Archived Page: History

Third Church History

The first permanent building was built on the northeast corner of Main Street and Clinton Avenue in 1828.

Pews Sold to Finance Building Prices for pews, called "slips," ranged from $25 to $200 with a 7 percent premium on each for the support of the minister. It was a common practice to deed over pews to creditors. That's how Enos Stone, a Vestryman at St. Paul's who had sold the church its building lot, ended up owning a Third Presbyterian Church pew. Possession of a pew was to be for 900 years.The new building was constructed of stone and was of Georgian design with a tapering wood steeple. Although membership had grown rapidly to 150, the new building would seat 700.

There were problems. The sale of pews did not go quite as well as expected and the building costs ran higher thatn expected. Among the extras were $530 fro the bell and $240 for "one town clock." Apparently the church was very proud of that clock. The First Presbyterian Church also had one, but it had no hands and no works. 

The first step taken to reduce the debts was a reduction in the minister's salary. Even this did not stem the tide. The building, dedicated with great joy on August 10, 1828, was sold in 1834  to the Second Baptist Church (now the Baptist Temple) for $6,600 which did not quite cover all the debts. It was this building, however, which echoed to the preaching of the Rev. Charles G. Finney, the renowned evangelist.

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