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Morrisville Community Church (Morrisville NY) Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Morrisville Community Church (Morrisville, N.Y.)
Title: Morrisville Community Church (Morrisville NY) Records
Inclusive Dates: 1805-1968
Quantity: 3 microfilm reels; 35 mm.
Abstract: Minute books, financial records, legal documents, record books, minutes of church trials and other records of the churches which merged to form the Morrisville Community Church. Churches involved include the Congregational Church (1805-1925), the Baptist Church (1809-1925), the United Church (1925-1968), and the First Methodist Church of Morrisville (1834-1968).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

The Community Church of Morrisville, New York, was formed in 1968 by a merger of the United Church of Morrisville and the First Methodist Church. The United Church was itself the result of a merger in 1925 of the First Congregational and the First Baptist Churches of Morrisville. The history of the Community Church of Morrisville is thus a composite of the histories of these four different churches.

The First Congregational Church of Morrisville was organized in June, 1805 by fifteen people, most of whom had come to the area from New England. They erected their first church building in 1817. In 1859, a vestibule was added, and in 1871 and 1902 extensive repairs were made.

Organized as a Congregational Church, in 1805 it was admitted to membership in the Oneida Association of that denomination. However, under the influence of the second pastor, the church voted to become Presbyterian, severed its relationship with the Oneida Association, and united with the Oneida Presbytery in 1819. There was continuing opposition to this change, and its extent was great enough to cause a vote two years later to return the church to its original form of worship and organization. The relationship to the Oneida Presbytery continued for a time, but it was severed in 1842, and the church reunited with the Oneida Association of the Congregational denomination. In 1859 and 1897 the church experienced great revivals and large numbers of people were added to the membership.

Part of the early records of this church are the minutes of church trials in which members of the congregation were "excommunicated" for failure to attend communion, intoxication, or working on Sunday, among other things. At one of the trials, Gerrit Smith was asked to serve as counsel. Noteworthy also is the fact that in 1842 the church voted resolutions against the institution of slavery and during the pre-Civil War period they continually gave financial aid to the cause of abolition.

The Baptist Church of Morrisville had its origin in 1809. It was received into the Madison Baptist Association in September 1809 and reported a membership of 27. In the early months of its history the church met in the schoolhouse for its services of worship, but later in 1809 the first meeting house was built.

In 1826 the congregation built on a new site, and in 1849 another new site was chosen and a third church building was constructed. This building subsequently became the home of the United Church.

The abolition movement also had its effect on the Baptist Church of Morrisville. The anti-slavery agitation caused a serious split in the church membership, and a large number left the church as a result.

In June 1925 the First Congregational Church and the Baptist held the first meeting of a committee whose purpose was to study the union of the two churches. In August an agreement was drawn up which provided for a trial union of one year. The first meeting of the churches under this agreement was in October 1925, and in January 1926 they welcomed the first pastor. The denominational groups within the church continued to maintain some identity, particularly as it was legally necessary for them to administer property. It was not until 1934 that the church undertook its own separate incorporation.

In 1938 the Congregational corporate body leased the former Congregational Church to the Roman Catholic diocese for use at St. Theresa's parish in Morrisville. The United Church now made the former Baptist Church its home. In 1939 the church building was improved by the addition of a new organ. Further improvements and expansion of the church facilities were undertaken in 1946.

The Morrisville Methodist Episcopal Church began on February 24, 1834, with services held at the Old Court House. In 1835 the construction of a permanent place of worship was begun on land which was donated to the society, and the first permanent pastor began his ministry.

In 1859 there is some record that Morrisville and Peterboro were linked as a single pastoral charge. Later, in 1876, records indicate that the churches in Morrisville and Eaton were also served by a single pastor. During this period the Methodists of the Morrisville area held yearly camp meetings at a farm near the town.

In 1881 and 1882 the church building, which was originally constructed upon a high foundation, was lowered to make entry more accessible for the elderly of the congregation. In the process the kitchen and other auxiliary space under the building was lost. A new organ was installed in 1893 after one corner of the building was rebuilt, and in 1905 the church was reshingled, repainted, and recarpeted. New sheds were also built to house the horses of the congregation during the services.

