History

Church History

The roots of Universalism in this area go back to between 1814 and 1816 when a society was formed in Eaton’s Bush. Hosea Ballou preached in Eaton’s Bush, attracting the attention of people in Little Falls. In about 1818, Dolphus Skinner began the occasional ministry which he continued for many years.

As early as 1829, a Universalist Society met in Little Falls in various locations and by the 1830’s a definite attempt was made to establish a church here. In 1842, Dolphus Skinner and Aaron B. Grosh were hired to preach alternately, with Dolphus Skinner preaching the first sermon on October 2, 1842 in the Old Stone School House. In 1844, a new church building was dedicated in which the Universalists had a half-interest with the other half being divided between the Methodists and the Baptists.

In 1848, the Rev. J. R. Harter became the first settled minister of Universalism in Little Falls. During his ministry, on May 3, 1851, the present organization was formed as the First Universalist Society of Rockton. The corner stone of the building in which we worship today was laid in 1867. It was dedicated on June 9, 1868 and the name “Saint Paul’s Universalist Church of Little Falls New York” was adopted. With the merger of the Unitarian and the Universalist denominations in 1961, our congregation became a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association. In 2011, we celebrated Saint Paul’s 160th anniversary.