New Canaan, Spencertown, Green River and Rensselaerville, and Rev. Beriah Hotchkin was duly installed on June 18, 1794.

On Aug. 25, 1824, Rev. Beriah Hotchkin applied to be relieved from the pastoral charge, on account of the infirmities of age. In his letter he stated that he "was called to the work of the Gospel Ministry among you in the year of our Lord 1792" and "as your Pastor I have continued with you for the space of 32 yrs." These words of his own show that he must have labored in Greenville for about 2 yrs. before he was actually called, and they should be regarded as authentic and official, rather than the dates given in the extract from the history of Greene County, which contains obvious errors. The Eastern section of the Northern Associated Presbytery met at Greenville, on Sept. 7, 1824, when the pastoral relation was dissolved and Rev. Beriah Hotchkin was "recommended to the Churches of Christ wherever he may go as a minister of Good & regular standing.

WOODBRIDGE, Sylvester, Feb. 16, 1825 to Dec. 1 (?), 1830. He was unanimously elected Pastor at a church meeting held on Jan. 10, 1825, and his call was made out and signed on that day. He was installed by the Columbia Presbytery, on the third Wed. in Feb. He presided as Moderator of the Session for the last time, on Nov. 17, 1830. At a meeting of the Society on Dec. 11, 1830, it was stated that "Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge has by a public set withdrawn his ministerial services from this Society." At that meeting a committee was appointed to supply the pulpit. At a meeting of the Society, on Apr. 13, 1831, steps were taken to concur with Mr. Woodbridge, when he applied for a dissolution of the pastoral relation as he had given notice that he would. And in case he failed to apply, to make a like application, on the part of the Society. The Presbytery met at Catskill, on the third Tues. in Apr.

HOVEY, Jonathan, May 11, 1831 to Jan. (?) 1833. At a Society meeting, on May 11, 1831, it was voted to employ Rev. Hovey for 1 yr. On Dec. 16, 1831, he was unanimously elected Pastor and the Trustees were directed to sign a call for him. He presided as Moderator for the last time, on Dec. 28, 1832.

COWEN, Alexander M., Supply, 1833. On June 13, 1833, the Session "unanimously approved of his labors as far as they have had opportunity to judge" and resolved that a meeting of the Society be called to elect him Pastor. The meeting was held in the early part of July, but Mr. Cowen was not elected.

JOHNSON, Baker, Jan. (?) 1834 to 1841. He occupied the chair as Moderator on Jan. 25, 18341. The last recorded meeting of the Session that he presided at, as Moderator, was on Dec. 12, 1840. At that meeting Mr. Hervy George was suspended. The Session had been disciplining him that fall. His chief fault was that he believed the Pastor was not qualified by nature or by grace to be useful to the congregation. Perhaps he was instrumental in forcing a close to Mr. Johnson's pastorate. In Dec., 1841, Mr. Johnson was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Stroudsburg, Pa.; see page 68.

HOPPER, Edward, Oct. 26, 1843 to the fall of 1851. His labors in the congregation commenced as early as Feb., 1843, when the subject of calling him was favorably discussed. He was elected pastor on Sept. 5, 1843, and installed on Oct. 26, 1843.

1The Minutes of the Session of the First Presbyterian Church, in Durham, NY, show that a meeting of the Columbia Presbytery was called to meet at Greenville, on Feb. 26, 1834, to install Mr. Johnson.