The parish of St. Paul's Church in Waterloo originated November 17, 1817, at a meeting of the inhabitants of the towns of Junius and Fayette, holding to the Protestant Episcopal form of worship. This meeting was held at the school house, in the village of Waterloo, Rev. Orrin Clark, rector, in the chair, and St. Paul's Church was duly organized. Benjamin Hendricks and Gardner Welles were elected wardens, with John Watikins, Daniel Rhodes, Enoch Chamberlain, Martin Kendig, Jr., Jesse Clark, John Knox, Charles Swift, and William H. Stewart, vestrymen. One of the wardens of this primitive church, Gardner Welles, lived to see a beautiful stone edifice, erected nearly half a century later, on the site of the first structure, where, for several years he was a faithful worshipper. March 13, 1820, it was resolved to "erect a house of public worship," services being held in the meantime, in the school house and court house. Nothing was accomplished in the matter, until January 9, 1825, when the effort to build a church was renewed, and the wardens and vestrymen were authorized to enter into a contract with Messrs. William H. Stewart and Adon Cobleigh, to built the same. In the contract made with the mason for laying the foundation of the church, it stated, that, "he is to be victualled and lodged, and to receive store pay, at the store of Watkins and Swift." A few months later, a contract was made with a firm at Hartford, Conn., for the purchase of a bell. It was resolved that the expense of building be estimated at $3,000, and that the pews and slips be so valued as to amount to that sum. The first sale of pews and slips was held in the church, April 3, 1826. In May following, Rev. William Weber, was offered $250 for one year's ministerial service, with the privilege of holding service at Vienna, on the first Sunday in each month. The church was consecrated, September 16, 1826, by Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, bishop of New York. A few months later the vestry was authorized to contract for an organ, worth $150, "when the subscription for said instrument should warrant such contract." In 1831, Rev. Mr. Hubbard officiated, whit the privilege of devoting one-half of his time at Seneca Falls. Succeeding Mr. Hubbard in 1834, was Stephen McHugh, at a salary of $500, including the missionary stipend. At this time a tax of five per cent was levied on the pews, for the purpose of painting the church. The organist, Miss Russell was paid forty dollars per annum, and the sexton, Mr. McKane, was allowed two dollars per month. In May, 1837, Rev. Foster Thayer was called, at a salary of $700, including the missionary stipend. To increase the revenue of the church, the pews and slips were sold at auction in April, 1839, bids being taken as a premium for choice. William V.I. Merson bid $8.50, and bids ranged from this, down to fifty cents. The following named persons were at this time pew holders: Jesse Clark, John Watkins, Samuel Williams, Joel W. Bacon, Nathaniel Lee, Samuel Clark, Daniel Kern, Mr. Battele, Samuel Birdsall, Isaac Pinkney, John G. Pearson, Oliver Gustin, Warren T. Lee, Aaron R. Wheeler, Samuel Hendricks, Caleb Loring, Benjamin Folsom, Henry Warner, Julia Chamberlain, George Smith, John Watkins, Benjamin F. Wartenby, Anthony Snyder, Franlin Gage, William V.I. Mercer, William A. Strong, Thomas Fatzinger, Pardon T. Mumford, Martin Allen, John Inslee, A.N. Draper, Daniel S. Kendig, George Hutten, Horace McCarthy, Mr. Haskel. May 6, 1839, Rev. Eli Wheeler became rector, at a salary of $650. No records of the vestry can be found from November 10, 1839, to June 30, 1847, at which time Rev. Eli Wheeler tendered his resignation. Rev. D.H. Macurdy was elected rector of the parish, July 31, 1848. Soon after Mrs. Davis was engaged as organist at a salary of fifty dollars per annum, and the sexton's salary was increased to fifty dollars. In March, 1849, the brick school house and lot near the church were purchased. The rector, Rev. D.H. Macurdy resigned, August 15, 1850, and Rev. Edward Livermore was called to the rectorship of the parish October 22, 1850. The school house was enlarged in 1852, and school opened on the festival of the Epiphany, under the general oversight of the rector. Mr. John H. Swift, of the city of New York, in 1854, presented six village lots, for the use and benefit of the Parish School, which lots were afterwards sold, and the sum of $800 realized. In March, 1855, Rev. Edward Livermore tendered his resignations, and was succeeded by Rev. Malcolm Douglas, in the following June. After three years service, Rev. Malcolm Douglas resigned, and in July, 1859, Rev. R. N. Parke was called.
