Manual
of the
Presbyterian Church
of Johnstown, N. Y.

 

Containing a list of the Officers and Member thereof,
to October 1, 1874.

Printed for the use of the Members of the Church.
Johnstown:  Journal Book and Job Printing House, 1874


Present Officers of the Church

Minister:  Rev. Moses E. Dunham

Elders:
Vistus Balch, Jacob Burton, Duncan McGregor, Peter McEwen, James D. Parrish, Dadivid D. Selmser, Horace E. Smith, Philip Yauney

Deacons:
Jacob Boshart, Belden Case, Daniel Edwards, E. W. Edwards, William D. Foot, George Fraser, William S. McKie

Manual of the Presbyterian Church

Stated Meetings.
  Besides the usual services on the morning and evening of every Lord's Day, there is a meeting for Prayer in the Lecture room, every Friday evening.
  The Sabbath School assembles every Sabbath immediately after the morning service in the church.
  The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is administered in the church, four times in each year; ordinarily on the second Lord's Day of March, June, September, and December, immediately after the morning service.
  The preparatory services are held in the church on the Saturday immediately preceeding.
  The Sacrament of Baptism is administered at any of the public services of the church, but parents are requested, when it is not inconvenient, to present their children at the preparatory lecture, previous to the administration of the Lord's Supper.
  The annual meeting of the Congregation, takes place on the third Monday of December, at which meeting Trustees are elected, the pews rented fort he coming year, and any other necessary business transacted.
   Collections for benevolent objects, are taken up by envelopes left in the pews on the first Sabbath of each month.

Historical Sketch.
  In the year 1785 the Presbyterian Congregation of Johnstown was formally charted.  How long it had been organized before this event, there are no means of deciding; but probably about 20 years.
  In 1787 the church was received under the care of the Presbytery of New York; and presented a call to Rev. James Thompson, to become their pastor, which call he does not appear to have accepted, but supplies the pulpit for some time.
  In 1790, Rev. Simon Hosack, became pastor of the church, and continued in that relation until his death in 1833.  In 1799 the old church was erected.  It is referred to in Documentary History of New York, vol. 3, as an "Elegant meeting house".
  When the congregation first occupied the church, in 1799, the number of communicants had reached one hundred and eighty.
  In 1790, the church passed under the care of the Presbytery of Albany, at its formation.
  In 1826, the Rev. Gilbert Morgan was called as Collegiate Pastor with Dr. Hosack, and continued in that relation until 1828.  It was during his pastorate that the old "Session House" was built and, Watts' version of the Psalms was substituted for the old version of Mr. Rouse, which had previously been "lined out", as was the custom in those days.
  The Rev. Hugh Mair was called also as Collegiate Pastor, in 1831, and succeeded to the pastorate, upon the death of Mr. Hosack, in 1833.
  The Presbytery of Albany record upon their minutes as follows:

 "With solemn recollections of departed worth, the Presbytery record the death of the Rev. S. Hosack, D. D., the last of the members who comprised this Presbytery at its formation.  He died in the pastoral charge at Johnstown, on Lord's Day, May 19, 1833."

  Dr. Mair continued pastor until 1843, and was succeeded by Rev. Malcolm N. McLaren, whom the Rev. James Otterson succeeded in 1845, from which time the history of the church will be familiar to most of its present members.
  The Baptismal Register since 1785, is still in existence, as is also the record of marriages; but the sessional records previous to 1830, are lost.  It is therefore impossible to make a complete list of names of Elders, as only such names as appear from time to time as delegates to Presbytery, as obtained from minutes of Presbytery, can be given.

Order of Receiving Members into the Church.

  As the names of persons uniting on profession are called, they will take their places in the aisle in front of the Pulpit, when they will be addressed as follows:
  "Grace be to you, and Peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  "You have presented yourselves before God to dedicate yourselves to his service, and to be recognized as members of his visible Church.  Confessing and deploring the sins of your past life, and believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came into the world and died for us; that He was raised again for our justification, and that through Him are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even the forgivness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting, it is your desire now to confess His name, even as He Himself has enjoined.
  "You avouch the Lord to be your God, Jesus Christ your Redeemer and yourselves His servant forever.
  "Do you thus profess and believe?
  "The Sacrament of Baptism will now be administered, to such as have not been Baptized."