The promise of a subsidy from the Methodist annual conference induced the church to undertake the excavation of the church basement in order to provide more space. The subsidy was never forthcoming and the women's society paid the mortgage.

The Community Church of Morrisville, New York had its origins in discussions between officials of the United Church of Morrisville and the First Methodist Church of Morrisville as to the possibility of a union of the two congregations. A committee was formed to study the matter, and, after studying the various possibilities, such a federation or union, with the help of churches which had chosen one of the alternatives, the decision was made to merge the two churches into a Community Church and to affiliate with the Presbyterian denomination. These plans were approved by both congregations and the merger was consummated in 1968.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Morrisville Community Church (Morrisville NY) Records are made up of the records of five different churches. The Congregational Church, 1805-1925, merged in 1925 with the Baptist Church, 1809-1925, to form the United Church, 1925-1968, and this church in turn merged with the First Methodist Church of Morrisville, 1834-1968, to form the Community Church, 1968 to the present. The organization of the papers follows this sequence.

The papers of the Congregational Church of Morrisville, 1805-1939, consist of a church record book, minute books of church meetings, a church financial record book, minute books of the Woman's Missionary Society, church manuals, and legal papers and histories. Included in the record book is a history of the church from 1898 to 1939, part of which is made up of minutes of the annual meetings of the church. Of note also is the minute book, 1817-1938, of the Presbyterian Society, which was the legally constituted corporate body administering the property of the Congregational Church. The church manuals, 1849- 1903, contain statements of belief adhered to by the congregation and constitutions which detail its organization. The legal papers, 1939?, consist of a lease by the church of its property to St. Theresa's Roman Catholic Church.

The papers of the Baptist Church of Morrisville, 1809-1934, include church records, church minute books, minute books of the Ladies Aid Society, minute books of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, legal papers, a church covenant and historical papers. The second volume of the church records, 1809-1934, and the first volume of the church minute books, 1835-1934, were both hand copied from original records and include a historical record of the church. The second volume of the church minutes, 1842-1892, contains the church covenant and articles of faith and practice, as well as a revised version of the same. The legal papers, 1849-1935, consist of a lease for a church pew and a lease of the Baptist Church property to the United Church. Among the historical papers, 1814-1909, are a letter from a former member, an announcement of a church meeting, and a souvenir brochure of the church centennial.

The papers of the United Church of Morrisville, 1925-1967, consist of a minute book of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, a minute and financial record book of the United Missionary Society, minute books and a record book of the United Circle, the papers of the Ladies Auxiliary, financial papers, legal papers, historical material and histories, and correspondence. The record book of the United Circle contains information regarding the church suppers organized by the circle. The financial papers, 1929-1945, include church treasurers' reports and church budgets. The historical material, 1939- 1969, includes programs, photographs, specifications, and bank records relating to the purchase and dedication of an organ for the church. Also found here are a history of the United Church written for its 25th anniversary in 1950 and a souvenir history written for the sesquicentennial in 1959 of the churches which merged to form the United Church. The correspondence 1966, relates to the existence and location of early church records of the Congregational and Baptist churches.

The papers of the First Methodist Church of Morrisville, 1836-1923, consist of a church record book, minute books of the Quarterly Conference, a minute book of the trustees, and a record book of the church school. Included in the church record book are membership records for churches in Eaton, Fenner, and Peterboro.

The papers of the Community Church of Morrisville, 1958-1968, consist of materials gathered by the committee of the United Church and the First Methodist Church which was organized to study the possibility of a merger and the shape that merger should take. This includes a copy of the consolidation agreement of Danby, New York, Federated Church, 1958; reports of the merger committee in Groton, New York, which created the Groton Community Church, and correspondence between the head of that committee and a committee member in Morrisville, 1964-1968; copies of the by-laws and the consolidation agreement of the West Winfield, New York, Federated Church, 1964; and memos to the members of the merger committee, letters to the church members and to denominational executives, a church newsletter, reports to the congregation, and an order of worship for the celebration of church union by the Morrisville Community Church, 1968.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Other than the subdivision by church, the records appear to have been scanned in no particular order.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections relating to church and clergy in and around Central New York. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Baptist Church of Morrisville (Morrisville, N.Y.) -- Archives.
Congregational Church of Morrisville (Morrisville, N.Y.) -- Archives.
First Methodist Church of Morrisville (Morrisville, N.Y.) -- Archives.
Morrisville Community Church (Morrisville, N.Y.) -- Archives.
United Church of Morrisville (Morrisville, N.Y.) -- Archives.

