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Montgomery County New York Church History

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The Second Presbyterian Church. In the year 1800 a number of the members of the old Dutch church of Amsterdam, becoming dissatisfied with the action of the society in erecting a church in the remote part of the town then known as "Manny's Corners," severed their connection with the mother society and in the same year organized the Dutch Reformed church of Veedersburg, and erected an edifice at the corner of Main and Market streets. At this time Rev. Conrad Ten Eyck was pastor of the old church and likewise rendered temporary pastoral service to the new organization, but was finally compelled to resign both charges on account of that weakened condition due to their separation. The Veedersburg church remained for eleven years without a pastor, but in 1812 it changed its ecclesiastical connection and became Presbyterian, an action previously taken by the mother society, and resulting in a reunion and reorganization as one body under the name of Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam.

On Mar. 3, 1832, 104 members of the above mentioned church having previously obtained the sanction of the Presbytery, took letters of dismissal, and having organized the Presbyterian church of Amsterdam village, began immediately the erection of a suitable edifice at the corner of Church and Grove streets. It was finished and dedicated in August of the same year and was used until 1869, the last service being held May 9, when the old building was demolished and was replaced by a larger and more elegant structure. The new building is of brick with limestone trimmings, its plan being the Romanesque style of architecture. It cost about $40,000 and has sittings for 1,000 persons. Annexed to the edifice is a chapel which seats 250, and even more on extraordinary occasions. In Feb., 1871, by direction of the Presbytery, and upon application, this church was designated the Second Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam, the old church at Manny's Corners being at the same time designated as the "First" church. The pastors of the church have been Reverends Conrad Ten Eyck; Ebenezer H. Stillman, 1813-15; Halsey A. Wood, 1816-25; James Wood, 1826-33; Hugh M. Koontz, 1834-36; Montgomery S. Goodale, 1836-70; Henry S. Teller, 1870-80-81; Charles H. Baldwin, installed Mar. 8, 1881, and is the present pastor.

The officers of the church are James H. Bronson, James A. Miller, David Cady, T. Romeyn Bunn, Henry Herrick, Gardiner Blood and John G. Van Derveer, elders; and Thomas S. Stanley, Joshua Sharpley, Nicholas J. De Graff, deacons.

Immanuel Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam was organized Feb. 8, 1887, being the outgrowth of a mission Sunday-school organized the year previous. The insurance money paid to the Albany Presbytery after the burning of the old church at Manny's Corners was appropriated to the Immanuel society, and was used for building the present church on West Spring street, the total cost of which was about $18,000. The first temporary minister of the society was Rev. Herbert C. Hinds, followed by Charles S. Dudley. The first pastor was Rev. Lester J. Sawyer, who was installed Mar. 1, 1889, and still retains that office. Its membership is 110, and the Sunday school has 200 scholars. The officers of the society are: elders, Thomas Morphy, John G. Serviss, Oliver S. Kline and William M. White and deacons, D. B. Shelp, Elias H. Devenburg and David W. Ecker.

