Amherst PresbyterianChurch History




Reverend Martha P. Carlson
http://www.amherstpreschurch.org

151 S. Youngs Rd, PO Box 263, Amherst, NY 14231-0263 Phone 716-633-4656, Fax 716-633 4717
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CHURCH HISTORY - FAITH OF OUR FATHERS

In 1888 the Second United Presbyterian Church of Buffalo was organized on Hamburg Street as a mission from First Church in Buffalo, and subsequently, a church was built on Swan Street opposite Chicago. The sanctuary could accommodate 325 and it was handsomely seated with circular pews. Several interim pastors served the church; but it was growing, and the mortgage paid in full, so Reverend Walter M. Hopping was called to serve. In August 1906, the Trustees sold the property to St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church and purchased the lot at the corner of Woodlawn and West Humboldt Parkway. To ensure that church services should start immediately, two election booths were placed together to make a temporary chapel. The new church building, a brick Gothic structure, with a seating capacity of 225, was dedicated on June 30, 1907. The debt was paid in 1913 and thoughts turned to building a larger sanctuary. The church faced Woodlawn Avenue and the original plans were to erect an adjoining auditorium, and a Building Committee was appointed, but before it could start, World War 1 began. An exceptionally good offer was made for the church property, so in January 1920, a lot at the corner of Humboldt and East Ferry Street was purchased. The new church edifice was completed by October 1920 (the initial membership of 374 increased to 535). During the winter of 1927 Dr. and Mrs. Hopping took a trip to the Holy Land and Reverend Osborne Crowe, a missionary to India home on furlough, occupied the pulpit. We adopted him, and his successor, Reverend Robert Maxwell, as our missionary pastors. The church has always manifested a deep interest in missionary work. During our church's first 50 years, eight other congregations were organized in the Buffalo area. Our members assisted in the building of these new congregations which included South Park Church and Riverside Church. Stained glass windows were given to the Riverside Church by our Christian Endeavor Society and when the church was closed, they were returned to us and installed in the Narthex. In 1937 after serving as our pastor for 33 years, ill health forced Dr. Hopping to retire. He truly was responsible for the growth of the congregation. He was followed by an exceptionally able speaker, Reverend Clyde L. Myers. The Reverend Ray G. Woodburn came in May of 1943 and the balance of the mortgage was paid during his ministry. He was succeeded in 1951 by Reverend Alexander Mills from Dundee, Scotland by way of Amprior, Canada. For 18 years he worked with us, challenged us, and tried to keep the church in Buffalo alive. However, the congregation voted to relocate, and Caledonia Presbytery offered us a mission site in Williamsville. Our last service on Humboldt Parkway was on Easter Sunday 1957, and the first service in our present church was on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1958. When Reverend Mills retired because of failing health, he was succeeded by Reverend Dean Young, Reverend Peter Leathersich, interim pastor Reverend Lewis Bigler, interim pastor Shirley Kamaras and now, happily, we have a full time pastor, Reverend David A. Smith. In 1986, the church name was changed to Amherst Presbyterian, to more closely reflect our current location. Even though the church location has changed many times, our mission remains the same: to preach the Word of the Risen Savior and to have an active roll in mission projects in both home and foreign fields, "to be about our Father's business". 



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September 21, 2007

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