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This Link will
take you to additional images of the following publications:
(pdf Format - Adobe Reader is required)
1. "Members of the Presbyterian Church,: 1850
2. Church Calendar and History November 14, 1931
3. 1936 Year Book and Church Directory
Additional links within this section with
some references to the Moriches Presbyterian Church are:
1. Joseph Allen Titmus December 07, 1889 - August 27, 1947
2. Gertrude Elvira (MacGregor) Titmus September 07, 1890 - March 03, 1979 - Organist for 75 Years
to the land on which the extended village of Moriches is built was gained
by three different patents. That lying between the Mastic River and the creek
Senex was included in Smith's first patent; that between Senex and the mill
stream, called Barnes' Mill Pond (formerly Terrill's River) was included
in Smith's second patent; and that east of the latter point was covered by
the patent given for land purchased by Messrs. Taylor, Townsend, and Willets,
commonly known as Moriches patentship. During the first years of the 18th
century the neck of land lying on the west of the mill stream was called
Warratta, and was in possession of Samuel Terrill. The mill stream was named
in his honor by the Indians called Paquatuck, and the land on the east of
it was called Moriches or Maritches. To keep on friendly terms with the Indians,
Chief John Mayhew was also paid "a competent sum of money for the land."
Settlement was begun here at a very early date, probably in the early part of the 18th century. The Moriches did not become a part of the town of Brookhaven until about the time of the Revolution.
The earliest English speaking ministers on Long Island were undoubtedly Presbyterian in doctrine. The year 1716 witnessed the formation of the Presbytery of Long Island, which included in its territory not only all of Long Island, but New York City as well. It was difficult for Presbytery in those early days to induce its churches to elect ruling elders, or ministers assistants, as they were then often called. It was even more difficult to persuade them to keep records and submit them from time to time for presbyterial review. This accounts for our scanty knowledge of these early days.
Because of the increasing number of Presbyterian Churches on Long Island the Presbytery of Suffolk County was organized in April 1747. At its meeting the following year, October the 20th, 1748, this Presbytery licensed Nehemiah Greenman, a graduate of Yale, and directed him to preach throughout 25 miles of the south side of Long Island, from Quogue to Mastic, as a Probationer, until further orders. This he immediately began to do, so the year 1748 marks the founding of the Center Moriches Presbyterian Church.
One year later, on Nov. 14, 1749, Nathaniel Woodhull, Richard Woodhull, William Smith, John Brewster, and Barnabas Ryder appeared before the Presbytery in behalf of the people of Mastick, Fire place (Brookhaven), the Moriches, etc. In the result the Presbytery released Greenman from his appointment at Moriches.
The next mentioned preacher was Abner Reeve, of Southold, who began his labors in 1754. On June 4th, 1755, the parishes of Moriches and Ketchabonock (Westhampton Beach), by their committee (John Brewster and John Jessup) laid before the Presbytery their desire to ordain and install Mr. Reeve as pastor. However, no action was taken at that meeting. The request was renewed at the next meeting in September and accordingly, Presbytery agreed to meet at Moriches on November 4th, 1755, to formally organize a church there and to ordain and install Abner Reeve as pastor. Mr. Reeve was ordained Nov. 5th and the church was organized the next day. So November 6th, 1755, marks the date of the organization of this church. Both Westhampton and Brookhaven were considered parts of this parish.
On October 27, 1761, the eastern part of the parish made complaint to Presbytery of Mr. Reeve's having "fallen foully into the awful sin of drunkenness, and requested his dismissal." Reeve fully acknowledged his shortcomings. His confession was reduced to writing and ordered to be publicly read in all the churches and congregations under the care of Presbytery. But it was not until 1763 that the pastoral relations were dissolved. Shortly after this Westhampton appears as a separate congregation and Moriches is now associated with Brookhaven.
