Alliance Gospel Tabernacle, 1928, Historical Sketch

The work of the Christian and Missionary Alliance was first founded and organized in Ithaca, by Rev. A. B. Simpson, D. D., in the year of our Lord, September 14, 1894. The work was without a permanent place of worship until September, 1898; also without a regular pastor, the services being conducted in the different churches of the city. Most of the meetings were held in the Old Aurora Street M. E. and the Presbyterian Churches.

The Rev. A. E. Thompson became its first pastor. Later he was sent as a Missionary to Palestine and for many years was pastor of the only Protestant American Church in Jerusalem.

Rev. Benjamine A. Colman was the second pastor and remained here until 1904 after which Miss Beardsley became the worker. Miss Starbird and Miss Dyur came next and they labored together until some time in 1906. Then Mr. William Brown, a graduate of the Nyack Missionary Institute took up the work and remained until 1908.

At this point the Society dis-organized and remained in this condition for a period of five years.

The coming to lthaca of Rev. and Mrs. E. M. Esterly gave birth to Prayer Meetings in their home. These meetings grew and soon necessitated the securing of a hall. This was secured on the second floor of the Old Manhatten Building. Soon afterward another move was made to South Tioga Street, a building then used by the Daily News, and services were held there until 1919.

In this year the Society purchased the present building from the Baptist Association, which happened to be a historic building of the city. It was the First Public School building in Ithaca, being built in the year 1820. After serving its time as a school room the Methodist people used it as a Church. Later the Presbyterians held their services in the same structure. The Baptist folks then took their turn and how fitting that it should fall into the hands of the Alliance.

Rev. Esterly was the pastor for a period of eight and one-half years. Under his ministry the Church was chartered in April, 1919, and dedicated by Rev. G. Verner Brown, District Superintendent, November 21, 1919. He resigned as pastor in April of 1922, leaving a debt for the property of only five hundred dollars.

Rev. Martin W. Kline then came to become pastor in May, 1922. He was successful in removing the remainder of the indebtedness and improvements were made to improve the appearance of the property. In September, 1924, his resignation was handed in and the Board was again to find a worker.

Mr. Robert A. Burns was the first of several who were recommended to accept the call. Interior improvements have been made, and the addition of Sunday School rooms has become necessary. Also a cement side walk was laid and the yard graded. New members have been added and at present the organization of the work is in wholesome order. The fruit that has always accompanied the faithful preaching of the Gospel, it is hoped will be reaped in the regular as well as special services in the chapel.

1. "Historical Sketch", Directory, Alliance Gospel Tabernacle, Ithaca, N. Y, December 1928, Page 3.
See Also
Ithaca Alliance Gospel Tabernacle 1928 Directory (Transcription)

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