Ontario County Organized Churches




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Kindly transcribed by Dianne Thomas & Deborah Spencer



History of Ontario Co., NY  

Published 1878

Bristol Churches  pg  241 - 243

The FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH of Bristol was organized in January, 1799.  Public worship has begun with settlement.  Professors of religion united with the church at East Bloomfield.  In 1793, Rev. Zadoc HUNN, visiting western New York, held meetings at different settlements, and finally met the Bristol settlers and preached to them.  Rev. John SMITH occasionally preached to them.  The Rev. Seth WILLISTEN had been sent out by New England churches to perfect church organization.  He assisted Mr. HUNN to establish the church, with the following membership:  Isaac HUNN, George CODDING, Sarah CODDING, Ephraim and Lydia WILDER, Nathaniel and Hannah FISHER, Chauncey and Polly ALLEN, Marcius and Amerilus MARSH, William and Lydia GOODING, Samuel and Phoebe MALLERY, Selah PITTS, Mr. FOSTER, James GOODING, Alden SEARS, and Thomas VINCENT.  Others soon joined the society from the families represented.  In July following Rev. Joseph GROVER visited the society, and preached to them as a missionary.  He received a call to become their pastor, in October, and accepted.  He came to the town with his family February 24, 1800, and was installed June 11.  Mr. GROVER performed pastoral duty about 14 years, and having become incapacitated for service by infirmity, was relieved, on his own request, from preaching, but remained a nominal pastor till his death, July 11, 1826, aged 83 years. 

In June, 1814, Rev. Ezekiel CHAPMAN began his labors with the church, and was installed colleague pastor October 13.  The ordination sermon was preached by Rev. GRISWOLD.  Rev. CHAPMAN remained pastor till March, 1820, when, at his own request, he was dismissed.  A year or two passed without a regular pastor.

Rev. Aaron C. COLLINS met with them frequently.  Rev. Archy B. Laurence supplied the pulpit from May, 1822, for a brief interval.  Other preachers were Revs. Edwin BRONSON, Warren DAY, and S. C. BROWN.  Ebenezer RAYMOND began his labors October, 1824, and continued as stated supply till 1830.  In the spring of that year William P. JACKSON began, and after a short time was succeeded by Edwin BRONSON, and he by Rev. BRYSON.  Rev. JACKSON was installed pastor February 19, 1834, and dissolved pastoral relation August 23, 1836.  Rev. Eliphalet A. PLATT continued his ministration till, April, 1841.  Rev. Hiram HARRIS, beginning April 25, 1841, closed in 1843.  In the fall of 1843, Rev. E. C. WINCHESTER preached to the society.  He became their pastor, and so continued till March, 1846.  In August, 1846, Rev. Timothy STOWE began his ministration.  He was followed, in April, 1850, by Rev. H. B. PIERPONT, who preached one year.  The succession of pastorship is further shown as follows:  Rev. TYLER, 1851; Rev. Lewis P. FROST, 1852-54; Rev. Silas C. BROWN, one year; Rev. Jeremiah WOODRUFF, one year; Rev. Harry E. WOODCOCK, one year; Rev. A. SPENCER, May, 1858, to fall of 1859; Rev. Ezra JONES, October, 1859, till 1861; Rev. Milton BURTOLPH, from April, 1862, till same month, 1866; Rev. S. M. DAY, 1867-69; Rev. Nathaniel T. YEOMANS, 1869-74.  In June, 1874, Rev. William DEVEY began, and still continues his pastoral charge over the church. 

