Our History


Marcellus First Presbyterian Church was established as the Eastern Religious Society on October 13, 1801.  The church affiliated with the Synod of Albany of the Presbyterian Church and was accepted by the General Assembly in 1808, becoming a charter member of the Presbytery of Cayuga in 1810.


The congregation began with eighteen members who came from the mills, shops and surrounding farms and brought with them a strong Scottish heritage to the congregation.  From 1797, regular services were held in Samuel Rice’s tavern.  In 1803, a house of worship was erected, becoming the first church building in Onondaga County.  In 1851, the present sanctuary was built on the corner of Main and North Streets in the village center. 



Over the years, horse sheds were built at the rear of the property, stained glass windows were added, the steeple blew down and was replaced and the sanctuary was jacked up and a basement carved out underneath.  In 1961, an educational wing, complete with Fellowship Hall and kitchen, was added.


Mission emphasis was set forth as early as 1802.  In the beginning, the Women’s Missionary Society and the Female Charitable Society carried on mission and educated the congregation. Financial stewardship both here and overseas has been an important component of the congregation from the beginning. The church has a history of being proactive in social and peace issues of the day.  Today, First Presbyterian Church is a More Light Church.