During the year 1860, a movement was initiated for building a new church edifice. This enterprise was steadily and persistently pursued and the corner stone was laid, June 9, 1863, by Rt. Rev. William H. Delancy. In two years the church was finished, and consecrated May 4, 1865, by Rt. Rev. A. Cleveland Coxe, and Rev. R. N. Parke was instituted rector of the parish. The wardens of the church at that time were Calvin w. Cook and Thomas Fatzinger; Vestrymen, S.G. Hadley, Levi Fatzinger, George Cook, Benjamin Bacon, D.S. Kendig, Enos Laney, John C. Watkins, and Sidney Warner; Organist Miss Serene Birdsall. The cost of the church, including the fence and organ was $28,780.53. The windows, chancel finishing, furniture and cushions for the church, were presented by Messrs. Levi and Thomas Fatzinger. The furnaces were the give of Calvin W. Cook, and the gas fixtures the gift of Hon. S.G. Hadley. The organ was given by the ladies of the parish, from the proceeds of the sewing and mite societies. Mr. George H. Welles, of New York city, presented a folio Bible, alter service, six prayer books and the psalms and hymns for the use of the desk and altar. Rev. R.N. Parke resigned February 1, 1871, and Rev. William D'Oreville Doty accepted the rectorship, April 1, of the same year, being Easter day. Soon after, the residence of James Stevenson, on Main street, was purchased for a parsonage, for the sum of $5,500. The following year, the parish school house was enlarged at a cost of $2,140.08.
In 1874, it was decided to build St. John's chapel, as a memorial to Calvin W. Cook, on land donated by Miss Jane M. Hunt, for that purpose. The corner stone was laid September 26, 1874, by the bishop of the diocese, and the first service was held February 14, 1875. In 1877, Mr. and Mrs. William Ashmore presented to the parish fifteen acres of land, the avails of which were to be used for the benefit of the parish school and the Little Women's sewing school. Rev. William D'Oreville Doty resigned in November 1877, and Rev. George Wallace accepted a call to this parish in March, 1878. It is recorded, that in January, 1879, the vestry received from Miss Mary Fatzinger, of Auburn, (formerly of Waterloo,) the generous give of $1,000, for the use and benefit of the Sunday school. In May, 1879, $26,000 was received, the bequest of Thomas Fatzinger, of which amount $10,000 was to be used for the benefit of the parish school. Am memorial baptismal font, was presented to St. Paul's church, by Rev. William D'Oreville Doty, and consecrated June 13, 1879. Rev. George Wallace resigned the charge of the parish, June 26, 1882, after four years service, having received a call to St. Andrew's Cathedral, Honolulu, Sandwich Islands. The vestry then tendered the rectorship to Rev. Robert M. Duff, the present rector, who entered upon his ministerial services here August 1, 1882. Since then, many who were once active helpers in the church miliant, have "entered into eternal rest". A recent gift to the church was a handsome memorial lectern, presented by the late W. Frederick Bacon. Previously, Miss Annie Welles had presented two antependiums, and two bookmarks, all of rich material and exquisite workmanship. A memorial hymn tablet, was also presented, for the use of the congregation, by Mrs. Sarah Branch.
The present officers of the church are as follows: Rector, Rev. Robert Murray Duff, S.T.D.; wardens, Hon. S.G.Hadley, A.H. Terwilliger; vestrymen, Hon S.R. Welles, Benjamin Bacon, Col. F.L. Manning, George E. Crocker, A.G. Mercer, James E. Batsford, W.T. McLean, Philip M. Kendig. Hon. Sterling G. Hadley has served thirty-two years in the vestry. Hon S. R. Welles and A. H. Terwilliger have each served twenty-five years and Benjamin Bacon twenty-four years. The various church organizations, with their officers, are as follows: Ladie's Mite Society - President, Miss Sabina Mercer; vice-president, Mrs. A.H. Terwilliger; secretary, Mrs. R. M. Duff; treasurer, Mrs. Frances S. Relfe; Woman's Auxiliary Missionary Society - President, Mrs. Edward Fatzinger; vice-president, Mrs. William Bromley; secretary and treasurer, Mrs. Frances S. Relfe; St Paul's Guild - President, Mrs. Francis Bacon; vice-president, Miss Mercy Faucett; secretary, Pauline Wells; treasurer, Louise Semptner; directors, Miss Nellie Rogers, Miss Bessie Yells, Miss Amanda Dobles, Mrs. George VanHousen; Little Woman's Sewing School - Executive committee, Mrs. Edward Fatzinger, Mrs. Robert Duff, Mrs. E.B. Cullen.