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Manorville Presbyterian Church

Footnotes to Long Island History

Manorville Presbyterian Church

by

Thomas R. Bayles


       Another landmark in Brookhaven town that goes back 150 years is the Brookfield Presbyterian church in Manorville which was organized by the Long Island Presbytery on April, 19 1796, through the efforts of Jonathan Robinson.

          Previous to that time Mr. Robinson had been conducting services at his home for several years as he realized there was no church in what was then an isolated settlement in the middle of the island.

        His work was recognized by Presbytery, for in October, 1788, according to Prime's history, "they expressed their approbation of the course Mr. Robinson had pursued, and recognized him as a sort of catechist, to lead the devotions of that retired and and isolated community, and besides reading well selected sermons, to give them a word of exhortation."

On the 26th of November, 1807, the Presbytery met at the "Brookfield Meeting House," which was the home of Mr. Robinson, and ordained him to the work of the ministry as pastor of the Brookfield church. He continued in this work until his death in 1824.

       In 1839 the present church building was erected which was during the ministry of the Rev. Thomas Owen.

       The first Sunday school was organized in 1840 with Captain Seth Raynor as its first superintendent.

       The Rev. Phineas Robinson, son of the first pastor, was born here in 1798. He was a graduate of Hamilton college and Princeton Theological seminary and was active as a minister and teacher until his death in 1871 in Franklinville. He occupied the pulpit in the Brookfield church at various times.

    The bell was added to the church about 1875.

Centennial service was held in the church in 1896. Historical sketches of the church were delivered by Thomas Thompson and Seth Raynor.

      According to Edward E. Raynor who is one of the oldest officers of the church, who is one of the oldest officers of the church, services have been conducted throughout all years of the history of the church.

                Ministers who have served this church during the one hundred years of its existence included the following after the death of Mr. Robinson (The year listed refers to the year each minister began his service.)

          The Rev. Edward Harris 1824; the Rev. Alfred Ketcham 1831; the Rev. Mr.Moase 1844; the Rev. Joseph Nimmo 1836; the Rev. Ezra King 1836; the Rev. Thomas Owens 1838; the Rev. Charles S. Lord 1845

                From 1845 to 1874 services were conducted by visiting ministers next came

        The Rev. William H. Seeley 1874; the Rev. Charles J. Young, The Rev. William B. Lee and the Rev. Albert B. King from 1877 to 1887; The Rev. James S. Brockington 1887; The Rev. Samuel Whaley 1893; The Rev John Willis 1893.

       Since 1933 the church has been under the leadership of the Rev. William Stewart in connection with the churches in Middle Island and Yaphank. Services are held Sunday morning with preaching at 9 o'clock and Sunday school at 10 am. 

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