Bob Garman and Pastor William “Tex” Culton discuss plans for Garman’s presentation to the Madison Historical Society entitled “The Presbyterian Church of Madison – 266 Years of Christian Witness” to the Madison Historical Society on September 17 at 7:00 PM in the Chase Room of the Madison Public Library. Credits: David Luber
Historical Society Presents 'History of the Presbyterian Church of Madison'
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 • 4:12pm
MADISON – On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Madison Historical Society will present resident Bob Garman, who will recount the story of “The Presbyterian Church of Madison – 266 Years of Christian Witness.” Garman’s presentation will take place in the Chase Room of the Madison Public Library at 7:15 p.m. Light refreshments will be available from 7 p.m.
The church is the oldest continuously functioning religious organization in Madison. According to Garman, “The growth and struggles of the Presbyterian Church mirror our town’s evolution from a rude frontier settlement to settled small town to gilded age retreat to the suburban center we know today.”
Initially meeting in barns and private homes, this small congregation has endured the War of Independence, a schism by its Chatham Village congregants, the sectional crisis and the Civil War, economic depressions, World Wars, and society’s disenchantment with the main line denominations. Throughout, it has tried to live up to its mission of witness, caring, and compassion to all those in need. And it continues to reinvent itself as society’s needs change.”
Madison High School program chairperson Cathie Coultas added that “besides being our first civic organization, the Presbyterian Church of Madison produced the town’s first historians and histories. The published pastor’s historical discourses and the later 225th Anniversary history, Pastor’s journal, Vital Records for 1747-1900, and 2004 Cemetery Study are testimony to the diligence of its members to document the life in Bottle Hill / Madison. Using a selection of these sources and some rarely seen physical artifacts, Mr. Garman will explore the genesis of the church and critical events in its past.”
Bob Garman is a 36-year member, deacon, and elder of the Presbyterian Church of Madison. He currently serves as the President of its Board of Trustees and also administers the church’s Hillside / Bottle Hill Cemetery on Main Street. Garman was the project manager for five historic preservation grants that documented and stabilized Webb Memorial Chapel, a key contributing structure in the Madison Downtown Commercial Historic District.
“As the current church historian, he has been reassembling the church’s unique collection of artifacts dating from 1748. And in partnership with the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Garman will be conducting the following three focused tours of the Hillside Cemetery this fall:
· “Famous Figures of Madison” on September 14
· “Madison and the Civil War” on September 21
· “Revolutionary Madison” on October 12
All tours will begin at 2 p.m. at the cemetery. For reservations and further information, interested persons are requested to contact the Museum at (973) 377-2982 ext 13.
Bob Garman is a graduate of Dartmouth College and of the MIT Sloan School of Management. He served for 5 years as a project engineer in the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and later worked for Exxon Mobil for 25 years in a variety of business development, planning, financial and information systems positions.
The Madison Historical Society’s role is to assemble, record, and preserve all matters of historical interest concerning Madison and its residents. Formed in 1922 to preserve the old Bottle Hill Tavern, the Society has organized a significant collection of historic documents, maps and photographs over the intervening years. These are housed at the Local History Center at the Madison Public Library. For more information about the Society or to inquire about membership, call (973) 377-0722, ext 8 or visit the Society’s website at www.madisonhistoricalsociety.org.
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