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Our History

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. Read More...

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. Our greatest investment, therefore, has always been in our spiritual and charitable programs.


The ordination of our own church member, the Rev. Gail W. Harkness in 1964, was therefore a particularly rewarding event. The 1970s brought a county-wide awakening of charitable activity under the newly-formed Schuyler County Council of Churches. Hospice Care and grief support groups were formed before these resources were available outside the church. Our own youth program was expanded, and included mission trips to help improve living conditions in Wilder, Tennessee and again locally after Hurricane Agnes flooded the town of Elmira.


Our scholarship program, established in 2000, still offers stipends to those college students who are active in the church. Our many generations of Presbyterian Women remain project oriented, with dinners, bake sales and the joyous recognition of our annual "Women of Faith." Our children's program incorporates learning with drama and choir, culminating in fun and inspiring performances on our annual Children's Day worship service. Vacation Bible School combines Bible stories, crafts, science activities, music, games and snacks, to provide the children of our church and community with an amazing and delightful program each year.


Seminary interns have enriched our church ministry. Bible Studies and retreats are offered throughout the year. As a part of the Presbytery of Geneva, we are pleased to offer various get-aways to Camp Whitman on Seneca Lake each year. Our deacons help us keep in touch with members and friends of our congregation through cards and care packages. And through Missions, we continue to provide prayerful support to a handful of well-deserving local, regional, and global ministries, as reported in our monthly newsletters.


As we are reminded each Sunday at the end of every worship service, we may have one pastor, but we are all ministers. "The end of worship is the beginning of service."

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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