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Reverend Charles Moody

No information has been discovered regarding the date Charles registered with the A.M.E. Zion church, but we do know what roles he played within it. The first time Charles Moody was mentioned in relation to the church was in an article published by NPI on September 28th, 1873, which stated that a Sabbath school concert was to be held on September 30th and Charles Moody was the superintendent. He also held many sociables at his residence similar to many of the other members of the church. Sometime in 1877, his house was in poor condition, and he decided to erect a new one in its place and the NPI wrote “Charley believed in the old adage, to get the cage ready before the bird is caught” (03-01-1877). A report compiled by the Town of New Paltz Building Department states “In 1877 Moody’s house was determined not to be worth  ___ and plans were made to erect a new one. Ground was not broken for the new parsonage until 1883.” Furthermore, in the same year, 1883,  Charles Moody and George H. Miles were appointed by the Board of Trustees of the church to solicit subscriptions from church events to repay Edmond Eltinge’s debt on the church lot (NPT 01-24-1883). 

Charles was to face many losses in his 77 years. His wife, Mary, was to die of consumption in 1897 at the age of 38, leaving Charles a widower with five children to raise. Mary Rachel, the youngest child, was only five at the time. Mary died just several months after the family relocated and was making a new start in West Newton, Massachusetts. Charles moved to Westchester some time after 1900 to most likely live near his sister after suffering a severe stroke in 1899. Five years later he married Ms. Eliza Hatfield. The marriage took place in Tarrytown, in Westchester County. Charles' daughter, Mary Rachel (1891-1903), died while the family was living in Tarrytown. She was just twelve at the time.

In 1908, Charles Moody died after suffering another stroke. Charles was one of the prominent individuals of the church whom we have a cohesive life story on. He was a true embodiment of the Black history that made up New Paltz from his life fleeing from enslavement in the South, as a porter, farmer, ship stewart, craftsman, and a reverend.