652 HISTORY OF BROOKLYN.
ary, 1866, the Classis helping them in the payment of their debt and the support of their pastor. Mr. Reidenbacb resigned in September, 1866, and was followed by Rev. John M. Wagner (previously pastor of the Reformed Dutch church of Melrose, Westchester Co.), who commenced his labors on the 15th, and was installed on the 30th of December, 1866, the church being now regularly incorporated under its present title. The congregation is now in a flourishing condition, two hundred and thirty-nine members having been added during Mr. Wagners ministry, of whom two hundred and twenty-two were admitted on confession ; most of these members being from the humbler walks of life. The church has a well conducted and flourishing parochial school, in which, besides religious instruction, the regular branches are taught both in the German and English languages; also, two Sabbath schools (one German and the other English); and a Womens Association, for purposes of mutual improvement and missionary efforts. The church debt has been largely reduced, and the property is now valued at about $10,000.
II. THE EPISCOPAL CHURCHES.1
The Episcopal Church was the first to intrude upon the undisputed sway which that of the Reformed Dutch had maintained in the town of Brooklyn for a period of one hundred and twenty-five years. Tradition asserts that it was established here in the year 1766, but the statement is unsubstantiated by any reliable data, and it seems most probable that the first Episcopal services held in Brooklyn, perhaps in the year mentioned, were simply occasional, conducted by some of the clergy of New York, and repeated at intervals according to circumstances or convenience. In a town, which even so late as 1800, contained but two thousand inhabitants, and most of them connected with the Dutch congregation, it is hardly to be presumed that there were a sufficient number of adherents of the Episcopal faith, before that time, to support its regular administration. In the absence of all positive evidence to the contrary, therefore, we must date the beginning of this church here to about the commencement Of the Revolutionary war, and to the presence and influence of the British officers, at that time stationed in New York and its vicinity.2 At all events, we find in one of the newspapers of the day, March, 1774, a notice, that the church proposed to be
1 The counties of Kings, Queens and Suffolk were constituted, on the 18th and 19th of November, 1868, a separate diocese, known as the Diocese of Long Island. On the last named day, the Rev. Abram Newkirk Littlejohn, D.D., rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, was duly elected as bishop of the new diocese, and was consecrated to that office on the 27th day of January, 1869.
2 Fishs History of St. Anns Church, pages 9 and 10.