Help us save our historic church!

$4,794 of $550,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 46 months
Cheryl Kirk Nolette
for First Congregational Church
 MALONE, NY


The First Congregational Church in Malone, New York is in need of financial assistance to preserve its house of worship.   This beautiful historical building, which was built in 1883, is 131 years old.  It was built on the same site as two previous church buildings.  The building incorporates tunnels of the Underground Railroad, which provided safe passage for slaves seeking freedom before the Civil War.  William A. Wheeler, who was the 19th Vice President of the United States from 1877 until 1881, was a member of this church.   Visitors are always welcome to come and visit the tunnels of the Underground Railroad and learn the history of the building as well as the area.

Time has taken its toll on the large stone building and on our small congregation.  We were unprepared for the depth of water damage to the buttresses and foundation until a stone rolled away.   Contractors were called in to assess the problems, and it was found that the rafters and walls were actually moving. This became a safety issue for the community and the church family, therefore the trustees made the bold decision to move forward with the necessary foundation work.  Collapse of the church would have threatened bordering sidewalks and roads, Notre Dame Church and Arsenal Green Park across from the church, and Flanders Elementary School, a doctor’s office and a private residence next door. 

Because of the urgency of the situation, there was no time to research and apply for grants. The total bill is in excess of $800,000.  We have already raised $288,000 through pledges and donations from members and friends of the congregation.   Our goal is to raise $550,000 to cover the cost of the stabilization work that has been completed and finance the final phase of the project in the spring of 2015, which will ensure the continued viability of the building.   Banks and Credit Unions have been visited but no help is available.   The insurance company has denied our claim for damages.

This church has been a beacon of hope and provided a place to worship and glorify God for generations.  Historically, the congregants have been at the forefront of providing for those in need and continue to do so through missions and outreach ministries such as circle of prayer, community linen chest, collection of food for distribution to local food pantries, prayer shawl ministry, puppet ministry, Operation Christmas Child and Holiday Helpers, just to name a few.  We invite you to help us continue God’s work which started over 200 years ago on this site by preserving the church building for His glory and honor.
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Mission and Building Preservation Activities from May through July:

On May 24th, local Christian band 31 and Mandolin performed to help us raise funds for the preservation of our house of worship. Approximately 130 people were in attendance. Watch for information on our second annual 31 and Mandolin Christmas Concert to be held on December 20th.

On June 14th, our music director, Bonnie Curtin, will hold her annual student piano recital at 1.p.m..

On June 29th, our third annual puppet workshop for youth will begin. This free workshop will be held Monday through Thursday for two weeks, with a show by the participants on July 11th. The sessions run from 5-7:30, and includes dinner, puppet creation, music, science, and, more importantly, learning about the plans God has for each one of us. For more information or to register your child, please call the church office at 483-3950.

On July 16th, we are blessed to have a performance of Tim Zimmerman and the King’s Brass at 7 p.m. This is their 35th anniversary tour, and will include hymn classics with a contemporary flair. For tickets call 518-483-3950. Tickets for this world renowned brass ensemble are: adults: $20; seniors (55+): $18; students: $18; children 5 and under: free.

July 18th: JC and the Sonshine Hands will be performing at Hope Fest at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

July 25th we will have a Christmas in July sale with proceeds going to Holiday Helpers.

July 31st: Lobster dinner for the public at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Elm St. with proceeds going to the preservation of the First Congregational Church. Reservations required. THANK YOU, ST. MARKS!!!! YOU ARE TRULY A BLESSING!

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The Linen Chest is the brainchild of Rev. John Werley who was the pastor of the First Congregational Church from 1991 - 2010. In 1992, Rev. Werley responded to a query from a gentleman looking for linens for his family and the Linen Chest was born.

The mission of the Linen Chest is to provide members of the community who are in need with bedding, towels, and toiletries. Contributions come from our church members as well as other members of the community, with St. Vincent de Paul donating many of the necessary items. These items are given in response to our Lord Jesus' command to help those who have a need.

For the past 23 years, Gloria Kingsbury has taken the responsibility for sorting, organizing, and labeling linens and toiletries. Her dedication to this ministry has certainly kept it alive for these many years.

Church Office Manager, Donna Putraw, assists with the distribution of linens by taking referrals from community agencies and churches as well as making appointments with possible recipients.
Gloria Kingsbury working in Linen Chest
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We are humbled by the number of people who have shown such heartfelt support for the preservation of our beautiful historic house of worship. We have received donations not only through this campaign, but through donations mailed directly to the church. Through your kindness, we have raised approximately $6,500.
They are the reason...
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First Congregational Church will be on WPTZ tonight!!!!
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Read a Previous Update
Donna Putraw
40 months ago

Please, won't you help us save our beautiful church? We have housed many community weddings, wonderful concerts and joyous Christmas and Easter celebrations. We just want to be able to worship in our beautiful church on Sunday's knowing we made the right decision not only for us but for the community. So won't you please help? God bless you all. Thank you to those who have already given to us.

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Cheryl Nolette
46 months ago

Danette, The church has received recognition as a registered site on the NYS Underground Railroad Heritage Trail (one of only 24 sites in the state to be recognized as such) as well as on the New York State registry of historic buildings.. Unfortunately, due to the immediate necessity of repair, we did not have the time to apply for grants. Grant funding is quite a process and may have taken more time than we had in order to ensure the preservation of the building.

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Danette Fleishman
46 months ago

Can't the the city and state help with that a well, I assuming because of its history that is has already been declared a historical landmark. If not who ever is in charge of this church should apply for it to be so. This will help aid with future cost in repair

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$4,794 of $550,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 46 months
Created January 23, 2015
Funds raised will benefit:
First Congregational Church
  Certified Charity
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Malone, NY
EIN: 150581777
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$29
Anonymous
10 months ago
$50
Steve Dahlstrom
21 months ago

Thinking of my ancestors - Timothy Bemis and family - and their connection to the church. Please preserve the history and records!

$15
Anonymous
25 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$15
Anonymous
26 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$15
Anonymous
27 months ago (Monthly Donation)
PC
$100
PHILIP & DORIS CHRISCO
27 months ago

IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN RAY

$15
Anonymous
28 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$15
Anonymous
29 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$15
Anonymous
30 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$15
Anonymous
32 months ago (Monthly Donation)
Donna Putraw
40 months ago

Please, won't you help us save our beautiful church? We have housed many community weddings, wonderful concerts and joyous Christmas and Easter celebrations. We just want to be able to worship in our beautiful church on Sunday's knowing we made the right decision not only for us but for the community. So won't you please help? God bless you all. Thank you to those who have already given to us.

+ Read More
Cheryl Nolette
46 months ago

Danette, The church has received recognition as a registered site on the NYS Underground Railroad Heritage Trail (one of only 24 sites in the state to be recognized as such) as well as on the New York State registry of historic buildings.. Unfortunately, due to the immediate necessity of repair, we did not have the time to apply for grants. Grant funding is quite a process and may have taken more time than we had in order to ensure the preservation of the building.

+ Read More
Danette Fleishman
46 months ago

Can't the the city and state help with that a well, I assuming because of its history that is has already been declared a historical landmark. If not who ever is in charge of this church should apply for it to be so. This will help aid with future cost in repair

+ Read More
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