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City of Syracuse

Submitted by Kathy Crowell

Source:  Dwight H. Bruce (ed.), Onondaga's Centennial.  Boston History Co., 1896, Vol. I, pp. 510-511.

This society was organized by a few members of the First Baptist church in 1848, and in the following year, under the pastorate of Rev. A. Pinney, a small chapel was built on East Genesee street.  This was used through several pastorates, when Dr. H. J. Eddy was called, and remained until September 1, 1873.  During his ministration the lot now occupied by the society was bought and a chapel built and occupied in 1869.  In 1872 the main brick structure was finished at a cost of $75,000.  On September 1, 1873, George Thomas Dowling assumed the pastorate, and under his efforts the church and Sunday school were exceptionally prosperous.  On the evening of June 23, 1874, occurred the terrible calamity in the church which fourteen persons were killed and about one hundred and fifty wounded, by the falling of the floors during an entertainment in the evening.  Rev. Mr. Dowling resigned the pastorate in August, 1877, and on October 1 of that year was succeeded by Rev. E. J. Goodspeed, D. D.  He remained until September, 1879, and T. E. Clapp was called in September, 1880.  He was pastor until March 1886, and in September of that year the present pastor, Rev. S. T. Ford,* assumed the charge.

*Mr. Ford is the son of Rev. William Ford, one of the pioneer Baptist preachers of Oneida county.  He was born in Camden, Oneida county, in 1851, and graduated at Madison University in 1878.  His first pastorate was at Waverly and his next at Albany.  he is an earnest, effective speaker, carefully prepares his sermons and elivers them without notes.  his labor in this church has been rewarded by an era of prosperity in the society.

Submitted 12 July 1998