“...upon this Rock I will build my Church.”
Even though Jesus was speaking about Peter and the growth of the body of believers in the above quote the physical church buildings that we see around the country started from some offshoot of this spark. This is the story of how Tracy Creek Memorial Church came to be here on this corner of Vestal for the last 175 years.
This hamlet known as Tracy Creek is situated on the creek bearing its name in the south-west corner of the town of Vestal, New York. Settled by Thomas Tracy and his son, Benjamin in 1790, Tracy Creek was once a lively rival of Vestal and was known for its lumbering and large farms. A grandson, Benjamin F. Tracy became Secretary of the Navy under President Benjamin Harrison in 1889. Other early settler’s included the Campbell and Osincup families. It is reported that a stagecoach line once passed through here and a post office was established in 1856 and continued mail service until 1911 when mail started to be routed through Vestal.
In 1832, the Reformed Methodist’s came to Tracy Creek and a class was started, led by Winthrop Collins. It had twenty members. This denomination felt that church government should be congregational in nature. In 1838 these members organized, incorporated and built the church known as the “Reformed Methodist Church of Lower Tracy Creek” on the corner of Tracy Creek (a.k.a. Church Hill) and Knight Roads. At that time there was a barn on the property to house the horse and buggy and the little church began in a building set close to the road. That building was heated by two woodstoves and lit by kerosene lamps. All the Sunday School classes met in that single room.