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Church History


The building of the church was an act of love by John J. Harris for his wife, a devout Christian who had been teaching Sunday School classes in a small schoolhouse near Pickle Hill Road Mrs. Harris dreamed of having her own church.  While in Canada, John was inspired by a graceful gothic structure. He hired the builder, A. Henderson, to come here to build Harrisena. Limestone was brought by barge from Canada to Fort Ann and was then hauled overland by sledges pulled by oxen.

1892
circa 1892

1866 - John J. Harris  and A. Henderson built the church - St. Paul's Episcopal Church is born.. It was completed in 1869 and cost $14,000 to build.

1869 - John J. Harris' funeral is the first church service performed. - A Deed of Gift for the church is accepted by the Vestry of the Glens Falls Church of the Messiah  and the church is consecrated July 9, 1869.

1883 (approx.) - Mrs. Harris dies. The church is closed.

1903 - The Church of the Messiah conveyed the property to Henry Crandall, protege of Harris, to be part of the Crandall Trust at Mr. Crandall's death.

1918 -  Ruie Mattison organized a Ladies Aid Society to clean and ready the church for re-opening. She loaned her parlor organ to the church. Services were non-denominational and were called "A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon." Until 1921 services were held in the summer only with visiting ministers. Ladies met and made bandages, sewed, knitted and raised money to pay the ministers.

Mid 1920's - Used very little for church services.

1930 - Mrs. Louis Hyde gave monies to wire the church for electricity. Windows, doors and walls were repaired and the church re-opened as part ofthe Larger Parish of Glens Falls Presbyterian family. One pastor served Harrisena, Oneida, Bay Road, West Mountain and West Glens churches.

1918
circa 1918

March 1947 - The congregation voted to incorporate as the Harrisena Community Church. A furnace was installed to allow for year-round worship.

1952 - Harrisena withdrew from the Larger Parish of Glens Falls to obtain its own pastor.

1956-58 - A well was drilled for water; restrooms and a kitchen were installed.

1958 - Membership totaled 98 and the Reverend Gilbert F. Hellwig became the first full-time minister.

1961 - The first Education Building was constructed and classes were first held there on February of 1962.

1964 - The Reverend Calvin C. Wilson became minister.

1965 - The Parsonage is constructed.

1969 - The Reverend LaMont D. Robinson became minister.

1974 - The Crandall Trust relinquishes its  interest in Harrisena along with an $8,000 payment for refurbishing, and $14,000 as an endowment fund. Church leaders were charged with looking after the graves of the church founders and to maintain the church as a memorial to John J. Harris "in perpetuity."

1978 - The cloverleaf stained-glass window over the entrance of the church was donated by the Webster family as a memorial to William Webster. It is called the "Jonathan Livingston Seagull Window."

1984 - The basement is renovated.

1986 - The church's Sanctuary is renovated and new pews installed for $40,000.

1957
circa 1957

1990 - The land behind the Education Building is purchased for $11,500.

1991 - 125'" Anniversary. A Time Capsule is buried to be opened in the year 2066.

1992 - "Holy Cow Festival" is held to raise monies for the planned New Education building.

1993 - The New Education Building is completed in time for Fall Sunday School classes.

May 22, 1994 - The New Education Building is dedicated. Harrisena has approximately 300 "Active" members and many "Friends" and "Inactive" members. - September 10, 1994: The second "Holy Cow Festival" is held to raise monies to help payoff  the New Harrisena Education & Community Center Building (HECC) (new name).

May 4, 2003 - Robinson Hall Re-Dedication: New hand-painted panels added to wall; new sconces were added to the sides of the Hall; hand-made curtains added to separate the Hall from the entry-way and kitchen area.

June 30, 2014 - Rev. LaMont Robinson retires after 45 years as the minister to Harrisena Community Church.

August 3, 2014 - Rev. Leah G. Goodwin becomes the minister of the Harrisena Community Church.

May 3, 2015 - Rev. Leah G. Goodwin is installation as minister of the Harrisena Community Church. 

March 29, 2016 - Rev. Leah G. Goodwin resigned her service as minister of the Harrisena Community Church. 

April 12, 2106 - Rev. Patti Girard becomes the interim minister of the Harrisena Community Church. 


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Harrisena Community Church
1616 Ridge Road Queensbury, NY12804
Phone (518) 792-1902 Fax (518) 743-0453
office@harrisena.org
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