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Biography

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

As early as 1804 the Reverend Anthony Houty of Dryden, a German Reformed clergyman, preached for the German Evangelical Christians of Fayette in private homes, barns or in schoolhouses. With encouragement from their pastor, Lot Merkel, on December 26, 1809 the church was formally organized at a meeting of German Reformed and Lutheran residents held in the Burgh school house in Fayette. The members, who had resolved to build a church, completed a 22 x 28 foot log building by January 7, 1813.

On April 22, 1821 the Reverend Diedrich Willers of the German Reformed Synod of the U.S. entered upon his pastorate, which continued until 1882. In 1823 the church built a stone structure at a cost of $3,000 which was dedicated on June 6, 1825. A German week-day school was taught in the church's buildings from time to time until 1830. Until 1855 both the German Reformed and Lutheran congregations used the building, either alternately or simultaneously. After that it was maintained by the Reformed Church alone.

The church belonged to the Western New York Classis of the Reformed Church of the U.S. until 1882, when it asked to be transferred to the East Susquehannah Classis because they conducted their business in English. That same year the church was remodeled and a tower and a belfry were added.

See the accessions folder and The History of Seneca County for additional information and a list of pastors.