Contents Previous Page Next
THE CHURCH CHANGES ITS NAME
The church services at this time were long. There was a very long prayer, followed by an extremely long sermon; but there is no record of any heat in the church, excepting the scant comfort supplied by a foot warmer, until the latter part of 1831, when they voted to procure a stove, and the committee were ordered to furnish wood at the expense of the Ecclesiastical Society. In 1838 they voted that individuals should have the privilege of building horse sheds. By a petition to the General Assembly in 1841, the name of the Society was officially changed from the Ecclesiastical Society of North Milford to that of Orange. The same year a parsonage was built for the use of the pastor.
One of the outstanding events of the year 1843 was the great revival. At that time the Church had no settled pastor. A Baptist minister, Rev. Mr. Waterbury, wanted to hold revival meetings in the church. This was not considered best, but the Fourth District schoolhouse was offered, and a large tent was added to accommodate the crowds that came. That January was like Indian Summer: no fires were needed, and the bare ground had no chill as people knelt upon it. A great comet blazed from the zenith to the horizon and terrified the hearts of the congregation. It was said that the whole town was converted. At any rate, when Rev. Cyrus Brewster was called to the pastorate of the Church in the Spring, he had the unusual joy of welcoming eighty new members at his first Communion Service.
In December of that year, the duties of sexton were plainly stated: "the duties of sexton for this society shall be to ring the bell for all meetings of this church and society and toll it for the death of any of its members. To sweep the house, properly, make the fire and light the house for all religious meetings. Take down the stove and pipe in the Spring. Clean, black and put the stove and pipe back in its place in the Fall. Also to make the fire and light the Academy for all religious and singing meetings; take down the stove and pipe and replace them