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About Us

In the Beginning...
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        The First Presbyterian Church Liberty, New York was founded in the year 1809 and became part of the Presbytery of Hudson on September 6, 1810.  The first Location of our church was on South Main Street in Liberty, with a manse located nearby.  The building was built in 1812, a tower and bell were added in 1827 and the entire building was remodeled in 1849.

 

        The church was moved to the present location in 1870 having been placed on skids resting on logs.  It was then drawn up Main street by four teams of oxen.  The move cost $1250, including costs for the new foundation and painting.  The land was donated by John A. Clements.

 

        In 1901, at the cost of $4000, a pipe organ and metal ceiling were added to the sanctuary. Also added was a finished basement used for Sunday School.  In later years it was also used for church activities such as youth fellowship and "The EverReady Club."  

       

The first deacons and trustees committees were started in 1907.

         The first Session was formed in 1810, with only men allowed to serve.  Women were allowed to join both the session and trustees in 1964.  The first female deacons were called deaconess when they were formed in 1907and formally became deacons in 1951.  **(The current [2016] committee of deacons consists entirely of women, and the session is composed of approximately 70% women)

        In 1924, a clock was donated by Roscoe Crary (whose family still attends the church today) and placed in the Belfry; and was then rebuilt and electrified in 1976 and 1994 respectfully -- This was dedicated to the memory of the Freer family.  In 1958 a large addition known as Westminster Hall was added to the property.  It gave the congregation the opportunity to hold community dinners and gather together to enjoy the company of our neighbors.  More Sunday School rooms were added as our membership grew in number.  In 1963, the sanctuary was remodeled and remains in that configuration today with minor changes.

          Over the years, we have had four separate Manses (house provided for Presiding clergy).  The third manse had been "on property" and was torn down to make room for Westminster Hall.  The fourth manse, built in 1956, was donated by Stephen W. Royce, a member of the church for many years, in memory of his mother, Louise Clements Royce; thus the name "Royce Cottage" as it is still called today.

        2016 saw a lot of changes to our building.  First, in 2015 we had an Efficiency Audit performed on the church, and have made efforts to achieve a higher status of sustainability.  Our nearly 60 year old blown air furnace was replaced in Summer 2016 with two smaller units that combined take up roughly 1/4 of the space of the old unit while achieving an efficiency status that is night and day compared to the old unit.  New Insulation has been installed over the sanctuary replacing decades old fiberglass insulation that had lost all it's loft.  New windows were installed in the offices of Westminster Hall keeping the interior temperature from leaking out.  and as of December, the entire interior paint of the building has been renewed, leaving the dated green walls in the past where they belong.

  

        Many Traditions have remained with us throughout the years.  When communion was first celebrated in 1810 it was held on the first Sunday of the month as it is today.

Our Incredible Stained Glass

Our Sanctuary is proud to be the home of seven large and awe inspiring stained glass windows depicting Biblical figures.  

 

These historical works of art feature:

Jesus, King David, Queen Esther, Ruth, King Solomon, the Apostle Peter, and Paul of Tarsus. 

Jesus: The Son of God

A miraculous birth is followed by a world changing ministry. Only two Gospels – Matthew and Luke- discuss Jesus’ birth, and the amazing events they record are fitting for a newborn king and Savior. Luke’s account of angels appearing to shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth gives early clues of who Jesus will become. (see Luke 2:10-11). Some foreign astrologers, known as Magi or wise men, spot an unusual star in the sky. Instinctively, they know a king of the Jews has been born and they follow the star to Jerusalem, the capital, as the most likely birthplace.

 

Jesus grows up living a quiet life with his family in the town of Nazareth. According to Matthew 13:55-56. He has four younger half brothers and several half sisters. Since Joseph is a carpenter, Jesus learns the trade.

 

At the age of 30, Jesus leaves Nazareth and heads to the Jordan River, where he is baptized by John the Baptist. His baptism marks the beginning of his three-year ministry. The first time Jesus addresses the masses (known as the Sermon on the Mount – see Matthew chapters 5 -7), he delivers some of his most memorable lessons. It is on the Mount that he taught his followers the Lord’s Prayer and told them several parables. Jesus preached on the Beatitudes and God’s laws, which he expected his followers to uphold.

 

Jesus performs amazing miracles – including faith healings, exorcisms, resurrections, and control over nature – that amaze the people following him. The Gospels record Jesus performing more than 30 miracles. While there are other miracle workers at the time of Jesus, none of their wonders compares to his greatest demonstrations of power.

King David

The Great Leader of Israel The son of a shepherd unites the people and creates a strong nation.

