Congregational Church of Gloversville

25th Pastorate Anniversary

June 21st, 1901


1876 - 1901
Twenty - fifth Anniversary
of the Pastorate of
W. E. Park, D. D.
of the Congregational Church
Gloversville, New York

To W. E. Park, D. D.

Dear Friend and Pastor:

    This souvenir has been arranged and published by a few of the many loyal members of your Church and congregation, who have chosen this method of contributing to the celebration of the Silver Anniversary of your pastorate among us.

    When the swift current of life will have made dim the recollection of the events chronicled in these pages, and the tide of circumstances will have been separated, one by one those whose joy it is to participate in them, there will abide with us, while life lasts and memory remains, all you have been to us and all you have done for us as a pastor, teacher and friend.

    May our Heavenly Father grant that, as pastor and people, our paths may yet lie a long way together, until we reach at last the inheritance toward which you have so faithfully sought to lead us.


Church in 1876 William Edwards Park New Church, 1894


Historical Outline

The Church at Kingsboro, of which the Congregational Church at Gloversville is an offshoot, was organized in February, 1804.  On the 23d of May, of the same year, the Rev. Elisha Yale was ordained as its pastor and continued his pastorate till the 23d of June, 1852, a period of more than forty-eight years.  Under his long and devoted ministry the Church grew in numbers, in strength, and in usefulness, until at the close of his labors, it had become strong enough for division into two vigorous branches.

The laying aside of this venerable pastor, the growth of the village of Gloversville, and other providential indications, seemed to many to constitute a Divine call for the organization of a new church; and a colony of seventy-eight members was accordingly dismissed for that purpose on the 21st of June 1852, just in time to receive the patriarchal blessing of their pastor before his resignation.  They were organization into "The Congregational Church of Gloversville" by a council duly convened on the 2d day of July 1852.  A new house of worship was dedicated the 29th of the same month.  The Rev. Homer N. Dunning commenced his ministrations to the Church at the same date, and was ordained as its pastor on the 2d of December following.  He officiated as such until December 11, 1864.

The Rev. Chas. Hill was installed May 31st, 1865, and resigned August 12th, 1868.

The Rev. Wm. A. McGinley was installed as pastor on June 8, 1869 and resigned on the 26th of May, 1874.

On the 13th of January, 1875, a call was extended to the Rev. William L. Gaylord.  He accepted the invitation and supplied the pulpit until August 5th of the same year, when death in his family made it expedient for him to withdraw his acceptance of the call.

The Wm. E. Park, the present pastor, began his labors on March 5, 1876, and was installed on the 21st of June following.  - (From The Manual of the Congregational Church, published in 1879.)


Church Officers and Deacons



S. Sexton
S. Dodge
J. D. Foster
R. Washburn
J. O. Parsons
I. V. Place


S. H. Shotwell
D. F. Cowles
A. D. Kibbe
E. M. Brown
Chas. Holden
F. S. Mills
S. Elmore Burton
H. H. Steele
A. J. Zimmer



I. V. Place
W. H. Demarest
Alanson Judson
D. S. Tarr


Uriel Case
F. S. Mills
Eugene Beach, M. D.
John H. Richardson
M. V. B. Stetson
A. D. L. Baker



John L. Getman


David H. Tarr
S. Elmore Burton



Alfred Wilmarth


Robert Neal



At Congregational Church.

June 16 - 20 - 21

In connection with the musical programme of the evening, two hymns were used that had been sung at the installation service.
The decorations about the pulpit were rich and beautiful.  Two large split silk flags were draped each side, and on the pillars of the arch at the right and left were "1876" and "!901" ingeniously made of daises.  Over the pulpit were suspended the silver-covered figures, "25".  Flowering plants and cut flowers were generously distributed about the platform.

Thursday Evening, June 20
7:00 o'clock

Welcome..............Allison Mills
Prayer...............Dr. Park
Reading.............Lillian McNab Burton
Depositing of Box........Judson Zimmer
Response....................Dr. Park
Processional and Planting of the Tree.........Primary and Kindergarten departments of the Sunday School.
Singing - America.

