The Second Reformed
Claverack, at Mellenville
By Captain Franklin Ellis33
This body was organized, on a petition to the Rensselaer classis, in December, 1838. The original membership was composed of one hundred and twelve persons, ninety-one of whom were dismissed from the church of Claverack for the purposed of forming a new church; three from Ghent; sixteen from the Krum church, in Hillsdale; and two from Kinderhook. The first consistory was formed December 14, and was composed of Elders James Philip; Deacons Aaron O. New, George F. Tator, David S. Ten Broeck, and Jeremiah G. Philip. They were ordained to their respective offices by the Rev. R. Sluyter, Dec. 25, 1838.
A plain house of worship had been erected, at Mellenville, the same year, the corner-stone having been laid on the 4th of July. On the 13th of December, 1837, this house was dedicated, the sermon being delivered by the Rev. Richard Sluyter, and addresses by Revs. Jacob Berger and Peter Wynkoop.
The Rev. Sluyter served the new church in the (page 248) capacity of stated supply until 1842, when the Rev. P. S. Wynkoop assumed charge until the fall of the year.
On the 18th of October, 1842, the Rev. John Van Derwoort was installed as the first regular pastor. This relation he maintained four years, and was succeeded, March 25, 1845, by Rev. John S. Himrod, whose pastorate extended until 1851. Rev. John H. Pitcher was installed to the pastoral office Jan. 28, 1852, and continued in that capacity until 1861. Oct. 22, 1862, the Rev. A. J. Sebring was installed, and has since that period rendered the church faithful and efficient service as pastor.
Under the ministrations of the foregoing more than four hundred and seventy members have been added to the church, most of them uniting on confession of faith; and although many changes have taken place, the membership yet numbers nearly two hundred, and the church is to-day a vigorous body. During Mr. Sebring's pastorate about forty thousand dollars has been raised for various church purposes, beside remodeling the meeting-house in 1868, at a cost of three thousand dollars. The edifice is neat and attractive without being imposing, and is estimated worth seven thousand dollars. There are sittings for five hundred persons. Convenient to the church is the parsonage, which was erected soon after the meeting-house, and which was put in thorough repair in 1874. It is estimated worth two thousand five hundred dollars.
The consistory is at present composed of President, Rev. A. J. Sebring; Elders, E. L. Demarest, Albert C. Ostrander, Almon Harder, and George M. Harder; Deacons, Wm. a. Harder, Jr., Henry Miller, James Rogers, and Eugene Gardner.
Two excellent Sunday-schools are maintained by the church,--one at Mellenville, having Aaron Philip as superintendent, and one in Philmont, under the superintendence of George M. Harder. The aggregate attendance is about one hundred and eighty scholars.