In August of 1869, people of color at New Paltz held a picnic at Josiah Hasbrouck’s place. The goal was to raise some money for the building of a new church for them.
In January of 1871, multiple newspaper articles were published in both the NPT and NPI regarding the “construction of a new church for the colored people of New Paltz.” The clipping stated that the people of color anticipated building a church in the town for a year now but they were never financially stable to build it. However, now, Edmond Eltinge has offered to donate a large sum of money to purchase a lot for the church on Pencil Hill Rd. The congregation has given the contract to Mr. Alex Bedford, who is getting paid $573 for his work.
Later in January, Edmond Eltinge’s “donation” amount was revealed to be $550 for the lot. Dr. Charles W. Deyo also contributed to the purchase by providing the people with $50.
The dimensions of the church were 23ft x 32 ft
On May 11th, 1871, a newspaper article was published on the NPT stating that the congregation made their third payment for the first month and the carpentry work was almost completed.
On August 3rd, 1871, the church had their first official sermon with multiple reverends and preachers preaching. There was a large number of people of color and white people present at the ceremony. Subscriptions were collected and it totaled over $100.
Not much is known about the financial situation during this period other than the fact that multiple ceremonies were held such as fairs and concerts. The proceeds from admission from these events were used to the benefit of the church and the Sabbath school.
On March 24th, the church held a concert at village hall and there was a good attendance considering the state of the roads. $82 were received in receipts and a net total of $26 was given to the church. Mr. Deyo of Poughkeepsie gave the opening speech.
From March - April of 1874, letters were written to the NPI from Rev. Anthony Jackson who claimed that he was not compensated from the years of 1873- 1874. The Board of Trustees replied to these letters stating that Jackson was compensated properly but he did not do his duties properly so the last few payments were not paid to him.
In July, a new minister was appointed to the church, the famous Mr. Thomas James . Reverend James preached during Sabbath school on July second, but only 30 people attended. They were not able to raise the $300 they needed to pay the minister annually so Reverend James had volunteers raise $100 through his own, individual efforts.
On October 1st, the amount accrued from the September camp meeting was published- $230. The Board of Trustees paid Rev. Thomas James $110. They also made a payment of $50 on the debt to Edmond Eltinge’s lot. The balance was paid to various others.
Reverend Thomas James published the church’s finances to the NPT. There was a balance of $430 to be repaid to Mr. Edmond Eltinge. Only $70 was paid off at that time.
The rest of the year, the trustees raised money through subscriptions. In June, the people of Kingston gave the Board of Trustees $43. 20.
A turkey supper was held on January 4th, with receipts of $32. 40. The expenses were $9.09, with proceeds of $23. 31 for the church.
A court case was held about issues with payment between Rev. Ross and the Board of Trustees of the church. Ross claimed he was owed over $100. Trustees said they told him they will pay him $7+ for 10 Sundays and sometimes over the week. They paid him $45 because he only preached six Sundays. The case was eventually dismissed.
On June 1st, a strawberry and ice- cream festival was held. Many from the town attended and a total of $14. 25 was made from the proceeds. This money was added to the church’s treasury.
On April 5th, a newspaper article was published in the NPT regarding the denial of Rev. Cyrus Oliver’s request to resign from his position as the preacher of the A.M.E. Zion Church at New Paltz. His request was denied due to the reason that the church was in arrears to the A.M.E. Zion Conference of $8.
A month later, NPT published another clipping of issues regarding the inability of the church to pay their reverend. The people of the church could not pay Rev. Roker and his wife. They have yet to pay off the debt on the lot of the church to Edmonde Eltinge. The conference was deciding on what to do. Last year, they published a statement claiming they paid Rev. Roker a sum of $169.66 in addition to his house rent, which came out to a total of $202.16.
In December, the church purchased a Christmas which netted a total of $6 for the benefit of the Sunday School.
The Trustees of the A.M.E. Zion Church held a meeting regarding the payment of debt to Mr. Edmonde Eltinge. They still have a remaining balance of $212.45. Their solution was to appoint Charles R. Moody and George H. Miles as a committee to solicit subscriptions and pay back the debt. They also decided to give a grand fair and exhibition to pay off the debt and all names and amounts of subscriptions will be published.
Later in the year, newspapers reported that the church was still trying to pay off its debt to Edmond Eltinge. On August 24th, George H. Miles wrote a letter to the NPT informing the public of the issues of the church. He provides the mission of the church and their struggles as a new institution. He wrote the letter in hopes of the town helping out. A camp meeting was held at Clintondale for those who were interested in helping them out.
Later in the year more events were held in hopes of higher subscriptions such as a Sabbath school concert, and a festival. The net proceeds of the festival was $14.
On August 20th, an article was published stating that a festival held for the church was poorly attended with only a net receipt of $14 accrued.
Sometime in March, the church had a Sabbath school concert in Village Hall. Both NPI and NPT reported that there was a good attendance and the performance was credible. The Church received $25. 25 and the church society cleared $25.25 from their debt.
On April 27th, an article was published in the NPT regarding a donation given to the church by a man named Geo Bell of Middlehope, Orange Co. He once lived in New Paltz. He gave the church $15 as a gift.
On January 27th, it stated John Wynkoop raised $50 to paint the church’s parsonage
A new minister by the name of J. Henry Taylor was appointed to the church. The white members of the neighborhood have been told to aid the church in supporting this minister.
On August 24, a grove meeting was held to raise money to repair the parsonage.
In April, a farewell party was held for a minister named John Henry B.D. At the same time, Charles Moody announced that he wanted to raise $30 to fix the church. He also announced that the New Paltz AME Zion Church was to be annexed with the Kingston and Poughkeepsie churches.
The first anniversary of the Christian Endeavor Society was held at the church. The goal was to raise $30 to fix the church.
NPI published an article on August 11th stating the church was working on repairing the building (after the roof caved in) including painting and varnishing it.
Reverend Moody stated he was going to refund some money for chances on a bag of flour on November 3rd.
On August 23rd, a newspaper article claimed the church is in need of endowment and in order to keep the church running they needed to pay
On May 7th, NPI stated that the church was closed due to lack of support. They stated that the number of colored people in New Paltz decreased so the attendance and support for the church decreased as well. They also claimed that the remaining members of the church were welcomed at other churches.
***On August 26th, the NPI wrote that a visiting reverend by the name of Rev. Scott was looking after the interest of the church. The building of the church and the parsonage were in despair and not many colored people were living in the town. Elder Judd is said to hold a conference regarding this topic.
On June 24th, NPI reported that the AME Zion Church was demolished and no services were held their for years
The AME Zion Conference Inc. put in an application to the Supreme Court of Appeals in NYC for the AME Zion church land to be sold. Their request was approved and the land was sold to Raymond William for $1500.