7:30 o'clock

Festival March.....................F. N. E. Sparhawk
Anthem "Jerusalem".............Parker

The Choir
Prayer.................Rev. W. H. Groat
Responsive Reading - conducted by Rev. I. D. Van Valkenburg
Soprano Solo - "My Redeemer and My Lord" (Dudley Buck)..........Miss Maria C. Smith
Greetings, in Behalf of the Sister Churches...............T. G. Thompson, D. D., A. W. Bourn, D. D.
Contralto Solo - "My Sheperd" (Greely)  Mrs. DeWitt Saltsman
Address.........E. N. Packard, D. D.
Hymn - written for the occasion by Mrs. F. N. E. Sparhawk


Friday Evening, June 21
7:30 p.m.

Reception in Church Parlors.

Toastmaster.............Hon. A .D. L. Baker


Our Pastor, Our Guest...........Rev. Wm. E. Parks
The Mother Church..............Rev. H. W. Tolson
The Past....................Uriel Case
The Present.............Eugene Beach, M. D.
The Future...................Lawrence Stetson
The Sister Churches..............Rev. J. .j. Dominic
Reminiscences.................Seymour Sexton
The City..................Hon. Daniel B. Judson
The Library...................A. L. Peck


 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A Quarter Century's Work

There is something decidedly out of the ordinary in the ability of the press to refer to a single pastorate extending uninterruptedly over a quarter of a century of time, and the Leader finds pleasure in extending its felicitations to rev. William E. Park, D. D., who has just arrived at the twenty-fifth milestone as earthly shepherd of the Congregational flock in this city.

The length of time in Godly service in itself speaks volumes and contains a wealth of emphasis which a mere review in newspaper print could never impart.  The preacher who enters upon his work as upon a mere profession, chiefly governed by a personal desire to excel in brilliance and achieve fame, honor, and their attendant advantages, mistakes his calling.  There is too much personal selfishness in it, and the real mission which his education was intended to fit him for is a loser.  If coldness, indifference and dissensions spring up in the soil which he is engaged to cultivate, the fault and responsibility is contained largely in himself.  Dr. Park is a man of erudite education, brilliant and convincing in his manner of discourse, whose natural ability and study have been supplemented by extensive travel; but the best that he has acquired and the best that is in him have ever been trained upon the one subject, the cultivation of God-given talent  for the glory of the Great Master whom he serves; hence it is that while in too many instances pastorates are evanescent in their influence and flitting in their nature, that of the preacher under discussion has been strengthened and more cemented with the lapse of the time, and to-day, at the close of twenty-five years' faithful, conscientious, efficient service, pastor and people are more firmly united in affection than ever, and the uppermost hope of the people is that the existing relation may never be severed during the lifetime of their honored pastor, whose popularity is by no means confined to his own church and locality.  In the work of upbuilding the church of which he is pastor, spiritually, numerically and financially, Dr. Park has exerted a splendid influence, and The Leader, in extending its congratulations, most cordially unites in the hope that he may be continued in well doing for many years to come, and that the prosperity and usefulness which mark the career of his church may never be interrupted or abridged.  -- Editorial Daily Leader



A pastorate that covers a quarter of a century is something so rare in these days of shifting scenes and kaleidoscopic changes, as to suggest qualities in both pastor and people worthy of special study or the existence of conditions s out of the ordinary that we may well give pause to mark the occasion.  It is now a little more than twenty-five years since the Rev. W. E. Park, D. D., entered upon his duties as pastor of the First Congregational Church in this city, and a little less than twenty-five years since his formal installation and last night he reviewed somewhat the history of the church during those years.  Dr. Park was a young man when he came to Gloversville, but had already given evidence of the strength of character and intellectual vigor that have made him a potent factor, not alone in the church over which he [presided, and in the community in which he lived, but in the councils of the Congregational associations in the broader fields of  state and nation.

Like all men of large intellect, Dr. Park has been a careful student of men and events, has traveled not a little and observed much, storing his mind and broadening his view, and the result has been a long pastorate marked by a steadily united congregation, constantly increasing in numbers and showing a healthy growth along the lines that make for the good of the community.  The full fruits of Dr. Park's labors in this community are not for record here, nor do they need editorial exploitation.  That they are many we can readily believe, that they are good we all know.

Twenty-five years is a long pastorate, but twice twenty-five years will not be too long for a man of Dr. Park's character and ability.  -- Editorial Morning Herald

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