First deacons and succession have been George CODDING, James GOODING, chosen 1803; Samuel CROSBY, 1806; Marshus MARSH, 1815; Theodore BROWN and Stephen A. CODDING, 1832; J. INGRAHAM, 1837; Ezra LUTHER, 1838.  David C. SEARS was chosen May, 1872.  In 1823 the church was in care of the Ontario presbytery; in 1844 it withdrew, and joined the Ontario association of Congregational churches.  In 1804 it numbered 78 members; in 1825, 68; in 1834, 150; in 1836, 125.  Revivals added extensively to the church, while wholesome discipline reduced the number to about 35.  HOTCKIN says, “The first edifice exclusively for the worship of God in the Genesee country was erected by this church.  It was a log building, constructed of unhewn logs raised to a sufficient height to admit of a gallery, and furnished with a very plain desk and seats.”  It stood on lot 5, between the lands of Faunce and George C. CODDING.  In the year 1811 it was deemed advisable to build a new meeting-house; it was finished in 1814, and on October 13 the dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. E. JACKSON.  The dimensions are 45 by 52 feet.  A permanent sale of pews was made, and those below the gallery brought $5,875; gallery $999.  Total, $6,874.  The latest death of original pew-owners was Artemus BRIGGS, of Richmond.  The building, standing on ground (1 ˝ acres) donated by Anthony LOW, was refitted in 1832, and again in 1846 was thoroughly repaired.  The society has a parsonage, to which is attached a small lot of land.  A Sabbath-school was organized about 1814, and has been sustained till the present.  The church took strong anti-slavery ground in 1842, and bore a leading part in the cause of temperance from 1831. 

The BAPTIST CHURCH of Bristol has experienced considerable transformation.  Among the early settlers of Bloomfield and Bristol were individuals who had belonged to Baptist churches in New England.  They held meetings, and deemed it advisable to form a church.  A council was held June 13, 1799.  Elder Daniel IRISH was moderator, Solomon GOODALE, clerk.  A statement was made, and received with favor.  A church was organized as the First Baptist Church in Bloomfield, with 17 members, part of whom were from Bristol.  Preaching was done at residences by Elder FARNUM and others.  During 1803 a log meeting-house was built on land now owned by A. C. HATHAWAY, about one mile north of Baptist Hill.  In February, 1805, the Bristol members requested a letter of fellowship and dismission for the purpose of organizing a church in that town.  The request was granted. 

The FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Bristol was organized February 7, 1805, with the following members: Elder S. GOODALE; Jabez and Elizabeth HICKS; Asher and Esther COBURN; John and Mary GREGG; James and Betsey CASE; Jonathan PHILLIPS; Simeon, Gamaliel, Lydia, Matilda, and Abigail SIMMONS; Aaron and Otis HICKS; Lydia BOWEN; Betsey BOYD; John, Betsey, and Sallie CHAPMAN; Lucy and Jonathan COLBURN; Sally, William, Jr., and Rebecca FRANCIS; Irena DUNMORE; Hannah, Luther, and Priscilla PHILLIPS; Luscomb and Polly CODDING; Samuel and Esther GORSE; Delano SEARS, Deborah BRIGGS, Polly McCROMB, Lovina REED, May KIMBEL, Sally BODDEN, and Phoebe and Margaret CRANDALL; Rev. Solomon GOODALE became their pastor, and held regular and stated meetings in different convenient localities.  Numbers increased.  The remaining members of the Bloomfield church joined them, and in 1807 the log meeting-house in Bloomfield was sold to Lyman ISBELL.  They now built a log church near the present site of the Universalist church.  In a few years it was moved to a site just north of the present Baptist church.  During 1812-14 the present church edifice was erected, and has been from time to time repaired.  In November, 1805, John CHAPMAN, Jabez HICKS, and Jonathan HICKS were chosen deacons, and were ordained as such during the month following.  In 1808, about 40 members of this church, residents of Pittstown (Richmond), asked a letter of fellowship and dismission for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church in that town.  The request was granted, and a church organized in May, 1808. 

A SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH of Bristol was organized in 1821, from the first, with Elder Eli HASKELL and 24 members.  The elder met with this church and held meetings for a year or so, but so many moved west that the remainder reunited with the Fourth Baptist church.  The oldest living member is Mrs. Lucy HICKS.  The oldest male members now living in town is Gilbert FRANCES. 

