Honoring Hitchcock Presbyterian Churchby Representative Eliot L. Engel
Posted on 2013-12-23
of new york
in the house of representatives
Monday, December 23, 2013
Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, Houses of Worship have been central to
American communities since the founding of our country. One such House
of Worship, the Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, is now
celebrating its centenary.
In 1913, a group of 19 gathered to worship in a portable chapel borrowed from the Presbytery of Hudson River and set on the corner of Walworth Avenue and Fenimore Road. The Reverend George Smyth helped that group organize Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, build a sanctuary, organize the Sunday School, Women's Guild, Missionary Society and Women's Prayer Group.
In 1949 Dr. Smyth retired and the Reverend Dr. Robert W. Youngs was installed as senior pastor. By then increased attendance necessitated two worship services each Sunday.
In 1959 the Reverend James S. Stewart became senior pastor and served until 1972. During these years the Weekday School was begun and the three women's organizations merged to form the Guild, and in 1991 became the Presbyterian Women of Hitchcock.
The Reverend J. Scottie Griffin became senior pastor in July 1975 and served until 1982. The growing Asian population in this area stimulated the development of the Living in America program to serve the international community.
In September 1983 the Reverend Robert S. MacLennan became senior pastor and served until December 31, 1992. During his ministry there was increased dialogue with the local Jewish community. In 1984 Special Ministries to Japanese, an interdenominational ministry to Japanese- speaking people in the metropolitan area, began holding Japanese language worship once a month.
In 1986 a fire destroyed the sanctuary building but not the program or the mission of Hitchcock Church. The rebuilding was completed and a sanctuary dedicated on October 7, 1990.
In May, 1995 the Reverend Donald J. Steele became the pastor. During his 10 year ministry, the church became very active in mission work and supported ``Beyond Borders''--a literacy program in Haiti.
The congregation called The Rev. Dr. John W. Miller of Dallas as new pastor and he began his ministry in 2008.
In congratulate the Hitchcock Presbyterian Church on the celebration of 100 years of serving its congregants. The church has contributed enormously to its worshippers and I wish it many more years in our community.