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Our History

Contents
1818: Our Foundation and the Church Building

Our congregation first met on September 8, 1818, when group of five men and eleven women met in a barn... Read More...

 
1918: Our Centennial Celebration

Our centennial celebration was observed over the weekend of September 7-8, 1918. Read More...

 

1965: Stained Glass Windows

In 1965, new windows were installed in the sanctuary, as well as the rest of the church. Read More...

 

1968: Remodeling for our Sesquicentennial

During the 29-year pastorate of Rev. William J. Cartmell, our building expanded to better serve our community. A former lecture hall was divided into several rooms, including a small chapel, kindergarten, and hallway with space for choir robes and music storage. The cellar was also deepened to create the Fellowship Hall and kitchen, and the upstairs gymnasium was restored for youth activities.

 

The sanctuary and pipe organ also received additional updates under Rev. Cartmell. The church parlor was planned and furnished, and a lighted outdoor bulletin board was placed near the southwest corner of the building.

 

The Manse was redecorated in 1961, and its garage was built a short while later. Throughout the summer of 1968, the interior of the United Presbyterian Church (as we were then named) was renovated and refurbished again, from the flooring to the pews to the walls themselves. The congregation's 150th anniversary was celebrated on October 20, 1968.

  

Subsequent years brought extensive improvements to the church property. The steeple was repaired in 1998. Restroom facilities were expanded in 2000. A new church sign was erected at the corner of the building. The Allen Room was redecorated and refurnished in 1998, and a new Church Library was added to it in 1999. The sanctuary was revitalized again in 2004; and the Manse underwent many repairs and improvements as well.

 

One particularly noteworthy addition during this time frame still graces Fifth Street, directly across from Lafayette Park. In 2003, the Labyrinth and Memorial Garden were constructed for the mindful participation of the congregation and our greater community. Dedication services were performed in May of that year.

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2018: Our Bicentennial Celebration

In 2018, our newly installed pastor, the Reverend Cara S. Milne, created a small group of dedicated workers to organize a gathering... Read More...

 
Ongoing: Charitable Programs

As we continue to maintain, repair and refurbish our beautiful Romanesque building, of course, we are ever mindful of the fact that the true Church is the body of believers, and not just a piece of architecture. Read More...

Additional Resources

Much of this information was taken from "A Brief History: United Presbyterian Church of Watkins Glen, N.Y." by Abigail O'Daniels, dtd. October 20, 1968. (Get PDF Reader)

 

For additional information about the history of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, please refer to extensive resources available at "Presbyterian Historical Society: The National Archives of the PC(USA)."

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Pastors Through the Years
Sixth & Decatur (1868-Present)

2017 Rev. Cara S. Milne

2016 Rev. Cynthia A. Weaver *

2015 Rev. Nancy Meehan Yao *

1997 Rev. Beverly Karr-Lyon †

1996 Rev. Thomas C. Montgomery *

1987 Rev. W. David Ashby
1985 Rev. William R. Knox *
1969 Rev. Clark N. McKinney
1939 Rev. William J. Cartmell
1934 Rev. Clayton T. Griswold
1916 Rev. Arthur B. Herr, D.D.
1910 Rev. James Elmer Russell
1905 Rev. Selden L. Haynes
1893 Rev. Louis F. Ruf
1888 Rev. Bryce K. Douglas
1882 Rev. George D. Meigs
1877 Rev. Milton Waldo D.D.
1876 Rev. William Lowrie
1870 Rev. J.S. McNair

* interim pastor

pastor emeritus

 

Fifth & Decatur (1847-1868)

1860 Rev. Franklin S. Howe
1855 Rev. Benjamin Russell
1847 Rev. S.B. Shearer

 

The Savoy Site (1833-1847)

1843 Rev. Samuel Stryker
1838 Rev. Samuel Scott
1836 Rev. Royal West
1835 Rev. Egbert Roosa

 

The Diven Barn (1818-1833)

1832 Rev. Charles Goodrich
1831 Rev. David Harrower
1829 Rev. Richard Williams
1826 Rev. Jabez Chadwick
1826 Rev. Samuel White
1825 Rev. Henry Ford
1822 Rev. Joseph Crawford
1821 Rev. Lyman Barrett
1818 Rev. Samuel Parker
1818 Rev. David Higgins

First Presbyterian
Church of
Watkins Glen

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