Grace United Methodist Church
Records, 1841-1962

SC17397

Quantity: 8 boxes (2.50 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift: Grace United Methodist Church, March 1981
Processed By: Kayleigh Paster, University at Albany, Student Assistant, May 2014

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Historical Note:

The Grace United Methodist Church of Ravena, New York, was formed on June 3, 1962 with the merger of three congregations: the Methodist Episcopal Church of Coeymans, the Methodist Episcopal Church of New Baltimore, and the Methodist Episcopal Church of Ravena. Although the three did not formally merge until the early 1960s, the churches in Coeymans and New Baltimore shared a history as members of the same Methodist church circuit, and had started sharing resources two decades before the merger of the three congregations.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Coeymans was built in 1835 to replace what was known as the "old stone church". This earlier site had been used by the Methodist congregation in Coeymans until the church’s growing membership made it necessary for a new church building to be constructed. The continued growth of membership in the church following the building’s dedication in 1836 required further renovations and an expansion, which took place in 1866. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of New Baltimore was dedicated on March 20, 1856. As the congregation of New Baltimore grew, the building was renovated and on August 26, 1873, the corner stone for a new building had been placed on land purchased by the church. Over the course of its history the New Baltimore church had increasingly close connections with the church in Coeymans, starting when the two were set apart as a Methodist conference charge on April 1, 1876.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Ravena was incorporated on September 29, 1892. The church had its origins in the combination of local Dutch Reform and Methodist traditions, members of which shared meeting spaces and preachers from Coeymans before the establishment of a church building in Ravena. While early meetings of the congregation were held in places such as an old school house and the Temperance Hotel (also known as the Vincent House), by 1894 construction had been completed on a church building.

Efforts to merge the three congregations began as early as 1942, when the churches in Coeymans and New Baltimore began sharing resources. While the two remained separate congregations, they hired one pastor to serve both churches in an attempt to cut costs. On June 3, 1962, the three congregations merged to form Grace United Methodist Church. This decision came after meetings between the three congregations and the election of a committee of members from each church dedicated to the eventual merger. Initially, services were split between two locations; Sunday school was held at the church in Coeymans and worship services were held in Ravena. In April 1965 the united congregation began holding services in the newly constructed building of the Grace United Methodist Church in Ravena.

Scope and Content Note:

These records consist of registers, trustee minute books, and financial account books related to the three congregations that merged in 1962 to form Grace United Methodist Church. The records cover the years from 1841 to 1962 for the Methodist Episcopal Church of Coeymans, 1876 to 1962 for the Methodist Episcopal Church of New Baltimore, and 1892 to 1962 for the Methodist Episcopal Church of Ravena. 

The church registers contain vital information about members and regular attendees of the church, such as baptisms, marriages, and deaths, as well as rosters of probationary and full members.  The registers also provide information on the history of all three churches and list the pastors of each church.

The records also include trustee minute books that detail the business operations of the churches and financial record books that detail receipts and expenditures of the churches in Coeymans and Ravena.  Income was received primarily through gifts and offerings of its members, while expenditures included pastoral pay and compensation, building maintenance, and church school supplies.

There are also several documents that were found tipped into the pages of a number of the bound volumes. These papers, which range in date from 1881 to 1962, consist primarily of membership and transfer certificates as well as letters of transfer, which were written for individuals who wished to join one of the three congregations. Other items include a form for listing meeting minutes, a business card, a "dismission" certificate, which acts as a certificate of transfer, a copy of a marriage record, notes, letters, and memorial cards from the early 1960s. These materials have been removed from the volumes in which they were found and placed in folders corresponding to each of the three churches.

Container List:


Box Volume Description
    Methodist Episcopal Church of Coeymans
1 1 Register, 1860-1883 (336 p.; 36 cm)
  1. Record of Officials, 1879-1884
  2. Record of Baptisms, 1 July 1860-19 December 1881; includes date of birth and residence
  3. Record of Marriages, 3 June 1860-5 December 1883; includes residence
  4. Record for Probationers, February 1872-9 July 1882; includes marital status and residence
  5. Alphabetical List of Members; includes residence and membership transfer information
  6. Record for the Classes Severally, [?]-1881; includes marital status
1 2 Register, 1881-1890 (268 p.; 37 cm)
  1. Historical Record
  2. Pastoral and Statistical Record, 1881-1883
  3. Official Members, 29 March 1881-29 March 1884
  4. Class Record; includes marital status and residence
  5. Probationers’ Record  26 February 1882-3 March 1889; includes marital status, membership information, when and how baptized
  6. Members in Full Connection, February 1884-6 October 1890; many entries are not dated, includes marital status, age, and membership transfer information
  7. Marriage Record, 16 June 1881-14 January, 1890; includes place of birth, occupation of groom, and age
  8. Record of Baptisms, 17 December 1881-May 22, 1887; includes whether an adult or infant, names of parents and date of birth (if an infant)
2 1 Register, 1890-1923 (163 p.; 29 cm)
  1. Record of Pastors, 1890-1944
  2. Record of Official Members, 1893-1917
  3. Alphabetical Record of Members in Full Connection, 1881-1923; many entries are not dated, includes marital status and membership transfer information
  4. Record of Probationers, 30 November 1890-25 March 1923; includes marital status, residence, membership transfer information, and when baptized
  5. Record of Marriages 18 August 1890- 29 May 1923; includes age and residence
  6. Record of Baptisms, 30 November 1890-7 May 1922; includes whether an adult or infant, names of parents and date of birth (if an infant)
2 2 Register, 1923-1961 (179 p.; 24 cm)
  1. Record of Baptized Children, 25 October 1923-10 June 1928; includes date and place of birth
  2. Record of Preparatory Membership, 16 March 1924-5 April 1942; includes marital status, residence, date baptized, and membership transfer information
  3. Full Membership, 1884 [sic]-15 January 1962 [sic]; includes marital status, residence, and membership transfer information
2 3 Register, 1923-1960 (351 p.; 24 cm)
  1. Pastors, 1890-1957
  2. Official Members, 1915-1924
  3. Births and Baptisms, 6 March 1903-3 July 1960; includes names of parents (if an infant), whether an adult or infant and membership transfer information
  4. Marriages, 3 January 1924-20 June 1958; includes residence
  5. Deaths, 16 June 1923-10 April 1957; includes date and place of funeral
3 1 Financial record book, 1866-1893 (100 p.; 21 cm)
  1. Financial records, 1866-1893
  2. List of ministers for Coeymans circuit, 1789-1928
  3. Trustee meeting minutes, October 1866-28 September 1872
3 2 Trustee meeting minutes,1841-1923 (289 p.; 27 cm)
  1. List of ministers who served on the Coeymans Circuit, 1789-1835
  2. Ministers’ names, 1836-1957
  3. Minutes, 1841-1923; includes lists of trustees 1836-1840
3 3 Trustee meeting minutes, 1860-1888 (144 p.; 21 cm)
3 4 Trustees and Stewards meeting minutes, 1903-1910 (153 p.; 22 cm)
3 5 Quarterly Conference minutes of Coeymans and New Baltimore, 1876-1917 (289 p.; 34 cm)
3  (folder) Coeymans Methodist Episcopal Church – loose materials found tipped into record books
  1. Membership letter, Pastor J. Berton Smith for Mrs. Caroline B. [?], [?], N.Y. Conference, April 26, 1881
  2. Membership letter, Pastor B.T. White for Nancy Reynolds, [?] December 7, 1882
  3. Certificate of Membership, Pastor W.S. Williams for Susan Schoonmaker, Coeymans Hollow, May 16 1884
  4. Booklet, Minutes of the Fourth Quarterly Conference, Coeymans, N.Y., December 30, 1923
  5. Partial transfer certificate, Pastor [?] Jones for [?], Auburn Presbyterian Church, April 24, 1931
  6. Certificate of Transfer, Pastor J. Elmer Cates for Edith Lewis, Walden Methodist Episcopal Church, Walden, N.Y., September 11, 1933
  7. Business card, Rev. Robert B. Guice, New York City, N.Y.
    Methodist Episcopal Church of New Baltimore
4 1 Register, 1876-1895 (250 p.; 36 cm)
