Two Venerable Protestant churches In Buffalo discuss uniting

Two of Buffalo’s most venerable mainline Protestant churches are in discussions to share space, staff and ministries — with one of the congregations possibly selling off its buildings and moving into the landmark structure of the other congregation.

Leadership of Trinity Episcopal Church on Delaware Avenue revealed the surprising proposal, which also involves First Presbyterian Church, in a letter this past weekend to Trinity church members.

The proposal calls for First Presbyterian, the city’s first congregation, dating from before the War of 1812, to sell its buildings on Symphony Circle and move to the Delaware campus of Trinity, which was formed in 1836.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, TEC Parishes, Urban/City Life and Issues

10 comments on “Two Venerable Protestant churches In Buffalo discuss uniting

  1. Terry Tee says:

    I loved this bit: ‘Leaders of First Presbyterian worry that maintenance … is becoming a yolk around the shoulder …’ Oh dear. Who has been throwing eggs then? Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw eggs.

  2. KevinBabb says:

    “Two of Buffalo’s most venerable mainline [b]Protestant [/b] churches”

    The article mentions one Protestant church..the Presbyterian. Where’s the other one?

  3. pendennis88 says:

    But if the Presbyterian church sells its real property and moves into the TEC church, the TEC church will own all the real property (and possibly or eventually the personal property unless they are pretty good about keeping things separate). The Dennis canon restricts what the local TEC parish can agree to with respect to its property, and will not allow the Presbyterian church any enforceable rights, at least without the separate formal approvals of both the diocese and the national church. This could get pretty legally complicated (unless the Presbyterian church is willing to just merge into the TEC church over time).

  4. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    No. 4, Details…details…just sign on the dotted line.

  5. tjmcmahon says:

    #3- I don’t see any problem. Granted, some of the Presbyterians will be surprised when the TEC bishop sells their former property to a mosque, and keeps the proceeds, but that is their own fault for not reading paragraph 18 of section 111 on page 2314 of the rental agreement.

  6. sophy0075 says:

    “We’re looking at it as an opportunity to use more of the resources we have toward social action

    But of course. They wouldn’t dream of using the resources for mission work, to spread the Gospel. No wonder both congregations are shrinking – they are irrelevant. Not nearly so much fun to get up early on a Sunday morning and hear sermons of “social action” as it is to play golf, and Kiwanis/Lions/Elks/Toastmasters/etc do a much better job of social action (and less political) – and NOT on a Sunday morning!

  7. paradoxymoron says:

    Oh yeah! I know these guys. These are the folks that launched Sare Gordy to rebuild a congregation after the TEC tossed out the Christians. What was it, Holy Apostles or St. Bart’s, Tonawanda? That’s one of my favorite stories. They’re about as revisionist as they come.

  8. David Keller says:

    Bp. Herzog used to say “Any farmer can tell you: if it ain’t growing its dead”. Here is further proof.

  9. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “In their heydays, the churches boasted memberships in excess of 1,500 people and were able to build tremendous houses of worship. First Presbyterian’s iconic church tower can be seen for miles around; Trinity’s LaFarge stained-glass windows are world-renowned.

    But while the cost of maintaining these magnificent churches has soared, the number of parishioners to bear the burden has fallen dramatically.” [/blockquote]
    The wages of sin (in this case, TEC’s tolerance of liberal teaching) are demonstrated yet again.

    The failure of Katherine Schori’s administration are put on display, as yet another once-large congregation proves to be unable to support itself. And these stories are just going to keep coming. …

  10. TomRightmyer says:

    Trinity Buffalo is fairly stable at 300K income about 220 ASA. Number of members increasing but not ASA. Website self-describes as open and inclusive.