Bicentennial Minutes

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Years 1970-1979


The decade of the 1970’s were years of unrest and change in the United States.  In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated which lead to the creation of the EPA and the passage of the Clean Air Act.


On May 4, 1970 the uprising at Kent State led to the calling out of the Ohio National Guard.  There were many uprising against the Vietnam War.  From 1973-1979 extensive tests were done that led to what we know today about DNA.  During 1974, President Nixon resigned as President of the United States after the Watergate scandal.  Also in 1973, the historic case of Roe versus Wade led to the legalization of abortion. 


The 1970’s saw Joe Fraser defeat Muhammed Ali, the APOLLO 15 astronauts explored the moon’s surface riding in a battery operated vehicle known as a “Lunar Rover”, the smiley face and leisure suits became popular, and the musical “Annie” opened.


Meanwhile in Verona, NY:


Repairs to the church roof and steeple were performed during this period. 


January 7, 1970 Rev. Clifford Weber requested the Session terminate his contract of service.  Rev. Weber wished to retire as of March 31, 1970.


January 25, 1970  A special Session Meeting was held to consider Rev. Weber’s request to terminate his position.  A committee to begin locating a new pastor was appointed.


March 28, 1971 A special Congregational Meeting after Sunday worship was called to issue a call to Rev. Robert Stover to become the pastor of Verona’s First and Cochran Presbyterian Church of Oneida Castle.  The churches had yoked and would share Rev. Stover’s services.  He served both churches until July 1973.


February 7, 1971 Ann Oleynich was ordained as a member of Session, thus becoming the first woman named to this office in the Verona church.


February 17, 1974 After a lengthy search for a new leader, a Special Congregational Meeting was and voted to issue a call to Rev. Richard Geiger, who served from April 1974 to April 30, 1984.


September 1979 A gift was presented to Elizabeth Anderson honoring her 35 years of dedicated service as organist.


Bicentennial Moment


Rev. Robert Stover began his service at Verona First on July 1, 1971.  Verona First had yoked with Cochran Memorial Presbyterian of Oneida Castle, NY.  The two churches would receive the services of Rev. Stover until July 1973. 


Rev. Stover moved here from Boise, Idaho.  He also had served 10 years at Lowville Presbyterian Church in Lowville, NY.  Rev. Stover lived in Oneida Castle with his wife Sarah and three sons, John Andrew, Mark Edward, and David Neil.  Mrs. Stover was elementary teacher and taught sixth grade at Oneida Castle Elementary.


Rev. Stover was able to attend and fill the pulpit at Verona First on July 23, 2003 as part of the church’s Bicentennial Celebration.  He spoke about his “Running with the Torch” in Reno, Nev. as the torch passed on its way to the 2002 Olympics.  Currently, Rev. Stover is Chaplin at Washoe Medical Center and Tahoe Pacific Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.