St. Ann's Church (Protestant Episcopal). This church is descended from the historic Queen Anne's Chapel, built within the enclosure of Fort Hunter 1711, and demolished in the construction of the Erie canal. St. Anne's parish at Port Jackson was organized Dec. 22, 1835, the church being erected in 1836, and consecrated in the following year. The growth of the parish, however, was much retarded by the unfavorable location. Amsterdam was rapidly increasing while in Port Jackson the growth was very slow. Hence the parishioners north of the river were at much inconvenience to cross the bridge to attend service. For this reason the church was sold in 1849, during the rectorship of A. N. Littlejohn, and the proceeds ($2,400) were applied to the purchase of a new site on Division street. On this lot a church was erected, and consecrated June 15, 1851, by Bishop De Lancey, of the diocese of western New York, but the rectory was not purchased until many years later. The succession of rectors of St. Anne's parish since its establishment in this city has been Reverends William H. Frapnell, Jan. 27, 1854, to Apr. 24, 1857; J. A. Robinson, Aug. 26, 1858, to 1864; Porter Thomas, 1864 to 1869; Thomas G. Clemson, Nov. 14, 1869, to Dec. 10, 1870; Howard T. Widdemer, Apr., 1871, to Jan. 1, 1875; J. C. Hewitt, 1875, rector about fourteen months; William N. Irish, July 1, 1876, to Apr., 1884. Rev. David Sprague entered upon his duties as rector and St. Anne's church now has 330 members. The sunday school has 210 scholars. The present church officers are as follows: Wardens, W. Max Reid and John J. Hand; vestrymen, Cyrus B. Chase, Thomas Mansfield, Charles S. Nesbet, William Ryland, Le Grand S. Strong, Hicks B. Waldron and John K. Warnick.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Amsterdam has its origin in the formation of a class in 1827, the organization of the society following soon afterward. About the year 1832 the society purchased the old Dutch Reformed Church of Veedersburg, and removed it to the corner of Main and Wall Streets, where it stood until 1845, when it was again removed to Market street, where it still stands and is now the property of the Y. M. C. A. After the last removal, however, of the old pioneer church it was enlarged and remodeled; and in 1860 it was again enlarged. The present large and commodious Methodist church was begun in July, 1881, and finished and dedicated in Oct., 1883. Rev. W. H. Hughes was pastor at the time of dedication, and was succeeded by M. D. Jump, who labored three years. Rev. W. M. Brundage became pastor in Apr., 1889, and still continues in charge, his present membership being 1,200, while the Sunday school has 700 scholars, the latter being under the superintendence of W. J. Benn.

East Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church is conducted under the auspices of the official board of the First Church, by which it was established a few years ago. The church was built during the fall and winter of 1891-92, and dedicated in the following Apr. Rev. J. G. Patten, the assistant pastor of the mother church devotes much of his time to this society, whose congregation is of an encouraging character, while the Sunday school has about 175 scholars. Mr. Patten, who is superintendent, came to the city in 1891, prior to which time the meetings were conducted by the young men of the First church.

The German Methodist Episcopal Church Society was organized in 1886, and has had three pastors, Rev. Gotleib Bubak, William Schluter, and Carl Stecker. The church on Division street was built in 1886, at a cost of about $1,500. The society numbers about 110 members, and is now under the pastoral care of Mr. Stecker. The officers are Charles Ossenfort, Henry Brinkman, August Goder, Henry Schwenker, John Schwenker, William Krouer, Henry Needenmire and Ferdinand Naraski.

The First Baptist Church of Amsterdam was organized in 1800, and was connected with the Shaftsbury Association until 1808. The society appears to have then become extinct, as no reports were made until 1825, when it was reorganized with sixteen members and joined the Saratoga Association. Four years later a brick church was erected on Main Street, but eventually was used as a dwelling. In 1842 the edifice on Market Street was built, and has been in constant use by the society until the present year (1892), during which the elegant brick church on Division street was completed. The old church was dedicated Nov. 17, 1842, the number of members at that time being 109; the present number is 566.

The first pastor was Rev. John Holmes who came in 1805 and died in 1808. The first pastor after the reorganization was Rev. David Corwin, who came in 1829 and left in 1832, after which time the succession of pastors was Reverends Absalom B. Earl, 1833-35; J. J. Whitman, 1836-37; Solomon Gale, junior, 1838-39; Edwin Westcott, 1840; J. W. Gibbs, 1841-2; W. H. Hutchinson, 1844-46; J. M. Harris, 1847-52; W. Kingsley, 1853; J. E. Kinney, 1854-55; R. Winegar, 1857-61; W. Groom, Jr., 1862-63; W. F. Fagan, 1864-65; L. W. Olney, 1866-67; John E. Cheeshire, 1868-70; William M. Lawrence, 1871-72; L. W. Olney, 1873; E. F. Crane, 1874-75; J. E. Emory, 1876-79; C. B. Perkins, 1880-8; Frank P. Stoddard, Jan. 1, 1889, who is still in service.

