THE BUILDING OF A CHURCH and ITS PEOPLE
CHRIST CHURCH, CLAYTON, NEW YORK 1868 – 2018
THE START OF AREA CHURCHES
In 1846, the Bishop of the Diocese of Western New York visited Trinity Church, Watertown; St. Paul’s Church, Brownville; St. John’s Church, Cape Vincent; All Saint’s Church, Dexter; Christ Church, Sackets Harbor; and Zion Church, Pierrepont Manor baptizing and confirming new members in each congregation. In 1866, the Diocese formed a district to include the towns of Clayton and Orleans in northern New York. It was reported that, “Clayton was a flourishing little town with a population of about 1500 persons and two or three Episcopalian communicants with many others who would welcome Episcopal services”. St. Mary’s Catholic Church was organized in 1838 and the Clayton Methodist and Baptist churches in 1840. There were also two churches in Depauville.
CHRIST CHURCH IS FORMED
Barker's Hall, Water Street
(now Riverside Dr.) 1860
In 1867, Florence Benjamin was teaching catechism to her younger brother and sister when others in the community joined them. As the class grew, they soon had outgrown meeting in homes and moved to Barkers Hall on Water Street, now Riverside Drive. Christ Episcopal Church parish was organized on August 10, 1868, after the Bishop of Western New York sent Mr. Henry Lockwood to be their priest at $75.00 salary. The Diocese of Central New York was formed from Western New York in the fall of 1868. The Bishop from the Diocese of Western New York had baptized and confirmed several people, and the new bishop of the newly created diocese baptized and confirmed several more within the year.