Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The History of Montgomery Classis, R.C.A.
by W.N.P. Dailey,
Recorder Press, Amsterdam, NY 1916
To which is added sketches of Mohawk Valley men and events of early days, the Iroquois, Palatines, Indian Missions, Tryon County, committee of Safety, Sir Wm. Johnson, Joseph Brant, Arendt Van Curler, Gen. Herkimer, Reformed Church in America, Doctrine and Progress, Revolutionary Residences, Etc.


In the year 1890 certain church workers of the Second Presbyterian church recognized the fact that while the central portions of Amsterdam were well churched there was no organization in either the east end of the city or on what has come to be known as the Market Hill section. But the second church did not see the need for any similar organization in either of these sections, hence their own workers were forced to turn for aid to another denomination., which proved to be the Reformed Church. Rev. J. H. Enders, the Synodical Superintendent, came to the field at once, and with the workers decided to establish a religious work in the east end of the city. Here the work had hardly begun when the Methodist church also initiated a work in the same community, and the Reformed church workers moved out and upon the Market Hill section and began services in the old Academy building, hired for the purpose.

<- The Church Seal Adopted in 1910.

Besides Rev. Enders, Edward O. Bartlett and Jacob J. Johnson, the former a charter member of Trinity, the latter for more than a quarter-century superintendent of the First Reformed Church Sunday School, were active in beginning the work. Jamas A. Smealie and H. S. Vossler, elders, and E. O. Bartlett and W. H. Carver, deacons, were the first consistory. P. Henry Smeallie and N. W. Donnan were also active at the starting of the work. In December, 1891, a Sunday School was started in the Academy where preaching services had been held for some time, and in 1892, February, Rev. Jas. A. Beattie of Pekin, Ill., a Glasgow University man, was called to the field and remained thro a part of 1894 when he entered the mission work of the Reformed Church in Chittoor, India. It was during his ministry that the chapel was built which served the congregation for some seventeen years, tho at the time of its building the plans called for the completion of the church the following year. The formal organization of the church took place April 5, 1892, and besides Mr. Bartlett, H. S. and Mrs. Vossler are the remaining active charter members. A fourth member is Mrs. Margaret Beattie of Chittoor, India. Other charter members not mentioned above were Mrs. W. H. Carver, Mrs. J. A. Smeallie, Mrs. P. H. Smeallie, and Mrs. N. W. Donnan. The land and the building cost $9,500 of which sum the Board of Domestic Missions loaned $5,000 . Mr. Beattie was one of the thousand passengers lost when the Lusitania was destroyed off the English coast on May 7, 1915.

The second pastor of the church was Rev. Evert J. Blekkink, who had served the churches at Lishas Kill, Cobleskill and Lawyersville, and who came to Amsterdam in 1894 and remained thro most of 1899, doing a splendid fundamental work in the field. Mr. Blekkink went to Kalamazoo, Mich., from which place he was called to Holland, Mich., in 1905, and after a brief pastorate here was made Professor of Theology in the Western Theological Seminary at Holland, Mich. Rev. Blekkink's son, Rev. Victor Blekkink is now pastor of the Canajoharie church (cf). Rev. Charles W. Van Zee came to the church from Freehold, N. J. in 1900, and after remaining a little less than three years went to High Bridge, N. J. in which pastorate he died, August 16, 1903. He was succeeded by Rev. Howard R. Furbeck, son of Rev. Philip Furbeck (cf Fonda), who was ordained by the Montgomery Classis and installed over the church in 1901. He remained but a year and a little more, going next to Rensselaer, and is now at Annandale, N. J.

The fifth pastor at Trinity was Rev. W. N. P. Dailey, who had had pastorates at Albany 3d and Athens before coming to Amsterdam. His first work had been as a missionary under the Presbyterian church in Utah. In his years at Trinity the church grew by bounds, the building was completed, the Board relieved from aiding in pastor's salary, the several organizations perfected, and the various work of the church established. Members of the consistory at the time of the building the church were, besides the pastor, elders Harvey S. Vossler, Edward O. Bartlett, Levi M. Strong, H. O. Wilkie and John H. Wilkie, and deacons Fred W. Rogge, Jas. Lindsay, Charles McGovern, Wm. B. Greene, and Peter R. Van Valkenburg. One of the members of the church, Charles E. Fick was the contractor, who wrought his best into the structure, and edifice of beauty and stability. Fred W. Rogge who administered the finances of this $25,000 addition deserves special mention. The cost of the addition was four-fifths met at dedication. The church is one of the finest of any denomination in the Mohawk Valley,and its completion marked the dawn of a new era in its history. After a pastorate of more than eight years, the longest in the church to date, Mr. Dailey was persuaded to take up the Missionary work of the Montgomery Classis, which he did in November, 1911, in which work he is still engaged. His successor was Rev. J. Harvey Murphy of Philadelphia, Pa., who came to the church in February, 1912, and has pushed forward the work of the organization, until today. Trinity is one of the strongest of the churches of the Classis of Montgomery.

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