Houses of Worship

The first church building in Bridgeville was erected as a Union Church, (being occupied by the Baptists, Episcopalians and Methodists) about 1816. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized with fifty-nine members in 1849 by Reverend Adee Vail, its first pastor. The Church building was built in 1868 at a cost of $2,600. In 1872, the Church seated two hundred people, had sixty members and the Reverend C. H. Reynolds was the pastor, being shared with Glen Wild and Sandburgh (Mountaindale) Methodist Episcopal Churches. After the snow fell daily for two months in 1923, the weight of the snow collapsed the building. The lumber and the stained glass windows were saved and used in rebuilding a smaller church. By the early 40’s the congregation had dissipated and Andrew and Addie Gorton bought the church properties from the Methodist Convention. Milan Gorton tore the church down in 1964. On old Route 17, the present home of Dick Voss was the Methodist Parsonage.

The Congregation Anshe Glen Wild was organized on October 25, 1913, and the synagogue was built in 1922. The charter members were A. Berkman, D. Berkman, H. Berkman, A. Frankel, H. Frankel, S. Goldberg, B. Gordon, D. Gordon, Rev. S. Jaffe, M. Joelson, M. Marcus, B. Marger, H. Rosenberg, L. Rosenblatt. The Ladies’ Auxiliary was organized in 1946 to aid in the upkeep of the synagogue and to raise funds for a future center.

The first meeting for organizing a Church in Rock Hill was held at the school house on January 14, 1889 and the property of B. Lord was selected and is still the site of the building. Trustees were elected two weeks later, namely: James Dutcher, John Lord, Morris A. Rundle, Daniel Coddington, Stephen Wakeman, Sanford Burtis and Josiah Goble. The pastor was the Reverend A. W. Thompson. Morris A. Rundle was employed to do the work on the building and the new church was dedicated on October 14, 1891. In August, 1909, during the big hail storm, all the windows on the west side were smashed. The building was struck by lightning in 1912. The bolt entered at the altar, set the building on fire and was extinguished without too much damage. In April, 1949, anticipating the construction of Route 17 Ouickway in front of the building, the church was moved back several feet to its present location. At that time a basement was built where formerly there had been a cellar only for the heating system. Presently, Bob Rousch is the minister and he lives in the old school building, the red house across from the Church. Several times a year, the ladies of the congregation are tremendously active in raising funds by having roast beef dinners and the annual auction in July is the major money-maker. These events are very well-attended by folks from many areas and have proven to be a most cohesive force in the community. The Church is also the local polling place for elections.

The Glen Wild Methodist Church was organized on October 17, 1866. It was formerly the Fletcher Centenary Church. The site chosen was purchased from Joseph W. Hait on the Sandburgh (Mountaindale) Road for $200. The Reverend H. C. Earle was the pastor. Officers and Trustees were Charles A. Atwell, Friend S. Couch, Harmon Gillett, John S. Conklin, John P. Moore, John R. Elliott, and Walter S. Denniston. The Church was built for $3,169.17 and was dedicated in 1867. The steeple was removed in 1885 because its weight was of danger to the building. In 1894, the first organized society of women was formed. The women met in each other’s homes and sewed for the family of their hostess since ready-made clothes were not easily available. So the “Mothers” Meetings helped with the heavy sewing duties of each of them. In 1914, electricity was installed which replaced the kerosene lamps. The adjacent Community Hall was built in 1944 through great co-operation of the members. From the Sunday School Records for 1899 through 1903 some interesting facts were learned: In March, 1899, eighty-four people attended service and the collection was fifty-three cents. By July, 1899 (with the influx of the summer guests) ninety-two people attended and contributed $2.30. A Special Collection was held on April 8, 1900 for Suffering India and $5.00 was raised.

The Church of the Nazarene on Katrina Falls Road was started on February 11,1973 with twenty members. The first services were held in the Community Center at Lake Louise Marie. The families of Rolie Reed, Thomas Crawford and the Rev. Gary Jones were instrumental in the formation of the Church. The Rev. Jones was the first minister. The Rev. Louis Spross is the present minister. The average attendance now is about eighty people in the new building on Katrina Falls Road which seats one hundred eleven people. The Church hopes to expand to increase the size of the sanctuary and add educational facilities. Rock Hill was visited by the missionary family of Joseph Colby in a horse-drawn wagon from Brooklyn. They located in the old Mckee house, now Sam Magie’s, about 1916. Cemeteries currently in use are the Rock Hill and Luna in Rock Hill and the Bridgeville Cemetery. Those in former use were located at the lower Hackeldam and also upriver from Bridgeville, where the first settler, John Brooks is buried on the banks of the Neversink across from Edwards.

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