Subjects

Baptist church buildings -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.
Baptists -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.
Church records and registers -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.
Congregational churches -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.
Congregationalists -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.
Methodist Church -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.
Methodists -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.
United churches -- New York (State) -- Morrisville.

Genres and Forms

Church registers.
Ledgers (account books)
Minutes.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Morrisville Community Church (Morrisville NY) Records
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

The collection was microfilmed in August of 1970, from originals owned by the Community Church of Morrisville and lent through the courtesy of Mr. William Houghton.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: EFB
Date: Jul 1970
Revision history: 20 Nov 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Inventory

First Congregational Church of Morrisville, New York
Volume 1 Church record book 1898-1939
Lists of pastors, deacons, baptisms, membership, marriages
Historical record
Volume 2 Church minutes 1805-1835
Minutes of church meetings
Lists of baptisms, admissions to membership, dismissions from membership, deaths and excommunications
Volume 3 Church minutes 1817-1938
Minutes of meetings of the Presbyterian Society (corporate body)
Volume 4 Church financial records 1844-1922
Records of receipt and disbursement of funds
Volume 5 Minute book of Women's Missionary Society 1897-1909
Minutes of meetings
Lists of membership
Folder 1 Church manuals 1849-1903
Folder 2 Legal papers 1938
Lease of First Congregational Church building to St. Theresa's Roman Catholic parish
Folder 2 Histories 1909
Centennial brochure
Morrisville Leader
Morrisville Baptist Church
Volume 6 Church record book 1882?-1926?
Membership list
Volume 7 Church record book 1809-1934
Lists of membership, Sunday School statistics, pastors, clerks, treasurers, Sunday School superintendents, Deacons, Trustees, and general statistics
Historical record, 1809-1835
Volume 8 Church minutes 1835-1934
Historical record, 1835-1865
Minutes of church meetings, 1865-1934
Volume 9 Church minutes 1842-1892
Church Covenant and Articles of Faith and Practice, undated
Minutes, 1842-1892
List of membership, 1811-1880
Revised Church Covenant and Articles of Faith and Practice, 1858
Volume 10 Church minutes 1892-1923
Volume 11 Minutes of Ladies Aid Society (incomplete) 1897-1919
Minutes of meetings, 1897-1919
Lists of contributions, 1897-1898
Lists of membership
Volume 12 Minutes of Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor 1889-1891
Constitution, 1889
Lists of membership and officers, 1889-1891
Minutes of meetings, 1890-1891
Folder 3 Legal papers and histories 1849-1909
Lease of pew, 1849
Lease to United Church, 1935
Covenant of Morrisville Baptist Church, undated
Letter from A.P. Tillinghast, 1884
Announcement of Roll-Call meeting, 1891
Request for aid from Whitney Point Baptist Church, 1897
Souvenir History, One Hundredth Anniversary of the Morrisville Baptist Church, 1909
United Church of Morrisville, New York
Volume 13 Minute book of Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor 1935-1957
Lists of membership
Minutes of meetings, 1935-1937
Volume 14 Minute book of United Missionary Society 1925-1963
Minutes of meetings, 1925-1932
Lists of membership
Volume 15 Financial record of United Missionary Society 1925-1963
Lists of contributors, 1925-1940
Financial reports, 1926-1963
Volume 16 Minute book of United Circle 1945-1956
Minutes of meetings
Annual reports
Lists of membership
Volume 17 Minute book of United Circle 1956-1961
Minutes of meetings
Lists of membership
Volume 18 Minute book of United Circle 1961-1967
Minutes of meetings
Annual reports
Lists of membership
Volume 19 Record book of United Circle 1949-1956
Records of Church suppers
Miscellaneous budgets, reports and correspondence
Folder 4 Financial records, legal papers, histories and correspondence 1922-1966
Constitution of Ladies Auxiliary of United Church (includes Constitution of Ladies Congregational Society and miscellaneous minutes), 1922?