  1. Historical Record; includes newspaper clippings, ca. November 26, 1883-January 20, 1924,  and an obituary for Mrs. Jane C. Hinman, ca. January 25, 1908
  2. Pastoral and Statistical Record, 1876-1891
  3. Chronological Record of Official Members, 29 October 1873-November 30 1878; includes dates of removal from office
  4. Class Records, [?]-22 July 1884; includes class number, leader, meeting time and place, and marital status
  5. Probationers’ Records, April 1876-30 September 1893; includes marital status, membership transfer, when and how baptized, and residence
  6. Alphabetical Record of Members in Full Standing, 1 April 1877-30 September 1893; includes marital status and membership transfer information
  7. Marriage Record, 13 February 1878-6 June 1894; includes residence, place of birth, occupation of groom, and age
  8. Record of Baptisms, 29 October 1876-January 1894; includes whether an adult or infant
  9. Appendix; includes newspaper clippings about quarterly reports and other announcements relevant to the church, ca. 1883 -1885, and transcribed accounts of the death of Robert Hilton on October 27, 1864, the death of John Wiltsie in June of 1875, and Alanson Scott on March 27, 1874
4 2 Register, 1895-1955, (328 p.; 29 cm)
  1. Record of Pastors, 11 April 1895-April 1920
  2. Record of Official Members, ca. 1900-1917
  3. Record of Classes
  4. Alphabetical Record of Members in Full Connection, ca. 1 April 1877 December 6, 1936 ; includes marital status and membership transfer information
  5. Record of Probationers; includes marital status, residence, membership transfer information, and date of baptism
  6. Record of Marriages, 27 June 1895-11 May 1952; includes ages and residences
  7. Record of Baptisms, 28 April 1895- 8 June 1955; includes whether an adult or infant, and date of birth (if an infant)
5 1 Register, 1936-1955, (248 p.; 24 cm); includes name of head of family, occupation, marital status, membership transfer information, baptized children or preparatory members, exact birthday for members under age 21, and Sunday school participation
5 2 Register, 1955-1962 (144 p.; 25 cm)
  1. Record of Births and Baptisms, 20 August 1915-19 July 1962; includes whether an adult or infant
  2. Record of Full Membership, 5 August 1894-30 October 1961; includes marital status and membership transfer information
5 (folder) Baltimore Methodist Episcopal Church – loose materials found tipped into record books
  1. Certificate of Membership,  L.A. Dibble for Mrs. Clarissa Hallock, Ohio Street Methodist Episcopal Church, [?], March 7, 1892
  1. Certificate of Membership, Pastor A. Quick for Sarah McCleere, Coeymans Hollow Methodist Episcopal Church, Kingston District, N.Y., December 29, 1897
  2. Transfer of Church Membership Certificate, Presiding Elder John Galbraith for Frances Adelia Rice, People’s Temple Methodist Church, Boston, Mass., December 11, 1907
  3. Certificate of Transfer, Pastor [?] Nolan for Mrs. Teresa Mary Disney, First Methodist Episcopal Church, Flushing, N.Y., January 22, 1920
  4. Certificate of Transfer, Pastor [?] Nolan for Mrs. Mary A Lake, First Methodist Episcopal Church, Flushing, N.Y., January 22, 1920
  5. Certificate of Transfer, Pastor Herbert A. Roberts for Mrs. C.H. Everleth, Community Methodist Episcopal Church, Dannemora, N.Y., December 18, 1935
  6. Certificate of Transfer, Pastor Herbert A. Roberts for Thelma E. Everleth, Community Methodist Episcopal Church, Dannemora, N.Y. December 18, 1935
    First Methodist Episcopal Church of Ravena
6 1 Register, 1892-1946, (468 p.; 37 cm)
  1. Historical Record
  2. Pastoral and Statistical Record, 1892-1946
  3. Chronological Record of Official Members, 1900-1939
  4. Probationers’ Record, 1895-1937; includes marital status, residence, date of baptism, and membership transfer information
  5. Alphabetical Record of Members in Full Connection, ca. 1897-1946; includes marital status, residence, and membership transfer information
  6. Record of Baptisms, 24 October 1895- 24 March 1946
  7. Marriage Record, 18 August 1895-21 April 1946; includes residence, age on next birthday, place of birth, occupation, race, number of marriages, maiden name of bride (if widowed), names of parents and nationality, maiden name of bride and groom’s mothers
