Church and Family History Research Assistance
for New York County, New York



The first church in New York City originated in the following manner: About the year 1745 Mr. Jeremiah Dodge a member of Mr. Holstead's church at Fishkill, settled in New York, and opened a prayer, reading, and singing meeting at his own house. He invited Mr. John Pine, an unordained preacher in the church of Fishkill, to come and preach. They met in several places, and increased in number, until finally being constituted into a church on June 19, 1762, by Elders Benjamin Miller and John Gano. They joined the Philadelphia Association the same year. Mr. John Gano became pastor of the church in 1762, and continued in that relation for about twenty-six years, when he removed to Kentucky. During that time about 300 persons were received by baptism. A meeting house was erected in 1760, which was replaced by a much larger structure in 1801, on Gold-Street. Ministers who were raised up in this church included Thomas Ustick, Isaac Skillman, Stephen Gano, Thomas Montanye, Cornelius P. Wyckoff, James Bruce, and John Seger.

Several hundred Baptist churches were organized prior to the division over the modern mission system, which we presume were sound in the faith originally, but were led into error, and are therefore omitted from this brief history. David Benedict, a Missionary Baptist historian, in writing about New York, in his General History of the Baptists, in 1848, commented as follows: "We must bear in mind that all were then set down as Arminians, who did not come up to the highest point of hyper-Calvinism. Our old ministers in this region half a century since, would have denounced as unsound in the faith, the great mass of our community of the present day, both in Europe and America, Fuller and Hall among the rest."






Ebenezer Church was a long-time member of the Warwick Association. Organized in 1808, the church also dismissed members to form several other churches. Elder Gilbert Beebe joined this church and was licensed to preach in about 1818. As far back as the 1850's, or earlier, the church was meeting in a church house of its own, on 36th Street. A more definite description of this location is given, as follows: "No. 154 W. 36th Street, near the corner of 7th Avenue." We have not yet learned what happened to this meeting house, or precisely when the church ceased meeting there. From church notices in old periodicals, dated September 15, 1899, we discover that Ebenezer Church meetings were being held every Sunday, at the Hall, 226 West 58th Street. In October 1902, the notice was changed to read "at the Hall, corner of 19th Street and 8th Avenue, fifth floor. The church notice for December 1, 1909, announced the church was meeting every Sunday in the meeting house at the corner of Intervale Avenue and Home St., Bronx. In May 1925 an announcement appeared stating that the church would be meeting at 106 West 59th St., Manhattan, New York City. In June 1926 the church moved to 168 East 70th Street, Manhattan, near Lexington Avenue. In July 1939, the location of meetings changed again, to 221 West 57th Street, Manhattan, between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, on the second floor. In January 1948 the church notice advertised meetings each first and third Sunday at 143 East 35th Street, Manhattan, between Lexington and Third Avenue, second floor. In January 1949, the church was meeting each first and third Sunday, in the Park Room, on the second floor of the Parkside Hotel, 18 Gramercy Park South, one block east of Fourth Avenue and 20th Street, near 23rd Street Station, Lexington Avenue Subway. In January 1958 the church notice showed meetings on first and third Sundays at McBurney Branch YWCA, 215 W. 23rd Street, corner of 7th Avenue, elevator to 2nd floor. The latest notice found, in 1973, showed this same address as the place of meetings.

Names of pastors included Elders Jonathan Van Velson, Gilbert Beebe, James C. Goble, William J. Thorp, William L. Benedict, Silas H. Durand, Whiteley W. Meredith, William L. Beebe, Benton Jenkins, John McConnell, R. Lester Dodson, George R. Ruston, Arnold H. Bellows, and Amasa J. Slauson. There are probably others whose names we have not yet found.

We hope to find a more complete history of this church.


Addis, Arnold, Ashbey, Ballard, Barnsley, Beard, Beebe, Bower, Bragg, Carlough, Coons, Culver, Daniels, Dodson, Durand, Fisher, Ford, Freeman, Garrison, Gedney, Gibbons, Gilmore, Greaves, Grimes, Hartford, Horton, Hunt, Lefferts, Marriatt, McConnell, Meredith, Nethaway, Newton, Pickering, Powers, Quackenbush, Reed, Reilly, Rhiemer, Risler, Ruston, Scott, Secor, Seymour, Shafer, Short, Slauson, Smith, Strong, Sutter, Vail, Van Wart, Vanderbeck, Wade, Watson, Welch, Werner, Williamson, Woodfork (very incomplete list due to records not being available to us).

EMMAUS (1835)

Emmaus Church, met at 63 Christie Street. G. Westervelt was an early member.

SALEM (1837)

Salem Church met on King Street, in the northwestern part of the City. Elder William Curtis and Elder Benjamin Pitcher were among the members of this church. Also William W. Hilliker, and C. Scholey. No other names available at present due to loss of records.


Bethesda Church was formed by about seventy brethren and sisters who were dismissed from the First Church of New York City in the Spring of 1841 after the First New York church had gone into the mission system.

Elder William Parkinson was a member of this church.


A small church which was formed in December 1842, in the "Bethel" room in Catharine Street, near the East River. This church was supplied statedly by Elder Job Plant, lately from England.


Mount Zion Church was constituted in the city of New York in 1843, by members who were mainly dismissed from Bethesda Church. Their meeting place, at first, was at the corner of Prince and Crosby Sts., in the basement story, a large and commodious room which they rented for a year. In 1858, an account states that the church had been meeting on Wooster Street. In May 1858, Mount Zion Church merged with Ebenezer Church, at which time there were over thirty members of Mt. Zion Church.


Samuel Allen, John Gilmore, and Elder James C. Goble were among the charter members. Surnames in 1858 included Bragg, Carlough, Culver, Daniels, Durand, Freeman, Gedney, Gilmore, Greaves, Horton, Hunt, Marriatt, Pangburn, Powers, Quackenbush, Reed, Rhiemer, Scott, Seymour, Sutter, Vanderbeck, Van Wart, Wade, Watson, Williamson.


Beulah Particular Baptist Church was constituted in New York City, on Friday, June 18, 1858, through the efforts of Brother John Bennett, late of London, England, who was ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry the same day. Some of the members in the constitution were from the Ebenezer Church, with whom Bro. Bennett had been laboring for over a year, and meeting in Chelsea Hall, on W. 18th Street. Elder John Clark, of Virginia, and Elder Philip C. Brome, and probably others, composed the presbytery. After the church was organized, they chose John Axford, Moderator, and Anthony W. Jones, clerk.

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