FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF PARMA
There are in Parma nine church organizations and a Young Men's Christian Association, all in a flourishing condition; besides a large proportion of the Congregational church, located on the line, at West Greece. The First Baptist church of Parma, located at Unionville, is the oldest religious organization in the town, long before there was a settlement made in the north section of Braddock's Bay, before the Ridge road was opened, and when Rochester was a hamlet.
It was organized May 27, 1809, by Elder Moses Clark, either near the Atchinson or Hicks settlement, probably the latter, with the following membership: Moses Clark, Samuel Gregory, Timothy Lain, Joshua Wickson, Amos Hicks, Asa Adams, Richard Clark, G. Wilkerson, Samuel Hicks, Ester Hicks, Lucy Wilkerson, Anna Wilkerson, Clarissa Cross, Rachel Corbitt, Sophia Tenney, Phoebe Hickox, Polly Adams, and Susanna Gregory. Moses Clark was first pastor, and Timothy Lain deacon.
Services were held in the Atchinson school-house until the erection of a church building in 1830, which was located one-half mile south of Unionville, forty by fifty feet in size, and cost four thousand dollars. In 1842 it was removed to Unionville and reconstructed into its present shape.
Moses Clark was succeeded by D. Crous, Joseph Gould, T. Baker, S. H. Weaver, H. K.Stimpson, A. C. Kingsley, J. C. Emory, S. S. Utter, D. C. Marshall, and Prentice, present pastor. Charles Efner and Daniel Meade are its present deacons, and Delos Tenney clerk, and a membership of over one hundred and thirteen. Connected with it is a Sabbath-school, having, at present, six teachers and sixty-five pupils, with Avery Foote superintendent, and Daniel Meade treasurer, and a well-selected library of about four hundred volumes.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF PARMA CENTRE
Elder Hill, a Methodist minister, preached the first sermon ever delivered in the town of Parma, at the residence of Michael Beach, near Castle's, now Hunt's, Corners. The exact year is not known, except that it was prior to the erection of the first school-house, in 1804; and although it was succeeded by meetings at other points, whenever the services of a minister could be obtained, no organized movement in the interests of Methodism was taken until 1811, under the ministration of Loring Grant, who then formed the nucleus of the first class in Parma, including eight persons, viz. : Benedict Lewis, of Albany, class-leader, and Mr. and Mrs. Noah Phelps, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Rowe, Phoebe Gilmore, Mrs. Leonard, and N. Western, members.
On December 16, 1820, at the house of Asa Atchinson, the first quarterly meeting of the Sweden Circuit took place, with Gideon Draper, presiding elder, and the following members Circuit Preacher, N. B. Dodson; Local Preacher, James Hemmingway; Exhorters, John Webster, W. F. Perry, and David Lowel; Stewards, James Hemmingway, J. Webster, and Nathan Paddock; and Class-leaders, Z. Hurd, Austin Atchinson, O. Watson, Adam Moore, and Asa Atchinson. Previous to this meeting, and subsequent to B. Lewis, Noah Phelps was class-leader for a number of years and was succeeded by Austin Atchinson.
The class rapidly increased, and was subsequently divided until January 29, 1827, when the first class was organized into the First Methodist Episcopal church of Parma, in the school-house west of the Centre, by Elijah Boardman and Martin Woodman. Its first trustees were Asa Atchinson, Philander Curtis, Sr., Austin Atchinson, Leonard Bragg, and John Potter; and its first minister Rev. N. B. Dodson.
Its meetings were held at the place of organization until the completion of their church building, in 1830, at Parma Centre, on a lot purchased January 4, 1829, of Cathcart & Ure, for three dollars. It was built of red brick, made by Leonard Bragg on his farm in lot 5, range 3, and its size thirty-five by forty feet. Edwin J. Whitney is the present minister, and William B. Newton, William Y. Dunn, Aaron Cook, Samuel Berradge, and R. P. Odell, Jr., its present trustees, with R. P. Odell, Jr., and Samuel Berradge, class-leaders, and a membership of about fifty.