6 1 Class Book, Coeymans Junction [Ravena], 1894-1897, (88 p.; 22 cm)
  1. Class lists
  2. Minutes of official board meetings
7 1 Register, 1946-1953, (550 p.; 26 cm); note reads "revised from old book by Rev. Robert B. Guice, assisted by Church Membership Committee"
  1. Membership Roll; includes name of head of family, address, parents’ names, and membership transfer information
  2. Record of Births and Baptisms, 1946-1952 (Births, 1929-1959); includes mother’s maiden name in most entries
  3. Marriage Record (listed under Constituency Rolls), 27 May 1946-29 April 1951; includes date of birth of bride and groom
7 2 Register, 1953-1962 (208 p.; 36 cm)
  1. Record of Baptisms, 24 August 1952-25 November 1962; includes place of birth and names of parents
  2. Official Record of Full Membership, 17 January 1897-10 June 1962; includes marital status and name of spouse, and membership transfer information
  3. Roll of Full Membership; acts as cross reference to Official Record
  4. Records of Marriages, 31 August 1951-2 September 1962
  5. Records of Deaths of Members, 27 July 1952-22 December 1962; includes cemetery name and location
  6. Annual Summary, 1953-1958
  7. List of Ministers of the Ravena Charge, 1892-1961
  8. Historical Record
8 1 Journal of income and expenses, 1906-1925, (300 p.; 32 cm)
8 2 Board of Trustees minutes, 1897-1908 (148 p.; 22 cm); E.L. Bishop, Treasurer
  1. List of trustees, elected 24 July 1900; includes date of term expiration
  2. Names of trustees, April 1898
  3. Minutes, 1897-1908
8 3 Official Board meeting minutes, 1909-1918 (100 p.; 32 cm)
8 (folder) Ravena Methodist Episcopal Church – loose materials found tipped into record books
  1. Memorial card, William K. Zweeres, Tebbutt Memorial Chapel, Albany, N.Y., December 26, 1961
  2. Letter of transfer, William E. Jones to Edward A. Bawden, for Mrs. [Patricia Lyons] Christian, [?] N.Y., April 2, 1952
  3. Certificate of Transfer, Pastor Harold V. Pheffer for Margie Hotaling Joralemon, South Bethlehem, N.Y., August 13, 1951
  4. Letter, Phillip E. Sandbek to Rev. James E. Gebhart, Lexington, N.Y., March 9, 1962
  5. Letter of transfer, Pastor Arthur W. Bloom to Rev. E. James Gebhart, for Mrs. Paul Merrit of Ossining, N.Y., March 29 1962
  6. Dismission Certificate, Pastor Leroy G. Brandt for William, Sharon, and Byron Woolford, Delmar, N.Y., [April 18, 1962]
  7. Copy of Marriage Record and copy of the marriage license for Robert Lawrence Benoit and Joan A. Sharpe, Methodist Church of Ravena, N.Y., June 28, 1952; sent by Rev. George Allen Cole to Rev. Herbert Hahn, Ravena, N.Y., June 30, 1952
  8. Note, regarding payment of church dues for 1951; written on letterhead of Rev. Herbert M. Hahn, South Bethlehem Methodist Church, South Bethlehem, N.Y.
  9. Letter, Pastor Evan R. Johnson to minister of Ravena Methodist Church, Thompsonville, Conn., July 15, 1962
  10. Memorial card, William H. Golden, Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena, N.Y., December 18, 1961
  11. Memorial card, William H. Burlingham, Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena, N.Y., July 15, 1962
  12. Memorial card, Thelma Richter, Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena, N.Y., July 28, 1962
  13. Memorial card, Mabel A. Kinns, Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena, N.Y., September 26, 1962
  14. Letter, Howard H. Darling to Rev. J.E. Gebhart, Newburgh, N.Y., September 28, 1962
  15. Memorial card,  Madge Hotaling, Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena, N.Y., October 9, 1962
  16. Memorial card, Nelson Sutton, Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena. N.Y., November 1, 1962
  17. Memorial card, Julia K. Ribley, Caswell Funeral Home, Ravena, N.Y.,  November 13, 1962
  18. Memorial card, Kathryn E. Groben, Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena, N.Y., December 24, 1962
  19. Letter, Mrs. James R. Sullivan to pastor of First Methodist Church, Schenectady, N.Y., November 30, 1962
  20. Notes, regarding removal of names from membership roll
  21. Note, list of babies for baptism, lists dates September 28, 1943-March 5, 1951
  22. Note,  mentions Bible passages and death of Mrs. [Elizabeth] Van Warner
Last Updated: September 17, 2014