After Which will be Read the Following Covenant:
  "And now depending upon Divine Grace for assistance, you sacredly bind yourselves to glorify God, by obedience to his law, and by a diligent observance of His ordinances; you promise to separate yourselves from the world so far as its engagements would cool your attachment to piety, or bring a stigma upon your holy profession.
   "You promise to co-operate in every good work; to live not unto yourselves, but unto Him who died for you.  And in your closets, in your families, and in the world, to act as becometh the Gospel of Christ.
  "You pledge yourselves to obey the laws of this particular Church, and to submit to its disciplines, while you continue members thereof, throwing yourselves upon its care and affectionately regarding its interests.
  "Do you thus covenant?
  "Beloved in the Lord, your engagement is now sealed.  No power on earth can dissolve this Covenant.  IT will follow you through time, and accompany you to the Judgment Seat.
  "When you depart from this place, carry with you the salutary recollection, that the eyes of the world are upon you, and that as you henceforth conduct yourselves, religion will be disgraced or honored.  Abide, then, near the throne of Grace, be faithful and diligent in duty, and ever watchful in life and conversation.  Count not yourselves to have apprehended, as though you were already perfect, but grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Live by faith upon the Son of God; evermore feed upon the bread which came down from Heaven, and drink from the fountain of living water."

(The names of persons uniting by certificate from other churches will now be called.  AS the names are read, they will rise in their respective seats, the others still standing, when they will be addresses as follows:)

  "Do you bind yourselves by covenant to this church, while you continue members of the same, to seek its peace and edification, promote the happiness and reputation of its members, and to submit to its government and discipline?
  "Do you thus solemnly promise and engage?

(The members of the church will now be called on to rise in their places, and will stand while the following response in their behalf is read:)

  "In the  name of the session of this church, and of all its members, I extend to you their Christian salutations and their affectionate welcome to all the hospitalities of our Father's House.  We, who are members of this church, hail you as participants in the same glorious hope and blessings of the Gospel, and declare you entitled to all privileges of Christian fellowship.  We recognize you as co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, and as heirs to the inheritance of faith.  And as such we engage to watch over you on our part, with brotherly love, and to endeavor to promote your present and everlasting welfare.
  "And may the Lord enable you to walk worthy of your high vocation, and in all things to adorn the doctrine of God, your Savior.  May he support  and guide you through the vicissitudes and trials of this transitory life; and when this warfare is accomplished, may He receive us all into His Heavenly Kingdom.
  "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.  Amen."

Ministers of the Church Since 1785:

Elders of the church since 1792:
(so far as their names can be ascertained)

The following names appear together in the old church record at first Communion of Church, February 10th, 1792:

William Grant, Jeremiah Mason, John McArthur, Daniel McVean, Daniel Walker

The Following names occur in the records of the Albany Presbytery, in the early part of the present century, as delegates from the Session:

James Boyd, James McDonald, Duncan McMartin, Peter McDonald, James Mitchell, Alexander Russell, John Stewart, David Walker

The Following appear as delegates to Presbytery in 1817 and 1819:

Peter McIntyre, Henry Pawling

The following appear in sessional record of 1830:

Malcolm Carmichael, James Fraser, John D. McArthur, Archibald McLaren

Elected in 1833:

Robert Kennedy, Peter McEwen, David Miller, Peter Mix

Elected in 1844:

Jacob Burton, James Younglove

Elected in 1853:

Vistus Balch, Belden Case, Duncan McGregor, Philip Yauney

Elected in 1867:

Archibald McFarlan, James D. Parrish, David D. Selmser, Horace E. Smith

  

On to Alphabetical Listing of Present Members


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Copyright , 2001 Jeanette Shiel
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