Bicentennial Minutes

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Years 1901-1920




As a new century begins, President William McKinley was assassinated and Theodore Roosevelt becomes President.  Walt Disney is born in 1901 and a ping-pong craze begins in the United States.  In 1903, the Wright brothers make their history making first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  This time era also saw such important events as the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, World War I breaking out in 1914, and the end of the War with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.   Meanwhile, here in Verona the following events were taking place.


May 12, 1901 Rev. Oliver P. Devin began his three-year service to the Verona church.


August 7, 1903 The church celebrated its Centennial


May 4, 1905 Rev. Aaron C. Stuart was called to serve the church.  He did so for nearly 7 years.


In 1905, the Philathea class was organized.  Later it adopted the name Jackson Philathea from its long time teacher Carrie D. Jackson


Also in 1905, Elder F.T. Sleight presented individual communion cups.  The larger cups and decanter were now replaced, but the silver plates were still used.


In 1907, the first concrete walk to the church was laid.  The expense of the walk was born by Elder Soper and Elder Warren.


September 1, 1912 saw the beginning of the service of Rev. John W. Dennis.  He was pastor of the church until April 16, 1916.


April 24, 1917 Rev. Charles F. Luther, a native to Vernon Center, commenced his labors at the Verona church.  He served for 2 years.


December 16, 1919 Rev. Robert Grant was installed as pastor.  He was pastor of the church until October 12, 1920.


In 1920, the rule for the rotation of Elders was adopted.  This rule stated that no Elder should succeed himself.  The following year the rule was rescinded.


Bicentennial Moment


The Centennial Celebration of the First Presbyterian Church of Verona was held.


The service began at 10 o’clock AM.  It was opened with a scripture reading and prayer.  The Rev. O.P. Devin was presiding.  During the service, there was music, a historical paper presented by B. J. Dodge, a reminiscence of the Sunday school, and an address by Rev. W.C. Taylor.


The service was followed by a free roast beef dinner held at noon.  The dinner was served at The Town Hall for about 375 persons.  There were souvenir buttons presented to all attending. 


The day ended after the Addresses made by Rev. D.I. Biggar and Rev. Wm. A. Beecher at 2 PM.  The day’s events were covered by the Rome Sentinel, which gave ten and one half columns to cover the event.