Archived Page: 175 Anniversary
Celebrate the Journey 1827-2002
Third Presbyterian Church
Celebrates 175 Years of Ministry
Third Church Fires 

Through the years Third Church has experienced destruction or damage by fires. The second structure on Main Street (1836-1858) was destroyed in a fire which leveled an entire block. (Actually the first structure, which had been sold to the Second Baptist Church, burned a year later in 1859).

In more recent times, a fire in 1973 severely damaged Johnston House on Arnold Park, which was used for education and social purposes. Following the fire, it was sold to the Zen Center, which owned the adjacent property; the two buildings were joined to form an attractive unit.

Early in the morning of December 28, 1988, a fire caused by a malfunctioning electrical circuit under the pulpit destroyed much of the chancel, including the pulpit and the organ console and caused heavy smoke and water damage. The fire was brought under control by the skilled work of the Rochester Fire Department minutes before if would have burst into a major conflagration. It was a traumatic event in the life of the church. Worship services were held in the lower level of the Parish House. Thanks to the determination and hard work of the church officers and contractors, the church was reopened for Palm Sunday services on March 19, 1989.  


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