Cherry Valley, Otsego, NY
Post-Revolutionary Churches, Part V
By Holice and Debbie

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Post-Revolutionary Churches, Part V

Nelson M. Whipple, Esq., of Brooklyn, is the architect of the building. The style chosen is the early English, inclining to be decorated. Three varieties of stone enter in to he composition of the walls, dark blue limestone, with light gray foundations and coigns, and red New Jersey sandstone arches and copings. While extremely plan, it has an air of great solidity, and presents an appearance of cheerful dignity and conscientious treatment. The interior is finished in solid walnut, the walls, and windows being richly decorated in warm colors, and the upholstering, etc., of deep crimson, in good keeping. The edifice has a clerestory nave and two aisles. The spire, which is 150 feet high, occupies one angle, and being the point of connection between the church proper and the lecture-room adjoining, constitutes the central feature of the front as a whole. On the south face of the tower is a monogram, C. R., worked in the masonry; and over the porch the initials of the architect. Beneath the rear part is a handsome parlor, with suitable closets, and a pastor's room, connecting with the pulpit. These apartments are the special quarters of the Ladies' Society, an institution which was formed in 1868, and which has been since always a most useful adjunct in the work of the church. Each new project has generally here been taken up and commended to he support of the congregation. By this means there have been successively undertaken in improvements in the heating and lighting of the old church and session-house, repairs on the parsonage and on the organ, carpets, upholstery, and pulpit furniture for the new church, the gas machines and fixtures, furnishing of the parlor, etc, besides much benevolent work. It has thus proved a highly useful vehicle in developing the activity of the church, besides affording a pleasing medium for social intercourse, Ample accommodations for the Sunday-school are afforded in the lecture-room, which has a primary school-room attached.

A most gratifying increase in interest was at once noticeable, several persons being received into the church on the first Sabbath of its occupancy. In January, 1875, union services were held alternately with the M. E. Church in the observance of the Week of Prayer, Rev. W. F. Tooke, being pastor of that church, and laboring assiduously to deepen the impressions of the people. An unusual degree of religious interest was developed. The meetings were sustained almost nightly till April, with effective assistance from Re. Mr. Thurston, of Syracuse, and Rev. Mr. Blinn, of Cambridge, for some weeks. Twenty-six persons united with the church as the fruit of this effort, one-half of whom were men, and a number heads of families. A revival followed the present year in the M. E. Church, resulting in a unprecedented accession to its numbers, and in which we had a generous share. The general improvement in the state of religion is snot the least happy effect of these blessed visitations, a deeper feeling of seriousness having been thrown over the entire community, awakening a more earnest prayerfulness, and exciting the hope that greater blessings are to follow. A Young Men's Christian Association has been formed, with a large number of members. The cause of temperance has received fresh attention of late years, and there is a stronger sentiment springing up with respect to that extremely important reform.

The progress during the period of eight years embraced in the present pastorate is indicated by the subjoined table, which gives the baptisms, the additions to the church and departures from it.

Membership Baptisms
Year Ending April: #No Baptisms Rec’d on profession Rec’d by Letter Total Died Dismissed Adults Infants
1869 121 3 1 125 2 6 2  
1870 116 7 5 128 2 3 5 10
1871 123 1 1 125 0 6 1  
1872 119 3 2 124 3 4 3 2
1873 117 2 5 124 4 4 2 1
1874 116 10 4 130 3 3 8 3
1875 124 8 0 132 4 4 2 1
1876 124 19 7 150 4 2 8 2
Since added ---- 13 1 164 Present total      

*The History of Otsego, NY, by Duane Hamilton Hurd, 1878

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  Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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December 23, 1999

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