About 1825, the first Sabbath school was organized at the Castle school-house, with Asa Adams, superintendent, Freclove Dunham, teacher, and about twenty pupils. The school continued its sessions here, with varying success, until the organization of the church, when it was held in connection with the latter. It now has about forty pupils, with seven teachers, under charge of Rodney P. Odell, Jr., present superintendent. It has a library of two hundred volumes, adequate to the wants of the school, with Cleveland Cook, librarian.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF NORTH PARMA
The formation of the first class that culminated in the organization of the Methodist Episcopal church of North Parma occurred in 1826, in a log house, on the site of the present residence of James Curtiss, near Bartlett's Corners. It was organized by John Kazort, and the following members: Philander Curtiss, Sr., Joel Lankton, Catharine Curtiss, Sarah Lankton, and Margaret Schofield. It met for worship with the class at Parma Centre,, under the ministry of Elder Lent and others, until the formation of the North Parma society, in 1846, in the school-house at Bartlett's Corners, where, with Elder Michael Seages as their first pastor, the church services were held until the completion, in the following years, of the building now occupied,—a fine, substantial structure, built of stone, thirty-six by forty-six feet area, at a cost of two thousand dollars.
The first trustees were J. M. Hiscock, Philander Curtiss, Sr., John Smith, and J. Hartwell. The present trustees are E. Curtiss, J. Curtiss, Wm. Chatton, I. Curtiss, and Thos. Bartlett; Steward, Elias Curtiss; Class-leader, George Curtiss; Clerk, Willard H. Hawkins; and the present minister, Edwin J. Whitney, with a member ship of sixty-four.
The Sabbath-school was organized in 1828, with George W. Curtiss, superintendent. It consisted of four teachers and twenty-five pupils. It now has sixty pupils, seven teachers, and four officers, viz. : John Arnold, super intendent; O. Dunbar, assistant superintendent; T. Bartlett, secretary and treasurer, and E. Cosmar, collector. A library was purchased in 1828, and Joel Lankton made superintendent.
FREE METHODIST CHURCH OF PARMA CENTRE
The first church of the Parma circuit of Free Methodists was organized May 6, 1862, at Parma Centre, under the ministration of John W. Reddy. Its membership consisted of two classes of fourteen members each, with Chauncey A. Knot and Peter Vanzile, class-leaders. Its first trustees were Bailey Burritt, Peter Vanzile. Seth W. Woodruff, C. A. Knox, and Fayette Wood.
In 1813, their present church building was erected at a cost, including the site, of twenty-nine hundred dollars. Twenty-six hundred dollars was collected and paid within one year. Sheds and other improvements were afterwards constructed at an additional cost of two thousand dollars. It has at present a membership of about sixty. The Sabbath-school, organized in conjunction with the church, consists also of two classes, embracing nine teachers and seventy pupils, under the superintendency of Peter Vanzile. Parma circuit, of which this is the first church, also includes North Parma, Clarkson, West Greece, and North Chili, with W. Manning the present circuit-preacher.
FREE METHODIST CHURCH OF NORTH PARMA
The second church of the Parma circuit of Free Methodists was organized as the Free Methodist church of North Parma on January 7, 1863, at the schoolhouse, one mile north of Bartlett's Corners. Rev. W. Manning was its first pastor, and P. H. Curtiss, Daniel Brown, John Van Voorhees, Joseph Walker, and George Knowles, its first trustees, with eighteen original communicants. Services were held at the place of organization until the erection of the church building it now occupies, in 1867.
It is located one half-mile east of Bartlett's Corners, of thirty-two by forty-eight feet area, and cost thirty-two hundred dollars. It is now under charge of the circuit-preacher, W. Manning, and the trustees, P. H. Curtiss, Andrew Garlock, Stephen Smith, George Bennett, and L. S. Wolcott. A Sabbath-school was formed in 1862, with six teachers and forty pupils, and P. H. Curtiss superintendent. It now embraces seven teachers and fifty pupils, with Mrs. L. B. Curtiss superintendent, and a library of two hundred volumes.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF PARMA
The Presbyterian church of Parma Centre was organized March 4, 1829, in the Atchinson school-house, under the direction of a commission consisting of Revs. Mr. Penny, of Rochester, Mr. Cook, of Greece, and Mr. Sedgwick, of Ogden, and the delegates, Deacons John Arnold and John Granger, with Mr. Penny as moderator, and Mr. Sedgwick as clerk. The following are the charter members: Daniel Clark, Sr., Daniel Clark, Jr., Emelia Clark, Orphla Clark, Clarissa Patterson, Harriet Vansise, Nicholas Kipp, Jane Post, Isabel Van Tuyl, Hannah Pulit, Phebe Gager, Lucius Peck, and Abby Peck.