Treasurer's reports and budgets, 1929-1945
Registration of rental dwelling, Office of Price Administration, 1942
Material related to dedication of organ, 1939 Brief history of United Church, 1940?
Souvenir history, Sesquicentennial of United Church, 1959
Correspondence regarding church records, 1966
First Methodist Church of Morrisville, New York
Volume 20 Church record book (includes records for Peterboro, Fenner, and Eaton) 1859-1881
Lists of membership, stewards, trustees, and other church officers.
Volume 21 Minutes of the Quarterly Conference 1869-1879
Volume 22 Minutes of the Quarterly Conference 1878-1890
Volume 23 Minutes of the Quarterly Conference 1890-1901
Volume 24 Minutes of the Quarterly Conference 1902-1921
Volume 25 Minutes of the Trustees 1836-1923
Copy of Certificate of Incorporation of the First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Morrisville, New York, 1834
Minutes of the meeting
Letters of resignation
Volume 26 Church School Records 1869-1874
Attendance records
Minutes of church school sessions
Lists of classes, teachers, and officers
Community Church of Morrisville, New York
Folder 5 Materials used in formation of Community Church of Morrisville 1958-1968
Consolidation Agreement, First Congregational Society in Danby with First Danby Methodist Episcopal Church into Danby Federated Church, 1958
Report of Study Committee to members of Baptist Methodist, and United Churches of Groton Community Church to members of Baptist, Congregational and Methodist Churches, Mar 8, 1966
Report of Special Committee on Denominational Affiliation of Groton Community Churches to church members, Apr 26, 1966
Agenda, Joint meeting of members of Baptist Congregational and Methodist Churches of Groton, New York, May 1, 1966
Report of Committee on Spiritual Life, Worship, and Doctrinal Procedure of Groton Community Church to church members, May 1, 1966
Letter, Board of Trustees of Groton Community Church to church members, May 4, 1966
Proposed Church Merger, First Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church of Groton, New York, Jun 7, 1966
Letter, Board of Trustees and Pastor of Groton Community Church to church members and Consolidated Constitution and By-laws of the Groton Community Church of the United Church of Christ, Sep 1, 1966
Letter, Board of Trustees of Groton Community Church to church members, Jan 3, 1967
Suggested addition to Section 2, Article VII (page 5) of the Consolidated Constitution and By-laws
Report of Board of Trustees of Groton Community Church, 1967
Budget of Groton Community Church, 1967
Proposed Church merger, First Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church of Groton, New York, Jun 7, 1966
History of Groton Community Church,1967
Order of Worship, Service of Recognition and Installation, Groton Community Church, Apr 9, 1967
Letter, Stanley E. Skinner to Walter Ketcham, May 15, 1968
Correspondence, William Houghton to Howard Tyler, Jul 1968
Correspondence, Howard Tyler to William Houghton Jul 8, 1968
Folder 6 Materials used in formation of Community Church of Morrisville 1964-1968
Revised copy, By-laws of the Federated Church of West Winfield, New York, Oct 1, 1964
Consolidation Agreement of First Baptist Church, Emmanuel Congregational Church and Harmony Society, and First Methodist Church of West Winfield, Winfield, New York, 1964
Revised copy of above
Memo to members of Denominational Affiliation Committee of Morrisville Community Church, 1968
Memo to Nominating Committee of Morrisville Community Church from Board of Trustees, 1968
List of actions to be taken, Merger Study Commission of Morrisville Community Church, 1968?
Letter to members of United Church of Morrisville and First Methodist Church of Morrisville from Merger Study Committee and Consolidation Agreement, Jun 12, 1968
Letter to William Houghton from Edwin G. Hambrick, May 8, 1968
Letter to Glenn Olmstead and William Houghton from Stanley Skinner, May 13, 1968
First issue of Morrisville Community Church newsletter, "Concern," Sep 1968
Report to members of Morrisville Community Church from Board of Trustees, Sep 1968
Order of Worship, Commemorative Celebration of Church Union, Morrisville Community Church, Nov 24, 1968

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