The METHODIST CHURCH in Bristol dates its organization as a society from 1846, but, long before, a class had been formed, and, as early as 1800, William CASE had been licensed by the Episcopal Methodist church to preach, had received a permit to be a missionary among the Indians of western New York, and was the pioneer of the denomination in town.  A year or two later, Revs. McELHANA, John KAIMBELIN, DENSMORE, LACY, and MINCHELL had visited these new settlements.  They traveled a circuit of a 150 miles on horseback, from settlement to settlement, and  held summer meetings in the woods.  A class was organized in 1806, consisting of James CASE, Betsey CASE, James McCARTNEY, Bathsheba McCARTNEY, Miss McCARTNEY, Mr. JOHNSON, William BOUGHTON, and others, making 11 or 12 in all.  James CASE was class-leader the first year; William BOUGHTON was also a class-leader.  Quarterly meetings were attended at No. 9.  For years those removing or dying equaled those joining.  Their meetings were held at the school-house south of John SISSON’s, on the corners, or at the house of James CASE, who resided on the farm now owned by E. BARRINGER.  A new class was organized in 1815, and George REED, Jr., was chosen class-leader.  The class was connected with the church at Richmond.  In 1846, organization was effected, and Ephraim GOODING, George GOODING, Abner REED, Alanson REED, and Ward TOLMAN were chosen trustees. 

The CHRISTIAN CHURCH had those who believed in its tenets and followed its requirements.  Elders Philip SANFORD and David MELLARD held meetings about 1824, at what was called the Ganyard school-house, and during favorable weather the meetings were conducted in the adjoining grove.  A meeting was called, December 19, 1829, at the house of Daniel REED, for the purpose of forming a church, and Elder SANFORD was present.  It was deemed expedient to organize a society, to be called the “Christian Church” of Bristol, and consisting of the following-named persons: Otis BLISS, David and Polly WHEATON, Caleb BLISS, John and Catharine HICKS, Daniel and Sally ROOD, Betsey PIXLEY, and Sally SKINNER.  The organization lasted about 20 years. 

The FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH in Bristol dates its origin far back to the early years, but its organization is quite recent.  In 1828, Rev. Oliver ACKLEY, of the Universalist denomination, held meetings at the school-house on Baptist Hill, and, in warm weather, in the grove near the residence of J. W. NICHOLS.  There had been occasional meetings held prior to 1828 by Rev. Mr. MORTON.  Within a few years, William J. REESE, G. W. MONTGOMERY, and William QUEIL held stated meeting in the school-building mentioned.  Rev. QUEIL was one of the first resident ministers.  In the year 1836 a church edifice was erected.  It was built of cobble-stones, and stood near the site of the present structure.  The money to build was mainly raised by subscription.  The deed was given to Joshua PHILLIPS, Lyman HAWES, and about 70 others, to be used and occupied as a site for a meeting- or school-house, and for no other purpose.  All subscribers of notable amounts are named in the deed.  It was a two-storied building; the upper room for the society, and would seat about 250 persons, one room below was occupied as a school-room.  In the spring of 1837 it was deemed advisable to organize a society; accordingly, a meeting was held April 14, 1837, and such society formed.  Nathan WEST was chairman, and Nathan FISHER, Benjamin SIMMONS, and Anson PACKARD were elected trustees.  In 1861 the interest of the school district was purchased by the society; the old chapel was taken down, and the present frame built, with a seating capacity of these hundred.  At a meeting held February 2, 1872, a church was organized, called the “First Universalist Church” of Bristol, and consisted of the following named individuals: Rev. L. P. BLACKMORE, Lida BLACKMORE; Aaron F., Eunice, and A. Carlisle ORCUTT; Elkanah and Sarah S. ANDREWS; W. Scott and Eleanor A. HICKS, A. C., H. A., and Mary HATHAWAY; Almeda PARK; Mrs. May E.; Thomas , Elias M., Samuel B., and Roxana DORRENCE; Robert B. SIMMONS, P. F. HICKS, Marcus L. FRANCIS, M. E. PAULL, E. M. and George BAILEY; S. A. JONES, Eliza PHILLIPS, Zadia CASE, Prudence ADAMS, and Looice FLETCHER.  The officers chosen were Rev. L. P. BLACKMORE, moderator; Mrs. Lida BLACKMORE, clerk; George BAILEY, treasurer; and Aaron F. ORCUTT and Robert B. SIMMONS, deacons.  A hundred families are now represented in the parish.  The pastors, in the order of their succession, have been as follows: Oliver ACKLEY, Jacob CHASE, William QUEAL, Samuel GOFF, Orin ROBERTS, J. B. JOHNSON, C. H. DUTTON, George W. GAGE, U. M. FISK, J. W. BAILEY, J. R. SAGE, W. W. LOVEJOY, L. C. BROWN, L. P. BLACKMORE, Henry JEWETT and John F. GATES, who came to the church October 11, 1874.  A large and flourishing Sabbath school has been organized since 1862, with Richard SIMMONS for the first superintendent, and Elkanah ANDREWS for the present officer.  The school numbers 100 members, and is kept up throughout the year.  





