Berean Society of Universalists Sherburne, Chenango County, New York
The Berean Society of Universalists in Sherburne was organized Aug. 25, 1849, at a meeting of the friends of Universalism, convened in the brick school-house, situated east of the academy in the village of Sherburne, which had been previously purchased by them to be used as a house of worship. Rev. James S. Sherburne was appointed moderator, and Isaac Plumb secretary. Prayer was offered by Rev. Alfred Peck, after which Rev. C. L. Shipman presented for consideration the draft of a constitution, which, after some discussion, was adopted. E. S. Lyman was then elected clerk, and Labin Howard, Alberto Sabin and Hiram Briggs, trustees. It was resolved to request the fellowship of the Chenango Association of Universalists and Rev. J. S. Sherburne and E. S. Lyman were appointed delegates to represent this society at the next meeting of the Association.
Jan. 8, 1853, Isaac Plumb was elected clerk, a position which he has held to the present time.
In April, 1856, the society purchased the edifice owned by the Free Church of Sherburne for $900, and in the same month and year they sold to Linus R. Hopson for $240, the house and site they had till then occupied. In 1877, the church was repaired at an expense of $1,476.34, and was rededicated Aug. 22 and 23, 1877, Rev. Daniel Ballou preaching the dedicatory sermon.
Previous to June, 1879, no church but simply a society organization existed. At that time thirty-eight individuals, “feeling that church organization and membership are important helps to purer lives, signified their desire to form such a relation in a Universalist church in Sherburne.”
July 12, 1879, Vashti Brooks and Jennie O’Brien were baptized by immersion by Rev. Daniel Ballou. This is the first baptism recorded in the church. July 13, 1879, the first observance of communion is recorded, Albert C. Parker and T. G. Lamb, “acting as stewards and deacons.”
August 24, 1879, the church adopted a constitution and by-laws, and a confession of faith and covenant. Article 1 of the constitution denominates it the First Universalist Church of Sherburne.
The present number of members is about fifty.
The following have been the pastors. Those whose names are italicized were settled as such: Revs. Tomlison, Shipman, Cargill, Gilman, Robert, Queal, B. S. Hobbs, Payne, Austin, Porter, E. M. Lester, F. B. Peck, Boughton, A. G. Clark, Cone, Wm. DeLong, Daniel Ballou, James Ballou, T. D. Cook, Lansing, Bennett and Canfield.