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Church History

     Central Presbyterian Central began in 1810 when Rev. Daniel Oliver, a missionary, gathered a small group of settlers to form a new church from settlers who had been meeting together for prayer and Bible study. In 1814, the Presbyterian form of worship was adopted and the church was incorporated under the legal title of “Geneseo Gospel Society.” The Society’s original place of worship was a plain wooden meeting house located on what was then the east edge of the village.

 

     The burgeoning congregation soon outgrew that first home and, in 1818, built the “White Church” on Main Street in the village (a name that was derived, presumably, from the painted color of the two-story, clapboard structure). Torn apart by the New School/Old School Controversy of the mid-nineteenth century Presbyterian church, the congregation split. Part of the congregation kept the White Church as its home; the rest built the “Brick Church” at the corner of Second and Center Streets (the site of the current church building). This second group incorporated in 1859 as Central Presbyterian Church.

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     The two churches coexisted in Geneseo for about twenty years but then reunited under the name “Central Presbyterian,” enlarging the Brick Church and using that building as its home. The cathedral-style Brick Church burned to the ground in 1937, and was replaced on the same site with the building in which the congregation now worships. The new structure was dedicated in 1940.

 

Central Presbyterian is a 212-year-old congregation that values its heritage in the Reformed tradition, in the PC(USA), and in the Finger Lakes region.

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