BRISTOL  CHURCHES    pg 436 - 438

History of Ontario Co., NY     Pub.  1893 

Bristol has been called the town of many churches, there having been no less then seven society organizations in the town since its first settlement. The oldest of these, and in fact one of the oldest in the county, is that known as the First Congregational Church of Bristol, which was organized in January, 1779, although Congregational services were held in the town as early as 1793, conducted by that earnest Christian worker, Rev. Zadoc HUNN; and who was followed by Rev. John SMITH. The first members were Isaac HUNN, George and Sarah CODDING, Ephraim and Lydia WILDER, Nathaniel and Hannah FISHER, Chauncey and Polly ALLEN, Marcius and Amerilus MARSH, William and Lydia GOODING, Samuel and Phebe MALLORY, Selah PITTS, Mr. FOSTER, James GOODING, Alden SEARS and Thomas VINCENT.   Rev. Joseph GROVER was called to the pastorate, accepting and moving to the town in February, 1800, being the first of a long succession of pastors who have ministered to the spiritual wants of the people of Bristol. Other early pastors and supplies were Revs. Ezekiel CHAPMAN, Aaron C. COLLINS, A. B. LAWRENCE, Edwin BRONSON, Warren DAY, S. C. BROWN, Ebenezer RAYMOND, W. P. JACKSON, Mr. BRYSON, Mr. JACKSON, E. A. PLATT, Hiram HARRIS, E. C. WINCHESTER, Timothy STOWE, H. B. PIERPONT and others in succession. In 1823 this church was under the charge of the Ontario presbytery, but in 1844 it withdrew and became Congregational. The first primitive meeting-house of this society is said to have been "the first edifice exclusively for the worship of God in the Genesee country" (Hotchkin).  It was built of logs and stood on lot five. The second edifice was erected in 1813-14, to which subsequent enlargements and repairs have resulted in a substantially new structure. It stands north of Bristol Center, about three-fourths of a mile.

The Baptists, who have for nearly a century been numerically and influentially strong in this town, and also in East Bloomfield, perfected their first church organization as early as 1799, and in 1803 built a meeting-house about one mile north of the hamlet of Bristol, more commonly called Bristol Hill. However, in 1805 the Bristol members of this society, which was known as the "First Baptist Church in Bloomfield," withdrew, and on February 7 organized the "First Baptist Church in Bristol," the latter numbering among its original members forty-two of the leading families of the town. This society built its first church home in 1807, and the second in 1814, both at the hamlet called Baptist Hill. A second Baptist church in Bristol was organized in 1821.

Methodist preaching began in Bristol as early as the year 1800, when Indian missionaries of the church came here and conducted public services for the inhabitants. This kind of service was continued throughout many subsequent years,. and in 1806 there were enough Methodists in the town to form a class, which was reorganized and strengthened in 1815. In 1846 a complete church and society organization was effected, Ephraim and George GOODING, Abner and Alanson REED, and Ward TOLMAN being the first trustees. The church property of this society is located at Bristol Center.

The First Universalist Church of Bristol, having its edifice and seat of operations at Bristol Post office, dates its actual organization back to the year 1837, though its teaching and preaching in the town antedated that time by nearly 20 years. The early ministers of this denomination to labor in this locality were Oliver ACKLEY, Rev. MORTON, W. J. REESE, G. W. MONTGOMERY, and William QUEILl, the latter being one of the earliest resident ministers. The first church edifice was built in 1836 of cobble stones, and in the year following a society organization was effected, and the complete church organization was delayed until February 2, 1872, the name "First Universalist Church of Bristol" being then adopted. The church edifice was built in 1861.

In this connection mention may also be made of the Christian Church, the organization of which was completed, though meetings were held as early as 1824 The society passed out Of existence about 1850.


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