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Jesse's sons were the great Grandsons of Ruth who is also one of the stained glass windows. Samuel was sent by God to Bethlehem to anoint King Saul's successor. Jesse shows Samuel all his impressive sons but Samuel does not pick any of them. He then asks if there are any more sons. David was the smallest of Jesse's sons and was out tending the sheep. When Samuel sees David he knows that he is the chosen one and Blesses Jesse's family and anoints David and the Holy Spirit comes onto David.

 

David is fearless and is willing to fight Goliath and win. He becomes a great warrior and leader and defeats many foes for Judah and Israel. He becomes King and brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He is a masterful musician and song writer, writing many love songs to GOD. God considered David a man after his own heart.

 

He sees a beautiful woman from his roof and falls for Bathsheba and has to arrange for Uriah her husband to be killed so he can have her.  He is caught and confronted and David admits to his sin.

 

King David's son with Bathsheba is Solomon. Solomon becomes King after David and builds the Temple.

 

 

References: 1Samuel 16; 2 Samuel; Psalms

Queen Esther

A  Jewish Queen

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 The book of Esther is a Narrative History. Its author, some believe, is Mordecai (Esther’s cousin) written in 470 BC in Persia. During this period of exile, Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes) becomes the King of Persia in Babylon. With the help of Mordecai and some deception, Esther miraculously becomes the queen of the land, and uses her position to save her people from persecution. The Jews were guaranteed protection throughout the land. To celebrate this historic event, the feast of Purim was established.

 

Esther became queen in 470 B. C. The key personalities are Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasuerus (Xerxes), and Haman.

 

Its purpose is to demonstrate God’s love and sovereignty in all circumstances. It is a post-exile story full of drama, power, romance, intrigue and the profound interplay of God and his people.

 

 

 

Reference: Esther 1-10

Ruth

A Loyal Daughter-in-Law

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This beautiful stained glass window of Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi, was a widowed Moabite. Her story is one of love, loyalty and hardship.

 

When famine hit Israel, Elimelech, Naomi, and their sons, emigrated to Moab. In Moab their sons were married. One son named Mahlon, married Ruth. Within a short time Elimelech and the sons died. Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to their parents. But Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law ,Naomi. “Your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God.”

(Ruth 1:16)

 

They travelled to Bethlehem during the barley harvest, where Naomi’s husband’s wealthy relative, Boaz, allowed Ruth to gather kernels left behind by the barley workers. Boaz heard about Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law and wants to reward her for her loyalty.

 

As a close relative of Naomi’s husband, Boaz, was obligated to marry Ruth by law in order to carry on Elimelech’s family inheritance. Eventually Ruth and Boaz were married and had a son named Obed, who is “the father of Jesse, the father of David”

 

 

(Ruth4:17)

King Solomon

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King Solomon, the son of David and third king of Israel. He reigned for 40 years.

 

He is referred to as the wisest (and wealthiest) man who ever lived. He wrote multiple books of the Bible, including the Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. He built the first temple in Jerusalem based on the plans that God gave David.

 

He was the last king of Israel before the nation split in two, with his son Rehoboam ruling the Southern Kingdom and Judah and Solomon’s former advisor Jeroboam ruling the North Kingdom of Israel.

 

He is most remembered for his wealth, wisdom and writings, building God’s temple.

 

 

 

Reference: 1Kings 1-9

The Apostle Peter

Leader of the Early Church

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Peter was a fisherman. He was the second person chosen by Jesus to be a disciple. He left his livelihood to follow Jesus. Jesus nicknamed him the Rock and he ended up becoming the head of the church. The fisherman of Galilee becomes a preacher and healer and opens the doors of Christianity to Gentiles.

 

Although, he was somewhat unstable and impulsive he became a combination of humility and boldness. He is known for stepping out of the boat and walking on water, a little, wanting to build a shelter during Jesus' transfiguration and he was the first to say that Jesus was the Messiah. He may have been Jesus' closest friend here on earth. He is also known for cutting off an ear of someone coming to arrest Jesus and then the same night denying he even knew Jesus three times.

 

After Jesus' resurrection Peter gave a sermon and 3000 people were baptized which signed the start of the Christian Church.

 

 

 

(Reference: Acts 1-20)

Paul of Tarsus

A Missionary

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Paul was a Jew who became a believer of Christ and travelled throughout the Roman Empire preaching about the new Christian religion. He had a dramatic conversion. Was originally known as Saul –then he was called Paul (Acts 13:9) Paul went on several missionary journeys, preaching and establishing churches along the way. He does not leave the churches to grow on their own, rather he keeps in touch by writing to them to give them encouragement. In total, 13 brilliant letters are attributed to Paul. (A few may have been written by others working in his tradition).These letters make up almost half of the New Testament of the Bible.

 

 

 

 

References: Acts ; Romans, Corinthians 1 & 2; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; Thessalonians 1& 2

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