For several years prior to 1870, the necessity for a new Presbyterian society in Syracuse had been acknowledged; no church of this denomination had been formed since the organization of the Park church in 1845, although the population of the city had increased from 13,000 to 42,000. About this time the union of the two great branches of the Presbyterian church was consummated and it seemed a favorable time for the project of organizing a new church. After consultation with the pastor and others of the First church, a preliminary meeting was held in the Y.M.C.A. rooms in the fall of 1869, and in December, Rev. Dr. Canfield called a public meeting in the chapel of the First church to consider the subject. A resolution was adopted "That the time has now arrived when a new Presbyterian church should be organized." At another meeting on January 27, 1870, the preliminary organization was effected of "The Fourth Presbyterian Church and Society of Syracuse." Seventy-five persons signed a petition to the presbytery, asking for organization. On February 2, 1870, the church was fully organized by a Committee of Presbytery and eighty-one persons united in the organization. The following were the first officers chosen: Pastor, Rev. John S. Bacon; Elders, E. T. Hayden, John Reed, M. A. Shumway, H. C. Hooker, Timothy Hough; Deacons, Edwin Miles and Ira A. Thurber; Clerk, H. C. Hooker; Treasurer, Charles Hubbard; Trustees, H. L. Duguid, R. N. Gere, D. S. Hubbard, Charles Chadwick, Charles Hubbard, E. G. Lathrop, E. F. Rice, L. Brigham, E. R. Sanford; president, H. L. Duguid; Secretary, W. C. Anderson.
Services were held several months in Conservatory Hall, when larger accommodations were secured in Convention Hall, which was fitted and furnished for the purpose. Two years later the lot on the corner of South Salina and Onondaga streets was purchased. On the following Sunday morning during the service the sum of $30,000 was pledged for building an edifice. The new church was finished and dedicated February 27, 1873. Rev. Mr. Bacon resigned after five years of service, when the society was supplied one year by Rev. Herrick Johnson, D. D. Rev. W. H. Gleason was then called, but was forced to resign in a short time on account of ill health. Dr. Johnson again came and remained pastor until September, 1877, when Rev. Dr. Norman Seaver was installed and remained eight years. Rev. J. S. Riggs then occupied the pulpit a few months and was succeeded by Rev. William A. Rice on the first Sunday in December, 1886. He resigned September 15, 1890, and in December following Rev. Allan D. Draper, the present pastor, was called and began his duties February 1, 1891.
Submitted 12 July 1998