Building a Sacred Community
The First Presbyterian Society of East Syracuse and the First Methodist Episcopal Church united into one common body in the First United Church of East Syracuse. When flames destroyed the Methodist Church located at Heman and North Center Streets on January 2, 1969, the congregation was immediately invited to share worship with the Presbyterian Church on Ellis and North Center Streets. Beginning January 5, 1969 the congregations began worshiping together. The following June 1970, a formal statement of union to merge into one congregation under the United Church pattern, affiliated with the CNY Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States, was approved.
The congregation voted to become the First United Church of East Syracuse in May 1971. March 18, 1973 was the Ground Breaking Ceremony on Franklin Park Drive. The cornerstone of the building was laid and the church was dedicated on January 6, 1974. The Mortgage Burning and Memorial Service was celebrated April 21, 1979 and the building expansion with new classrooms and offices was dedicated on October 1, 1995.
Rev. Philip Davis served as the last Methodist pastor from 1963-1969 and Rev. William Benton was the last Presbyterian pastor who served from 1965 through the churches consolidation in 1973.
Pastors serving the congregation of the First United Church:
Rev. R. Richard Vogel - Fall 1973-July 1978
Rev. Lloyd Shepard - (Interim Pastor) July 1978-August 1979
Rev. Dr. G. Douglas Eddy - August 1979-August 2007
Rev. Dr. Kathleen A. Waters (Interim Pastor) September 2007-June 2009
Rev. Elizabeth Quick - July 2009-June 2012
Rev. Harold Wheat - July 2012-June 2014
Rev. Debra L. Thomas - January 2015-Present