Services were held at the place of organization until the erection of a suitable structure in 1831, erected, in conjunction with the town, to serve the double purpose of town hall and church. It was located a few yards west of the corner, on the south side of the street. Its first elders were Daniel Clark, Nicholas Kipp, and Lucius Peck, appointed in 1829, and two years later its first minister, Silas Pratt, was employed. In 1842, under the ministration of Shubael Carver, the fifth pastor of the church, dissensions arose on what was known as the " Oberlin doctrine of perfection.”
At that time there were sixty-one communicants, twenty-four of whom followed Mr. Carver into Congregationalism, and, retaining possession of the building, organized themselves into a new church. In two years, however, after the departure of Mr. Carver, it was dissolved, the building sold to the town, and the members scattered and were absorbed by other denominations. In the meantime, the original church retained its form, and met for worship alternately at the Atchinson school-house and the one on the Clarkson town line, one mile north, with Daniel Johnson as pastor.
In 1844 a more substantial building, which it now occupies, was erected, and its method of construction affords a salutary example to the heavy church debts of later days. It was built almost wholly by the joint labor of its members, by bees, knitting societies, and donations, requiring but little money for joiner work. Services were held before it was in closed, —a work-bench for a pulpit, nail-kegs and slabs for seats, and in open air consecrated to the worship of God.
It has had, since its organization, fifteen ministers and twenty-six elders. The present minister is George C. Jewel, appointed in 1874, and the present ciders Thomas Breeze and Hugh Johnson, in 1871, and fifty-nine communicants. There are no records in existence of the Sabbath -school previous to 1842, the year of the division of its members, although a flourishing school had existed from the beginning. In 1842 it embraced six teachers and forty-nine pupils, and at present has nine teachers and sixty pupils. The library has grown gradually, by donations and small purchases, until it has become adequate to the wants of the school, and is in charge of Isaac W. Castle, librarian.
BAPTIST CHURCH OF PARMA CORNERS
The Baptist church at Parma Corners was organized January 10, 1832, by the Rev. C. Hartshorn, in the school-house at that place, with the following members: Asa Adams, M. Fifield, E. Crissey, N. Cox, S. B. Palmer, J. Handy, E. Adanis, J. C. Murray, L. Murray, H. Handy, Margaret Barringer, Betsey Johnson, Freelove Adams, O. Palmer, A. Handy, C. Hartshorn, Eliza Handy, Lydia Godfrey, Cynthia Warner, Fidelia Phelps, Julia Cobb, Maria Handy, Betsey Friece, and Susan B. Hartshorn. Hiram Handy was appointed clerk. The first trustees were R. Warner, J. C. Crandall, H. Handy, Asa Adams, J. B. Masservie, and O. Palmer; and its first minister Rev. C. Hartshorn.
Since its organization it has had seventeen pastors, and is now under charge of Rev. D. C. Marshall and the following officers: D. Dennice, J. Tripp, J. M. Webster, L. Lankton, deacons; J. M. Webster, George Godfrey, J. T. Gorsline, C. Adams, E. D. Hillman, and H. Baldwin, trustees; and J. T. Gorsline, clerk, and has a membership of seventy-nine.
In 1837 the church building it now occupies was erected, east of the Corners, on the Ridge road. Connected with it is a very flourishing Sabbath school, dating back nearly to its organization, with one hundred and sixty pupils and thirteen teachers, in charge of four officers, —C. Adams, superintendent, Georgo Gridley, assistant superintendent, Frank Fowles, secretary, and Hattie Tripp, assistant secretary. It also has a library of two hundred volumes, with Cyrus Adams, librarian.