Calvary Baptist Church of Amsterdam was organized in 1889, when 137 former members of the First church took letters of dismissal and many of them united to the new society, which thus far has held its meetings in a hall on Market street. The first pastor was Rev. William Wyeth, followed by Rev. Dewitt T. Van Doren, who resigned July, 1892.

St. Mary's Church (Roman Catholic). The earliest services of the Roman Catholic church in this vicinity were held in 1837, when Father Beauchamp visited the three villages and occupied the old Universalist church standing at the corner of Main and Market street. It was not, however, until 1844 that any church organization took place, when a building on the south side of the river was used for service. In 1849 Father Cull purchased the edifice formerly occupied by the society of St. Anne's church, in Port Jackson, which was used by his parishioners for several years, until the erection of the new edifice on the north side of the river. The latter, however, was replaced in 1869 by the more modern and comfortable church on Main street. Immediately after the erection of the walls of this edifice, the west side fell to the ground, severely injuring two workmen, and again in 1876 a severe gale blew down the church spire, which struck the roof of the priest's house and seriously injured the building. So far as we are able to ascertain, the succession of priests of St. Mary's church and parish have been as follows: Reverends McClusky, Cull, McCallion, Sheehan, McCue, O'Sullivan, Furlong, J. P. Fitzgerald, Carroll, E. P. Clark, Philip Keveney, W. B. Hannett and John Patrick McIncrow, the latter being appointed to this parish Sept. 20, 1878. The present priest's residence and the convent building were erected in 1887, under the direction of Father McIncrow.

St. Joseph's German Roman Catholic Church was organized Oct. 10, 1884, having about eighty families in its parish. Rev. Edward Hipelius was the first priest, and was followed by Andrew Stefferle. Rev. Andrew Duplang, the present pastor, was appointed Oct. 22, 1888. The church was built in 1884, the total value of parish property being about $25,000. The present number of families in the parish is 125. Connected with the church is St. Joseph's school, organized in 1891, and now having in regular attendance 130 scholars.

The Reformed Church of Port Jackson (now Amsterdam) was organized in 1849 or 1850, and the church was erected in the year last mentioned, at a cost of $4,000 or $5,000. In 1886 the building was thoroughly repaired and enlarged, requiring an outlay of about $9,000. The society owns free of debt the church, parsonage and two carriage sheds, the whole being worth about $18,000. The pastors have been Reverends Garret L. Roof, 1850-55; Cornelius Gates, 1856-57; A. J. Sawyer, 1858; Isaac G. Duryea, 1859-62; Henry M. Voorhees, 1863-65; A. M. Quick, 1865-69; H. Pettengill, 1870-73; John Minor, 1873-80. The present pastor, Rev. J. R. Kyle, was installed in Dec., 1880.

The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church was organized in 1869, having fifteen original members, and in the same year a frame meeting house on Grove street was erected. The society was formed chiefly through the efforts of Charles Klugel and Charles Spalt. The first pastor was I. Krechting, who remained until 1879, being succeeded by G. L. Rietz, who died in 1887. During his pastorate a lot on Spring street was purchased and a handsome brick edifice was completed during the labors of Rev. Otto C. Konrad, who has been the minister of the church since 1887. The property of this society is estimated at about $50,000. The regular members number 1,000 persons, and the Sunay school has 500 scholars.

The German Evangelical Association held meetings in Amsterdam in 1883, the missionary being G. M. Schlegenhauf, and the society organization was completed and the church built in 1884. The building is of brick and is located on Elizabeth street. The number of members is 130; the Sunday school has about 70 scholars. The ministers and pastors have been Reverends G. N. Schlegenhauf, F. Lohmeyer, Jacob Burghardt, and F. E. Herer, the last mentioned pastor having been installed in Apr., 1892.

Congregational Temple of Israel society was organized May 18, 1874 under the pastoral charge of Joseph Gregger, who continued in that relation thirteen years when he succeeded by I. E. Vogenheim, who remained two years. The present rabbi, Henry Kline, came to the society in May, 1891. No synagogue has ever been provided for the society, its meetings being held in the Behr block.