First Presbyterian Church of Corning records, 1834-1915.
Collection Number: 6081

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


First Presbyterian Church of Corning records, 1834-1915.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Collection Number:
Two volumes (1834-1845, 1847-897) session meeting minutes, which deal predominately with discipline, temperance and administrative issues and one volume of trustee's records (1843-1915)
First Presbyterian Church of Corning (Corning, N.Y.)
1 microfilm reels.
Collection material in English


The church was organized July 1, 1811 in Knoxsville as the Presbyterian Church of Painted Post, and admitted to the Presbytery of Geneva in 1812. The ultimate result of at least two subsequent changes in Presbytery boundaries was the church's membership in the Chemung Presbytery. In 1843, the congregation's name was changed to the present one. Considerable controversy involving a temperance resolution, discussion of church governance, structure and personal differences among the membership resulted in the dismission of forty-six members who organized and built a second church in 1845, again called the Presbyterian Church of Painted Post. The two churches were reunited by act of the Presbytery in 1849, but evidently continued to worship separately. During the winter of 1863-1864 a revival assisted by the Evangelist Rev. O. Parker increased membership and helped finance the construction of a stone church which was completed in 1867.


No records exist from the church's formation in 1811 until 1834. Items #1 and #2 contain church session meeting minutes (1834-1845; 1847-1897) and item #3 is a trustee's record book (1843-1915). The session records are predominately related to discipline, temperance, and administrative issues. Membership lists appear in items #1 and #3. Microfilm errors are as follows: in item #1 pages 54 and 55 are duplicated between pages 51 and 52; in item #2 pages 14-17 are duplicated between pages 17 and 18; and in item #3 two pages with the heading "Trustees Nov. 9-1901" are repeated. Contents:


Cite As:

First Presbyterian Church of Corning records, #6081. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Presbyterian Church of Painted Post (Painted Post, N.Y.)
Chemung Presbytery (N.Y.)
Geneva Presbytery (N.Y.)
Corning (N.Y.) -- Religious life and customs.
Steuben County (N.Y.) -- Religious life and customs.
Presbyterian church buildings.
Presbyterian Church -- Membership.
Revivals -- New York (State) -- Corning.
Temperance and religion -- New York (State) -- Corning.
Church discipline.
Presbyterian Church -- Government.
Presbyterian Church -- New York (State) -- Corning.
Form and Genre Terms:

Item #1
First Church, Painted Post, Corning
February 1834 to October 1845
Scope and Contents
Session Record Book, February 1834 to October 1845 . Session minutes record names of moderator, elders and corresponding members present, appointments to committees, issuance of citations to appear before session (copied in minutes), hearing committee reports, special meetings, granting letters of dismission, admitting new members, baptisms and officiating clergy, hearing confessions and accusations of misconduct, election and installation of elders, passing judgement on accused members including public announcement of guilt, suspension, excommunication, and appointment of delegates to Presbytery meetings.
First page: membership list.
Scope and Contents
Records names, dismission to (?), suspended, excommunicated, died.
Second page: membership list (3 entries).
Scope and Contents
Records name, when received, how received, when/how dismissed.
Following pages: membership lists.
Scope and Contents
Records names, when admitted, by letter or examination, dismissed to where, suspended, excommunicated, died, remarks. Note: first four pages have no dates, fifth's dated January 1, 1834.
February 5, 1834
Scope and Contents
Session minutes begin. Pagination begins.
pp. 57-58: ( August 5, 1836 )
August 5, 1836
Scope and Contents
Temperance resolution incorporated into Confession of Faith.
pp. 60-61: ( November 4, 1836 )
November 4, 1836
Scope and Contents
Above temperance clause expunged from Confession of Faith on advice of Presbytery.
p. 62: November 18, 1836 , special meeting
November 18, 1836
Scope and Contents
Session refuses to hold a congregational meeting requested by 14 members re: above temperance clause and increasing number of elders.
pp. 66-67: ( December 4, 1836 )
December 4, 1836
Scope and Contents
Presbytery to meet to discuss the above issue.
p. 93: ( February 12, 1841 )
February 12, 1841
Scope and Contents
Member charged with heresy for claiming universal salvation.
p. 120: ( September 2, 1843 )
September 2, 1843
Scope and Contents
Anti-slavery resolution adopted; name changed to First Presbyterian Church of Corning.
p. 128: ( November 5, 1843 )
November 5, 1843
Scope and Contents
Member suspended for leaving the church during a sermon given by a black minister.
pp. 140-141: ( June 3, 1844 )
June 3, 1844
Scope and Contents
Presbytery advises Session that suspension for color prejudice is too severe.
p. 146: ( Elkland, September 4, 1844 )
Elkland, September 4, 1844
Scope and Contents
Copy of a letter from clerk of Chemung Presbytery re: recent changes in Corning church governance structure, and notice of Presbytery meeting to be held at Corning to discuss this.
pp. 154-192: ( December 14, 1844 - September 8, 1845 )
December 14, 1844 - September 8, 1845
Scope and Contents
These entries concern the case of one member.. The intensity of this trial leads to a complaint against the Presbytery, and eventually involved the Synod. Note: pagination ends p. 190.
p. 194: ( Corning, October 14, 1845 )
Corning, October 14, 1845
Scope and Contents
Copy of a letter to the pastor from approximately 30 members requesting dismission to form own church.
Next 2 pages: membership list
Scope and Contents
Includes name, when and how received, dismissed, suspended, excommunicated, died. (20 names)
Next page:
Scope and Contents
Membership list
Next 22 pages
Scope and Contents
Membership lists,some upside down, many corrections, some dates.
At end of volume
Scope and Contents
Copy letter (Corning, November 4, 1845) From petitioners for dismission and recommendations, and resolution (Corning, November 1, 1845 to grant dismission to petitioners without recommendation of good Christian character, signed by church pastor.
Item #2
Session Record Book,
June 1847 - April 1897
Scope and Contents
Session minutes record same information as in item #1 with the addition of deacon's reports.
Confession of Faith (2 pages) and Covenant (2 pages)
Scope and Contents
With membership lists (names, removed, died, dismissed).
June 16, 1847
Scope and Contents
Minutes begin. Pagination begins.
p. 5: ( August 5, 1848 )
August 5, 1848
Scope and Contents
Session invites First Presbyterian Church of Painted Post to reunite separated congregations.
p. 10: ( April 2, 1849 )
April 2, 1849
Scope and Contents
Resolution by Presbytery to reunite Corning and Painted Post churches.
p. 32: ( December 29, 1851 )
December 29, 1851
Scope and Contents
Member excommunicated as result of a case which lasted two years.
p. 79: ( April 1, 1856 )
April 1, 1856
Scope and Contents
Decision re: foreign missions fund.
p. 80: ( April 4, 1856 )
April 4, 1856
Scope and Contents
Resolution re: dancing.
p. 118: ( July 5, I860 )
July 5, I860
Scope and Contents
Female members invited to participate in election of church officers.
p. 147: ( November 30, 1863 )
November 30, 1863
Scope and Contents
Resolution to hold daily prayer meetings and to invite Rev. O. Parker, "The Evangelist," to assist.
October 14, 1886
Scope and Contents
Minutes end.
"Record of Ruling Elders."
Scope and Contents
Gives synopsis of church history and lists elders' names, when ordained, installed, ceased to act.
List of elders
Scope and Contents
Same page as above. Of First Presbyterian Church of Painted Post, with dates.
List of elders
Scope and Contents
For the reunited First Presbyterian Church of Corning, with dates.
Scope and Contents
re: death of an elder, 1883 .
Deaths ( 1880-1893? )
Scope and Contents
Lists names and dates.
"Names of Male Members"
Scope and Contents
Includes name, date, how received, date died, suspended or excommunicated (paginated).
List of suspended members ( 1874-1880 )
List of letters granted ( 1874-1896 )
Scope and Contents
Lists names, dates.
Scope and Contents
Records whether male, female adult or infant, who performed and when.
Letter of dismission and recommendation, ( 1882 )
Scope and Contents
Signed by church clerk and pastor.
Newspaper clipping, ( n.d. )
Scope and Contents
re: mission contributions.
Member's Disjunction Certificate, 1888 , tipped in
Newspaper clipping, ( n.d. )
Scope and Contents
Of centennial speech delivered July 1876.
Item #3
Book of Records of the First Presbyterian Society of Corning,
September 18, 1843
Scope and Contents
Trustee's Record Book, 1843-1915. Annual church and congregation meeting minutes record election of trustees, appointment of class leaders, appointments to committees, passage and adoption of resolutions; calling, electing and hiring ministers and sextons; choice of chairperson and clerk; setting pew rents/costs, minister's salary, sexton's salary, subscriptions and collections; hearing annual and incidental trustees' reports, and corporate meetings with statements on church and congregation finances.
Certificate of Incorporation, ( September 18, 1843 )
September 18, 1843
Scope and Contents
Records election of trustees, appointment of class leaders. Signed by Steuben County Court Commissioner.
Certificate verifying election of trustees, ( September 13, 1844 )
September 13, 1844
Scope and Contents
Signed by Steuben County Clerk.
Minutes begin November 11, 1844 .
November 11, 1844
February 4, 1852
Scope and Contents
Committee established to plan construction of a session house.
October 14, 1863, March 4, 1867
Scope and Contents
Entries re: building a new church.
March 13, 1877
Scope and Contents
Church debt.
June 11, 1887
Scope and Contents
Building a parsonage.
October 18, 1901
Scope and Contents
Church debt.
April 1, 1902
Scope and Contents
$9096.00 taken in subscriptions to clear debt.
April 9, 1906
Scope and Contents
Church debt of $5658.13.
November 9, 1914
Scope and Contents
last entry.
At end of volume
Scope and Contents
"Treasurer's reports, 1915-1916; "copy organ subscriptions" (1902?); annual meeting minutes (April 13, 1914) on letter head "The Corning Building Co.;" and notice re: envelope system," November 30, 1896 (see minutes for November 26, 1896). All of these are tipped in notes.