FREE-WILL BAPTIST CHURCH OF PARMA
The Free-Will Baptist church of Parma was organized September 29, 1831, at Wright's school-house, by Elder Samuel Whitcomb and H. S. Limbocker; and the right hand of fellowship was extended to the following brethren and sisters: О. M. Wright, H. S. Limbockcr, George Limbocker, A. Limbockcr, L. Limbocker, James Henry, John Henry, William Henry, D. Mentor, D. Rowe, M. Hiller, T. G. Lawrence, Sallie Henry, Annie Henry, Florilla Limbocker, Phoebe Limbockcr, EsUt Henry, Trunisa Henry, Clarissa Irr, Lavinia Limbocker, Polly Tyler, June Pearce, and Chira Mentor. George Limbocker and James Henry were appointed deacons, and Jason Tyler, clerk.
The ministers were—first, Elder S. Bathericke, in 1831; H. Gilman, in 1842; E. F. Crane, in Г843; W. S. Goodhue, in 1844; S. Bathericke, in 1845; Henry Gilman, in 1857; L. Madden, in 1861; I. J. Hoag, in 1864; W. Walker, in 1867; and C. A. Hilton, in 1874, who is pastor at present.
Services were held at the school-house until the erection of its present church edifice at Unionville, in 1838. It is a substantial frame building, north of the Corners. The deacons at present are Selah Budd and John Slade, and the clerk J. Collamer, with a membership of one hundred and forty-eight. Connected with the church is a flourishing Sabbath-school, which was organized in 1832 or '33, and now comprises eleven teachers and about one hundred and seventy-five pupils, under charge of Henry Bufton, superintendent, E. A. Cross, vice-superintendent, and Sylvanus Buel, secretary.
A Young Men's Christian Association was organized at Unionville, April 14, 1870, embracing twenty-eight members, with S. P. Greenwell, president; A. H. Cronk, vice-president; M. E. Stevens, secretary; and A. L. Foot, treasurer, and now includes seventy-five members.
CHRIST CHURCH OF PARMA AND GREECE
About the year 1830 a small number of persons, residing near the town line in Parma and Greece, feeling the necessity of religious services, met together at what was known as the old red school-house, east of Parma Centre, and agreed to hold bi-weekly meetings for mutual prayer and for reading the Scriptures.
The services of a preacher were seldom secured until 1833. Madison Thomas, a young man from Orleans county, preached for some time, and was followed by Elder Joel Doubleday and Allen Crocker. On the 23d day of August 1834, Elder Doubleday, assisted by Elder William Blake, after hearing the Christian experience of the following named fourteen persons, organized them in a church: James B. Deyo, Samuel Deyo, James Chase, Isaac Chase, Jr., Joseph Hooper, Ruth Deyo, Peter Wisner, Peter S. Olmstead, Betsey A. Wisner, Elizabeth Chase, Robey Hicks, Lucy Chase, Mary Deyo, and Sarah Hubbard. Austin Lines and Isaac Chase were ordained deacons.
In 1835 the church joined the Christian Conference of Western New York, and Isaac Chase was appointed clerk. The first pastor was Joel Doubleday, followed by Jonathan Morse, Ezra Smith, Asa C. Morrison, Ambrose Burlingame, Elder Crocker, Jonathan S. Thompson, for several years, Ambrose Burlingame again in 1857, Elias Jones, 1861, William J. Grimes, four years, Albert Dunlap, five years, and Elder James W. Burgdorf, who is still serving.
On December 28, 1843, the society was lawfully organized, as the statute directs, and the first trustees elected, viz. : Austin Lines, Aaron Blakeman, James B. Deyo, Joseph Hooper, John Houden, James Chase, and Isaac Chase. In 1844 the structure it now occupies was erected, at a cost, including lot, of five thousand five hundred dollars. It is located on the Parma side of the town line, midway the south section, and is a fine, substantial edifice, built of stone. The present trustees are S. D. Burnett, William T. Field, J. D. Chase, D. M. Martin, Ephraim Butcher, E. I. Hicks, and F. H. Irwin, and the present clerk J. D. Chase.
Its present membership is eighty-four. A flourishing Sabbath-school is connected with the church, which was organized May 3, 1848. It now includes ninety -seven teachers and pupils, with Isaac Chase as superintendent. At the same time a library was begun with twenty-five volumes, and now containing one hundred and eighty-five.
History of Monroe County, New York; With Illustrations
Descriptive Of Its Scenery, Palatial Residences,
Public Buildings, Fine Blocks, and Important Manufactories
published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1877
Pages 176 - 178