Greenville Presbyterian Church
Transcribed by Jackie Towner from LDS Film 0533479, item 4.
1. Beriah Hotchkin,1792 to Sept 7, 1824. Installed June 18, 1794.
" He was born in Guilford CT, Mar 27th 1752. The circumstances of the family precluded the idea of educating their son, and he was apprenticed to the trade of tanner, currier, and shoemaker, which useful trade he followed till past 30 years of age. He was thoughtful and studious from a child and eagerly improved every opportunity to cultivate his mind, until in 1785, he received license to preach from the Morris County Presbytery. ** Before coming here he was pastor of the Congregational Church in Guilford, CT, his native place. He was ordained and installed there in 1785. The Rev. Benjamin Trumbull and Jonathan Edwards took part in the services. He preached the first sermon in Greenville, April 5th, 1789, in Benjamin Speesí barn. He soon returned to his old home, but remained there but a short time. In the spring of 1789 (?) he returned with his family. He preached on what was then called Leetís Hill, East Durham. He was unanimously invited to take charge of the church here, and was offered the round sum of 75p. 3s. 9d. per annum, with the bonus of 50 acres of land embracing Botsford Hill and the meadows lying beneath it and the brook. He built the old kitchen belonging to the residence of Nelson Knowles, on the north side of the tract. It contained but one room, but made him a comfortable home. He accepted the call, and in 1793 (error) he came for the third time among the people to whom he devoted the remainder of his life. ** In 1824 he retired from the pulpit. He died at Plattsburg, NY Jan 26th 1829." (Extracted from Beersí History of Greene County pp. 304-5)
At a church meeting, held on April 18, 1794, it was "voted that this church do give Rev. Beriah Hotchkin a call to settle with us in the work of the gospel ministry". A council was called of the churches in Sheffield, Egremont, New-Canaan, Spencertown, Green River, and Rensselaerville and the Rev. Beriah Hotchkin was duly installed on June 18, 1794. On Aug 25, 1824, the Rev. Beriah Hotchkin applied to be relieved from the pastoral charges on account of the infirmities of age. In his letter he stated that he "was called to the work of the Gospel Ministry among you in the year of the Lord 1792" and "as your Pastor, I have continued with you for the space of thirty-two years." These words of his own show that he must have labored in Greenville for about two years before he was actually called, and they should be regarded as authentic and official, rather than the dates given in the extract from the history of Greene County, which contains obvious errors. The Eastern section of the Northern Associated Presbytery met at Greenville, on Sept 7, 1824, when the pastoral relation was dissolved and the Rev. Beriah Hotchkin was "recommended to the churches of Christ wherever he may go as a minister of Good and regular standing."
2. Sylvester Woodbridge, Feb 16, 1825 to Dec 1 (?), 1830.
He was unanimously elected Pastor at a church meeting held on Jan 10, 1825, and his call was made out and signed on that day. He was installed by the Columbia Presbytery, on the third Wednesday in February. He presided as Moderator of the sessions for the last time on Nov. 17, 1830. At a meeting of the Society on Dec 11, 1830, it was stated that " the Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge has by a public act withdrawn his ministerial services from this Society." At that meeting a committee was appointed to supply the pulpit. At a meeting of the Society on April 13, 1831, steps were taken to concur with Mr. Woodbridge, when he applied for a dissolution of the pastoral relation as he had given notice that he would. And in case he failed to apply, to make a like application, on the part of the Society. The Presbytery met at Catskill, on the third Tuesday in April.
3.Jonathan Hovey, May 11, 1831 to January (?) 1833.
At a Society meeting on May 11,1831, it was voted to employ the Rev. Mr. Hovey for one year. On Dec 16, 1831, he was unanimously elected Pastor and the Trustees were directed to sign a call for him. He presided as Moderator for the last time on Dec 28, 1832.
Alexander M Cowan, Supply 1833. On June 13, 1833, the session "unanimously approved of his labors as far as they had opportunity to judge" and resolved that a meeting of the Society be called to elect him Pastor. The meeting was held in the early part of July, but Mr. Cowan was not elected.
4.Baker Johnson, January (?) 1834 to 1841.
He occupied the chair as Moderator on Jan 25, 1834 (The minutes of the Session of the First Presbyterian Church in Gardner, NY, show that a meeting of the Columbia Presbytery was called to meet at Greenville, on Feb 26, 1834, to install Mr. Johnson.) The last recorded meeting of the Session that he presided at, as Moderator, was on Dec 12, 1840. At that meeting Mr. Henry George was suspended. The Session had been disciplining him that fall. His chief fault was that he believed the Pastor was not qualified by nature or by grace to be useful to the congregation. Perhaps he was instrumental in forcing a close to Mr. Johnsonís pastorate. In Dec 1841, Mr. Johnson was Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Stroudsburg PA.
5.Edward Hopper, Oct 26, 1843 to the fall of 1851.
His labors in the congregation commenced as early as Feb 1843, when the subject of calling him was favorably discussed. He was elected pastor on Sept 5, 1843, and installed on Oct 26, 1843.
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