In 1765, the Rev. David Rose became minister of the church, to continue in this capacity until his death in 1799, with the exception of the years when the Revolution was taking place. For those seven "burdensome and ruinous" years British troops held the churches on Long Island captive, churches were demolished and public worship was very largely suspended. Pastors and other prominent men were driven away. Presbytery did not meet. It required a generation after peace came to "restore order, industry,
virtue and prosperty."
The Rev. Jonathan Robinson is mentioned as a supply in 1775.
During all these years the congregation had been meeting in private homes and the school house, having no building of its own. After the death of Mr. Rose in 1799 the Presbyterian element seems to have died out and lost its identity for several years.
The first church erected here, "the Union Meeting House," was built in 1809. The Church Building subscription list is indeed an interesting document.
January 31, 1809
We the subscribers Do Promis to pay the Several Sums affixed to our names for the Purpose of Building a Decent Meeting House the Denominations of whichis thirty-one feet in length and twenty in Breth.
The said Meeting house the Contributions on which we the Subscribers Do build the above Meeting is that it shall be a free house that is to say that any of the proprietors May invite any Preacher of any Denomination to Preach in the Meeting house Property Authorized and in Regular Sanding with the Churches of Suffolk County.
|John Robinson||1-00 1 in boards|
|Freeman Lane-Smith work||
Ebenezer Hash all the pine
lumber for the frame
Henry Raynor 1 loard of timber
July 23rd, 1809. Paid to Solomon Bishop the som of Forteen Dollars to be sent away for nails.
Oct. 29. Paid to John Bishop the Sum of thirteen Dollars to be sent for glass.
June 20th, 1810. Paid to Zecariah Sanford the sum of twelve dollars to be sent to New York for paint and sundries.
5500 shingle $93.50.
Jarius Wines, Chairman."
The Church was used by the
different denominations which
were then struggling for an existance.
history of the Moriches Presbyterian Church has been so well told in the History
published at the Centennial of
the Reorganization, Nov. 14, 1931, during the pastorate of the Rev. Herbert C. Crosier, that there is need here only to sketch the main facts. A copy of the 1931 Year Book History Can be read from the Link above beginning on Page 12
1817, Dec. 25-Organization
of the Strict Congregational Church.
1831, Nov. 14-Reorganization of the Moriches Presbyterian Church.
1834-Organization of the Moriches M. E. Church; Church building 1839.
1839--Second Church edifice 40 by 30 feet. M. P. Church organized March 12, church built same year. Building sold and moved to Manor in 1869.
1849, April 2-Presbyterian Church and Parish of Moriches incorporated. Congregational Church became extinct.
1861--Church enlarged to 56 by 40 feet.
1886-Church again enlarged to 56 by 96 feet.
1902-East Moriches Presbyterian Church established.
1931-Recreation Hall built.
Nov. 14--Splendid three day celebration of Centennial of Reorganization.
Herbert C. Crosier brought his very successful pastorate to a close in 1933,
being compelled to resign on account of poor health.
The Rev. Robert Shoote began his pastorate on September 20th, 1933. After a year's faithful and conscientious service, his health, too, broke and during the last six months of his ministry, he was forced, on account of sickness, to take intervals of rest from his Pulpit and Pastoral duties. His resignation took effect April 30, 1935 and he entered into Life two days later, May 2.
At a meeting of Long Island Presbytery Sept. 15, 1936, the Rev. Archibald Blue, of Remsenburg, presented a tribute which was adopted by Presbytery. Following are extracts from this Memorial:
"When Robert Shoote came to the Center Moriches Presbyterian Church, his robust bodily health and vigorous mind gave strong evidence that his Ministry there would be of long duration and use-fulness to the Church he was called to." "In the pulpit and pastoral work Robert Shoote's presentation of Jesus and His message had always the wooing note. His ministry though short was full of service. He made his impress on the lives of the many within the Congregation who recognized the rich quality of his cultured and serious mind."The Rev. S. Hall Barrett, Jr., assumed his duties as minister of the church August 11, 1935. During the year just passed, 1934, new members have been added to the church roll.