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A bit of our history

The first service was held June 30, 1869 by Rev. Thomas Burnet, a newcomer from New York. He was assisted by Rev. George Ainslie of First Presbyterian Church in Rochester and by Mr. J.A. Leonard, an active Christian and editor of the Rochester Post.

On July 3, 1869, after four consecutive days of service, it was decided to form an Presbyterian Church of Oronoco. In October of 1869, land was purchased for the new church and construction was begun in May of 1871. The new church consisted of a white wooden church building with steeple and a sanctuary to seat 130 people. In 1902, a bell tuned to "C" was purchased for the steeple. The cost of the church building was $3500. A wood manse was built northeast of the church at a cost of $500.

On November 26, 1880, Rev. W.C. Beebe succeeded Rev. Burnet. On November 16, 1898, a Ladies Aid Society was formed. To be a member, one had to attend meetings and give an offering of 5 cents each meeting (This group changed it's name to the Women of the Church in 1992 and to People of the Church in 2006. They are active in the support of many outreach and mission projects.)

By April of 1899, Robert Glasby was Pastor, with a salary of $3.00 paid monthly by the Ladies Aid. At the end of the year 1900, the church accounts showed $49.96 as income and $43.97 as expense, leaving a balance of $5.99. The Ladies Aid Society is credited with keeping the church doors open and continuing the Pastor's pay, then $3.50 per month.

The Ladies Aid meetings opened with devotion. Lunches were served at the meetings, consisting of sandwiches, coffee and dessert. Members adhered to the rules or were fined 25 cents.

By 1948, an education wing was built and the sanctuary was remodeled. A restroom addition was made in 1977. The sanctuary was restored and air conditioned in 2003.

A new manse was constructed in 1961 as the older 1872 manse had deteriorated. In 2004, the manse was sold.

In 1907 and 1908, the Lutherans of the community used the Presbyterian Church for their worship on Sunday afternoons. Other connections to the community include the gift of a United States flag from the V.F.W. in 1944, and the sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop in 1958. Other groups used the church building in the 1970s. These included: the Jaycees, Y.M.C.A., Boy Scouts, and the Republican Political Party for a caucus.


The above history is from "Oronoco Past and Present"

written by Elsie Boutelle

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