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Cairo Historian tells of Merger 
of two Churches

By Grace Story Webber, Cairo Township Historian
Published in the Catskill Daily Mail September 11, 1952

Newspaper article courtesy of Linda Larsen. Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin

(Editorís Note: this is the 10th in a series of articles on the early history of the Town of Cairo, compiled by Mrs. Weber._

* * *

My last article deals with the Presbyterian Church of Christ of Cairo, which was organized in 1799. The list of ministers was given up to the Rev. Sanford W. Roe, 1883-1889.

Then followed Rev. Rufus King, 1889-1899, who added many to the congregation of the church; Rev. J Calvin French, 1899-1904; Rev. H. C. Harmon 1904-1906; Supplies, 1906-1908; Pastor Kellogg, 1908-1909; Robert Bransfitt, 1909-1911; Rev. I. N. Steelman, 1911-1913; Rev. William McKay, 1915-1919; Rev. C. G. Hazard, 1919-1920; Rev. Henry B. Stammer, 1920-1923; Rev. C. G. Hazard, 1923-1928; Rev. Andrew B. Imrie, 1924-1928; Rev. John A. Parker, 1928-1929; Rev. W. Stanley, 1929-1937; Supplies 1937-1938; Rev. Alvin A. TenPas, 1938-1942.

There has been no regular minister since the fall of 1942, but the members of the congregation have faithfully attended the Methodist Church.

In the spring of this year, the Presbyterian Church decided to unite with the Methodist Church of Cairo, with the understanding that the religious services would be held in the Presbyterian Church.

At the annual meeting of the Methodist Church, one of the Presbyterian trustees was elected as an officer of the Methodist Church. On July 30, the final plans were completed for the merger of the two churches into the United Church of Cairo (Methodist) to take place the first of September, 1952. Attending this meeting were Dr. A. Daviss of the New York Methodist Conference and Dr. H. Victor Frelick of the Albany Presbytery.

The Presbyterian, having a surplus in their treasury, decided to paint and repair their building before turning over the property to the United Church of Cairo (Methodist)

It is understood that the Methodist building will be used as a Youth Center for the young people of the town.

During the 163 years, there have been many gifts: Miss Ella Holgate and Mrs. Dora Stevens each left legacies and Mrs. Stevens gave a memorial for her husband, Solon Stevens.

The two beautiful windows were given, one by the children of James and Maria M. Wooster, and the other window by the Ladiesí Aid Society. These are to be reset in the front of the church building, the pulpit and the collection plates were given by Mrs. Ella Wooster Messerole, also the Communion set, the American flag and standard, and many other items, Miss Fannia J. Newcomb gave the pulpit Bible. And Burr Vaughn the baptismal font. Courtney Tolley gave the bulletin board in the yard and Miss Holgate the piano. Much time and money have been contributed by the members of the congregation and their friends for the improvement of the property.

It is fitting that the closing service in the Methodist Church will be with the Communion Service on Oct. 9th and the opening date of the transfer to the United Church Oct. 12, with Dr. Davies and Dr. Frelick taking part in this service.

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