The Presbyterian Church of Adams village was organized as the “First Congregational church of Adams,” by the Rev. Ebenezer Lazell, July, 1804, and consisted of the following six members: Joshua Reals, Jacob Kellogg, Abram Griswold, David Comstock, Betsey Griswold, and Asenath Cooper. Divine worship had been established on the Sabbath, in 1801, at the house of Jacob Kellogg, and in 1802 the first sermon was preached by the Rev. Woodward, a missionary. From the time of the formation of the church services were conducted according to the ordinances of the Congregational church, until 1821. January 27, 1821, while the Rev. George W. Gale was pastor, the Presbyterian form of government was adopted, and has prevailed ever since. The membership increased gradually, and there was no notable addition to its numbers until the completion of the church in 1818. The following year there were forty added.
The following is a list of the ministers, and, as nearly as may be, a correct statement of their time of service and of the additions to the church during their labors respectively:
- Rev. Ebenezer Lazell, 1804, organized as above; length of time unknown.
- Rev. Mr. Phelps, 1806, length of time unknown. Additions, 3. Additions in 1807, 3.
- Rev. David Spear, 1808, nine months; additions, 25.
- Rev. Chauneey Cook, 1811, nearly four years; additions, 25. In-stalled.
- Rev. Mr. Burt, 1816, three months; additions, 2.
- Rev. Mr. Porter, 1816, two years.
- Rev. Enos Bliss, 1818, six months; additions, 35.
- Rev. George W. Gale, April, 1819; installed by the St. Lawrence Presbytery, October 25, 1819. Resigned in 1823; additions, 120.
- Rev. John Sessions, 1824, over five years; additions, 80. Installed.
- Rev. I. A. Hart, 1830, probably one and a half years; additions, 93.
- Kev. D. A. Clark, 1832, one year; additions, 2. Installed.
- Rev. Dexler Clary, 1833, less than one year; additions during this and part of the succeeding year, 35.
- Rev. J. Myers, 1834, two years; additions, 8.
- Rev. C. Jones, 1836, about nine months; additions during this and the two succeeding years, 10.
- Rev. John H. Carle, 1839; length of time unknown; additions during this and the year following, 12.
- Rev. R. R. Kirk, 1840, about four years; additions, 61. Installed.
- Rev. F. J. Jackson, 1846, eighteen months; additions during this and the two successive years, 33.
- Rev. P. C. Headley, 1849, four years; additions, 22. Installed.
- Rev. E. C. Prichett, 1854, two years; additions, 7. Installed.
- Rev. H. L. Dox, 1857; additions, 80.
- Rev. G. W. Maokie, April, 1862, three years; additions, 62.
- Rev. E. Lord, August 1, 1865, five years; additions, 133.
- Rev. G. H. Smith, April 1, 1871, term of service, one year eleven months; additions, 16.
- Rev. 6. B. Barnes, November 1, 1873, present incumbent; additions, 57.
The total number who have united with the church is about 800. The present membership is 219.
During Mr. Gale’s ministry, a general revival of religion occurred, and in 1822, 63 united with this church, among whom was Charles G. Finney, who has since acquired a national celebrity as an evangelist, and is now president of Oberlin College. He had previously been a law student, under Judge B. Wright, and evinced an ability and sagacity that would doubtless have made him eminent in that profession. His attention is said to have been turned to religious subjects under the preaching of the Rev. Jedediah Burchard, 1)After a life of eminent usefulness, the Rev. Burchard ended his earthly career at Adams, uttering the words, “I am content,” and calmly sank to his rest. His remains are retained in the rural cemetery. who has attained a distinction not less general as a revival preacher, and of whose labors we shall have repeated occasions to mention in the following pages. The preaching of Mr. Finney has been remarkable for the boldness and originality of his logic, and the strength and clearness of his arguments, which seldom fail to secure the undivided attention of his audience, without those extraneous aids to excitement which, in the hands of some, have produced analogous results. His first ministerial labors were performed in Lorraine, and previous to his commencing his career as a revival preacher he was employed at Evans’ Mills and elsewhere as a stated supply.
At about the same time that Mr. Finney’s attention was directed to religious matters, Orson Parker’s mind was awakened in a like manner. He soon after professed conversion, and became one of the most powerful revivalists of his day, being instrumental in leading thousands to Christ.
While Dr. Headley was at Adams, he wrote some of the most important books which bear his name, in addition to his pastoral duties.
Records Available for the Presbyterian Church
of Adams Village, NY
The following items are available at the Flowers Memorial Library in Watertown New York.
- Adams Presbyterian Church
- List of ministers 1804 — 1857.
- Membership roll 1804 — 1858.
|↑1||After a life of eminent usefulness, the Rev. Burchard ended his earthly career at Adams, uttering the words, “I am content,” and calmly sank to his rest. His remains are retained in the rural cemetery.|