Our Church Buildings: 1838-Present
“From East Genesee St. to East Genesee St.”
Our first organizational meeting was held in 1838 in the school house of a Dr. Mayo on Church Street. The first services were held in space borrowed from the First Methodist Episcopal Church. It was referred to as the Unitarian Church of Syracuse and also the Unitarian Congregational Society of Syracuse.
Our first building was a chapel, called “The Little Tabernacle,” that our forbearers built in 1839 on East Genesee Street on a lot opposite what was called the Grand Opera House. Thus, that is how we started on East Genesee Street and once again are located on East Genesee Street.
Our second church building, the Unitarian Congregational Society of Syracuse (called the Church of the Messiah), was located on the southeast corner of Burnet Ave. and Lock St. It was dedicated November, 1843, and enlarged in 1850. On February 29, 1852, a big wind storm demolished the building. A new building was built on the same spot and dedicated in April, 1853.
Some 30 years later the tracks of a loud and busy railroad were laid nearby, necessitating the construction of a third building. May Memorial Church was dedicated at 742 James St. in October, 1885.
Continued growth, especially with Religious Education, necessitated constructing in 1964 a bigger building at 3800 E. Genesee St. Our current home was dedicated October, 1965.