|by Gracella Cunkle
The first Presbyterians in Springs traveled by horse
and buggy (or farm wagon) to the church in the village. By 1880, some of the Springs residents began to
hold worship services and Sunday School classes in their homes or in the one room schoolhouse that stood where Ashawagh Hall
stands today. On July 17, 1882, the Presbytery of Long Island approved the establishment of the Springs
Chapel. It was to be under the guidance of the East Hampton Church, and the minister from that church would
be expected to lead both congregations.
August 24, 1882, the new chapel was dedicated. The land had been donated by members of the Miller family,
whose descendants still live in a house across the street from the church. George Eldredge, a prominent
East Hampton Builder, constructed the building for less than $1,000. Capt.
Sineus Edwards provided the bell that still hangs in the church steeple. He purchased
the bell in Albany and sailed it down the Hudson River and Long Island Sound to his landing in Accabonac Harbor, in sight
of the Chapel.
Many early leaders in the church were from families that are still active in our church today. The education and parish building was added in 1955, and
the Springs Chapel was chartered as an independent, fully self-governing Presbyterian Church in 1971. The Rev. Paul Cunkle, for whom the Fellowship Hall is named,
served as pastor of the church in Springs and Amagansett until his retirement in 1981.
Following the capable pastorates of Rev. Cynthia Walton, Rev. George Wilson, Rev.
Joe Simpson, Rev. Carol Leblanc, and Rev. Nancy Jennings and Rev. Joe Hinds. In 2005, Rev. Hinds,
his wife, Rev. Kazy Hinds, and their son Paul moved into the newly constructed manse at 198 Hog Creek Road in Springs and
this summer accepted calls to Syracuse and Liverpool, New York..
Join us as we write the next chapter of our history.
|by Gracella Cunkle
Link to Presbyterian Historical Society