From Church Records dated
December 2, 1810, several subscribers voted to unite under Rev. William
Stone to organize a Congregational church.
On January 13, 1817, the members
of the Congregational Church by unanimous vote relinquished the Congregational
form and adopted the Presbyterian form of government. Rev. John Dunlap
was the presiding minister.
On March 10, 1817, it was voted
to incorporate as a religious society under an act of March 27, 1801, and
to be known as The First Presbyterian Church of Williamstown, N. Y.
Church services were held for
some time in a building owned by Dr. Torbit, which stood near the present
entrance to the village cemetery.
A deed on August 13, 1828,
was executed by Elisha Tibbets, to the trustees of The First Presbyterian
Church Society of Williamstown, N. Y.
It was voted that a committee
of four be chosen to act with the trustees, Abijah Towsley, John Onderdonk,
and Joseph Hall.
Among the early church members
were Solomon Goodwin, Anna Goodwin, Clymene Comstock, Elizabeth Lyon, Polly
Spencer, Joha and Maria Onderdonk, Daniel and Mary Harris, these last four
named were grandparents of Elmer H. Harris.
It is believed that the church
came under the care of Utica Presbytery in January 1871, and at this time
a manse had been built.
The church records show ministers
serving this church were Rev. John Dunlap, 1817-1821; Rev. Henry Smith,
1821; Rev. John Alexander, 1822-1823; and Rev. Enos Bliss, 1825.
Rev. Samuel Sweezy, pastor
of Florence Church, served as moderator of session meetings part time between
1826 and 1853. Records do not state whether he was minister of this
church and during this period.
Rev. George Freeman and Rev.
David R. Dixon were moderators of session meetings in 1828.
In 1855 there was a Ladies
Aid Society, and this carried on from then. Early Sunday school records
were not found, but as long as the writer has known, there has been Sunday
school whenever there was church service.
Evidently the early church
records were not always kept regarding the ministers, whether there were
pastors or supply ministers.
A federation of this local
church with the Methodist church for services was begun July 1, 1942, and
Rev. Stanley Skinner, Methodist minister here, was named stated supply
for the Presbyterians, with services conducted part time in each church.
Over a period of 132 years, about 27 ministers have served the church.
Williamstown was organized in 1810;
received by Reconstruction 1870; federated with Methodist Church in 1942.