This society sprang up under the impulse given to this religious denomination by the Centenary of American Methodism, and the founding of the Syracuse University. At the Black River Conference in April, 1866, Rev. Ebenezer Arnold was appointed to work in the Fifth ward to make an effort to found a Centenary Memorial church. After some weeks of labor, during which Mr. Arnold preached in the Baptist Hope Chapel, about half a dozen families enlisted in the new society. The Board of Missions granted $500 for the preachers' expenses, and in July a lot was purchased and a subscription opened to raise funds. Five men subscribed $1,000, $750, $200, $200, and $100, respectively, and the work went on prosperously. To perfect an organization forty members of the First church asked to be transferred to the new colony to aid in forming the Centenary church. "It was in a moderate sized room in the second story of the Pike Block, January 6, 1867. The great clock of American Methodism had just struck One Hundred, the first Sunday of the year One had reached high noon. Fifty persons, mostly young and middle aged, stood up and covenanted together in holy church fellowship--one in name, one in purpose, and one in heart. Such was the material of the Centenary church, as then organized." When the subscriptions had reached $13,000, the foundations of the present handsome brick church were begun, the corner stone was laid in April, 1867, and in 1868 the church was completed; its cost was about $37,000.
Submitted 12 July 1998