Celebrate the Journey 1827-2002
Third Presbyterian Church
Celebrates 175 Years of Ministry
 
 
Dr. George Patton (1871-1897)  

Dr. Patton After 31 years as pastor of Third Church, Dr. Hall died in 1871. Three months later George Patton was installed as his successor. It was felt that Dr. Hall, growing weary, had chosen Dr. Patton to succeed him. Together their ministries spanned 54 years. Born in Ireland, he and his family had emigrated when he was two years old. In Philadelphia he learned the shoemaker's trade. So diligent was he as a Sunday School superintendent the he was pressed to study for the ministry. Ordained at 29, his first pastorate was in a country church at Seneca, near Geneva. During his fifteen years there the church grew from 100 members to one of the largest country churches in the denomination. It was said that Dr. Hall was the warrior kind and Dr. Patton the man of peace, a saint. He was spoken of as a man of simple childlike faith, resembling Christ in his sweetness of temper, his unselfishness and consecration. His preaching changed little in his years, and his delivery was slow enough that students used to practice shorthand by recording her sermons. He, like his predecessor, was known to chew tobacco from time to time.

It was during his ministry that the move of the church from Temple Street to East Avenue was accomplished. His preaching was perceived as dreary, and there began to talk among some of the influential members that the growing, aspiring East Avenue congregation would not long be satisfied. Thus when he preached and led in the dedication of the new building in May 1893, it was his last official act as the pastor. He was 61 years old.

With his wife he lived in their home on Prince Street. In retirement, as pastor emeritus, he served other churches and occasionally preached in Third Church. It was while preaching there in 1897 that he suffered a stroke and died shortly thereafter. He was 69. His wife outlived him by 16 years. They had three children, one of whom, Mrs. W. Seward Marshall (Mary), left descendants still living in Rochester.

The windows in the East Avenue balcony were given in memory of the combined ministries of Dr. Hall and Dr. Patton. A tablet in Dr. Patton's memory is located in the southwest corner of the sanctuary at the door to the Meigs Street vestibule. Only Dr. Hall and Dr. Patton among the ministers of Third Church are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.  

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