The Cornwall Presbyterian Church, in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, was founded on May 3, 1855 by 17 individuals, most of whom were members of the Canterbury Presbyterian Church in the town of Cornwall, NY.
Property at the church’s present site was purchased, and the construction was completed on March 5, 1856. The first ordained minister was Re. Dr. Louis P. Ledoux. Twelve (12) pastors served the church since, and in 2011 Rev. Patricia Calahan became the first female ordained minister of the Cornwall Presbyterian Church.
In 1924, during the Great Depression, and with declining membership and resources, the Cornwall and the Canterbury churches approved the consolidation of both churches, with services being held at each church on alternate Sundays. The intent of this consolidation was to eventually erect a new central Presbyterian church building. This plan never developed, and in 1957, the Presbytery approved the division of the congregation into two (2) separate congregations – the Canterbury Church and the Cornwall Presbyterian Church.
To meet a variety of needs the church has had three (3) major expansions – 1916, 1954 and 1999. The last expansion, a 3 story construction project, added a Sunday School room, the pastor’s suite, a small sanctuary, bathrooms on all floors and a 3-level elevator.
The Cornwall Presbyterian Church has a rich history of mission to its local area and beyond. More recently, fundraisers, such as a variety of dinners (Pancake, Spaghetti, Roast Beef), the AppleTime Fair and Rummage Sales, are a few that have provided financial support for mission efforts. The Senior Citizens Dining Program (Federal Nutrition Program) was begun at the church in 1974. The Village Nursery School has served local families since 1964. Congregation members have given their time and talents to help the needy in such projects as; the Midnight Run, Habitat for Humanity Home Building, Family Promise, Migrant Workers.
A review of congregation member lists, past and present, will show their contributions to our local community in; governmental leadership, fire departments, ambulance corps, the Lions Club, the Cornwall Garden Club, the Cornwall Historical Society, Fourth of July Celebrations, education, medicine and music.
“We’re open on Sundays!” Come visit!!