This church is the outgrowth of the first mission Sunday school in Syracuse, which was begun in the spring of 1859 by James Marshall, then superintendent of the First Presbyterian Sunday school, who called a number of young Sabbath breakers into the Second Evangelical church, corner of Grape and Jackson streets, and proposed to them the establishment of a Sunday school. The proposition met with favor, and the school was named the Scattergood Mission Sunday school and was taken under the care of the First Presbyterian church. In 1861 A. J. Northrup succeeded Mr. Marshall as superintendent, and not long afterward a lot was given to the school by Edward Townsend on Monroe street, and there a chapel was built by H. W. Van Buren and T. B. Fitch; it was dedicated May 1, 1863. In October, 1864, Charles Hubbard was made superintendent and was succeeded in October, 1868, by H. C. Hooker. In 1881 the building was enlarged to accommodate the increasing attendance. Preaching was begun in June, 1869, on Sunday evenings, by university students and others, and soon the need of larger accommodations was felt. Now the First Presbyterian church came forward, and largely through the generosity of Mrs. H. W. Van Buren, Mrs. E. W. Leavenworth, Mrs. P. W. Fobes and Lewis S. Phillips, a lot on Grape street was purchased and the Memorial edifice erected at a gross cost of about $20,000; it was dedicated May 6, 1886. In April, 1885, the Presbyterian Association delegated the pastorate to Rev. Alfred E. Myers, and on September 8, 1887, the mission was organized into the Memorial Presbyterian church, with eighty-seven members. The property was soon afterward deeded to the society by the First church. Rev. Albert J. Abeel was called to the pastorate and began his labors October 16, 1887, and still remains.
Submitted 12 July 1998