Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

More on the History of the Congregational Church of North Pelham

I have written before about the history of the Congregational Church of North Pelham that was organized by a group known as the Union Sabbath School of Pelhamville.  For examples, see:

Fri., Apr. 18, 2014:  The Union Sabbath School of Pelhamville.  

Fri., Feb. 28, 2014:  Brief History of the Role Churches Played in the Growth of the Pelhams Published in 1926.  

Mon., Sep. 21, 2009:  January 1882 Account of the 1881 Christmas Festival Held at the Union Sabbath School in Pelhamville.

Mon., Aug. 24, 2009:  1878 Advertisement for Services of The Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville.  

The Congregational Church of North Pelham was so important in the early history of the Village that a brief history of the Church appeared on the first page of the very first issue of The Pelham Sun (Vol. I, No. 1) published on April 10, 1910.  Transcribed below is the text of that article, followed by a citation to its source.

 Map of Pelhamville Published in 1868.
Source: Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity from
Actual Surveys By and Under the Direction of F.W.Beers, 
Assisted By A.B. Prindle & Others, pg. 36 (NY, NY:
Beers, Ellis & Soule, 1868) (Detail from Page 36 Map Entitled 
"Town of New Rochelle, Westchester Co., N.Y. (With) Pelhamville).


The Congregational Church of North Pelham, situated on Second Avenue, between Third and Fourth Streets, and a picture of which appears above, was organized in October, 1896, with twenty-two members, and was an outgrowth of the Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville.  

The original incorporators as given on the records are as follows:  Rev. Henry Randall [Waite,] Mrs. Waite, Thomas R. Scott, Mrs. Thomas R. Scott, Thomas Borthwick, Mrs. R. Pearson, David Lyon, Mrs. David Lyon, S.M. Quailey, Marion C. Borthwick, George Marr, George Borthwick, Marion Borthwick, William S. Algie, Margaret Algie, John H. Maugh, Mrs. John H. Maugh and Miss Ella Maugh.

Dr. Waite served the church for a short time while a resident of Pelham Manor after which the Rev. S. W. Laidler assumed the pastorate.  The Rev. Henry M. Brown now of Mount Hope Congregation Church Bronx served the church most acceptably until going to his new post.  His successor was the Rev. A.A. Robertson who occupied the pulpit for a few months.  The church then extended a call to the Rev. S. B. Kellogg now of Vermont who had just finished his course in Union Theological Seminary and who was ordained by a council of Congregational churches called for the purpose and held at the church on January 14, 1896.  

Mr. Kellogg held the joint pastorate of the Mount Vernon Heights Congregational Church serving both churches until his resignation in 1902.  Following this a call was extended to the Rev. Reuben I. Goddard now of Passaic N.J. who also held the joint pastorate.  After about a year he resigned his charge here to give his whole time to the work at Mount Vernon Heights.

Our present pastor, the Rev. Wayland Spaulding, came to us in October, 1904, and under his pastorate care the membership has more than doubled.  His sermons are pointed and practical and bear all the marks of careful and prayerful study, with a thorough knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and his interest in all that pertains to the welfare of this curhc is intense.

This church has also been greatly blessed and benefited by the ministration of the Rev. George Avery of Chester Crest Mount Vernon, whose Sunday evening discourses are given to large and interested congregations and who with his large experience amongst men gives many helpful and practical illustrations of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to uplift and save.

The Sunday School is well attended.  The meeting room is now inadequate for its purpose.  Some classes have to use the church proper during the school session.  The superintendent, Mr. I. B. Clegge, is ably supported by an interested staff of officers and teachers.  A new piano of the Weser Bros. make has just been purchased for the Sunday School room and is giving general satisfaction.  A large part of the money for the piano was collected by the children of the Sunday School as an Easter offering.

Many interior improvements have been effected in the church building in recent years.  New carpets, chairs, organ, resetting of the wall back of the pulpit, the railing around the platform, etc.  These improvements were largely the work of the Ladies' Aid Society whose president, Mrs. John T. Logan, recently deceased was deeply interested in all that concerned the welfare of the church.  

The reading desk on the platform was presented to the church some years ago by Mr. and Mrs. John B. Clegg as a memorial of a beloved child.  

The present bell that hangs in the belfry and whose melodious tones are a marked improvement on the former one was presented to the church by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ceder.

This church has had its days of trial and perplexity, its times of stress and travail but in them and through them all its great Heart has never allowed its light to go out nor has it been diverted from the one and only purpose of a true church of Jesus Christ, namely to bring to all men the good news of a full and free salvation through Him from sin here and a blessed fellowship with Him begun here and continued in the hereafter.

The present membership is about 70, and as brethren should, they dwell together in harmony.  

The following gentlemen have served at different periods on the Board of Trustees:  John Fairchild, John T. Logan, H. E. Prindle, Alex Kennedy, William S. Algie, D. B. Algie, and C. E. MacDonald.

The present board consists of the following:  George Glover, president; Thomas R. Scott, John B. Clegg, Kneeland S. Durham, George F. Meinecke and Hubert O. Pettit.

The Deacons are Messrs. George Glover and Thomas R. Scott; clerk, George Glover; treasurer, John B. Clegg; treasurer of benevolent funds, C. E. MacDonald; superintendent of Sunday Schools, John B. Clegg; assistant, G. Glover; secretary and treasurer John Weiss.

Among the Sunday School teachers are John B. Clegg, G. Glover, Frank R. Barnett, C. F. MacDonald, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Calderwood, Miss Weiss, Mrs. Petit, Miss Rude, Miss Annie Clegg, and Miss Sarah Calderwood.

The officers of the Ladies Aid Society are President Mrs. Clegg, secretary Mrs. Durham, treasurer Miss E. Lyon."

Source:  CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF NORTH PELHAM, The Pelham Sun [Pelham, NY], Apr. 10, 1910, Vol. I, No. 1, p. 1, cols. 2-3.  

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