This section is from the book "Cook Book", by The Ladies of the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Mrs. Wright's mother, Mrs. John A. Collier, gave the lot for the Chapel, and when a general appeal was made, it was responded to by the gift of an adjoining lot from the heirs of the estate of Mr. Hazard Lewis. Mrs. John A. Collier immediately offered one thousand dollars toward the erection of the House of the Good Shepherd, Mrs. Wright gave five hundred dollars, and Mrs. Ernestine Alberti five hundred dollars, and Mrs. J. L. Weed, who was Mrs. Wright's most devoted helper, gave one hundred and fifty dollars. The house was planned by Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Weed, and the contract for its erection was made for the sum of two thousand and six hundred dollars. Mrs. Wright became responsible for the sum lacking, but money sufficient was given before the completion of the building to clear it of all indebtedness. The corner-stone of the House was laid on Sunday, May 15th, 1870, and the House was formally opened by Bishop Huntington, the Rev. Wm. A. Hitchcock, Rev. James W. Capen, and four other clergymen being present. One-half of the lower floor was fitted up as a Chapel, and here afternoon services were commenced November 6th, 1870. Before this service Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Weed started out in a pony carriage and distributed throughout the settled district south of the Susquehanna River the following notice: Citizens of the Fifth Ward:
"A religious service will be held every Sunday at three o'clock p. m., in the Chapel Room of the House of the Good Shepherd, on South Water Street. Seats free. Preaching next Sunday by Rev. Wm. A. Hitchcock, rector of Christ Church. Sunday School at two p. m. Social meetings for sewing at the house every Wednesday at two p. m., commencing the first Wednesday in December".
A Sunday School had already been commenced in a small building furnished by the Young Men's Guild of Christ Church, under the care of the Rev. James W. Capen, and that parish also furnished the teachers. When the Chapel was opened, Mr. George S. Perry was appointed Superintendent, and there were from fifty to seventy pupils in attendance from Sunday to Sunday. Services were maintained in the Chapel on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, until the Church was opened for service. The corner-stone of the Church was laid July 2d, 1871, and consecrated by Bishop Huntington on All Saints' Day, 1871. Many clergymen were in attendance and the service was most impressive. The record placed in the corner-stone closes with these words: " This Chapel is the offering to Almighty God and His glory, and for the benefit of His Holy Catholic Church by Mrs. Helen Stuyvesant Wright by God's gift and mercy, the founder of this charity, and may He grant His help and blessing for-evermore, Amen!" A young man who was present at the consecration of the Church was ordained a deacon by Bishop Huntington, December 20th, 1871, and was our first settled clergyman, the Rev. Charles T. Coer. The work prospered under Jais care, but he left Binghamton for Morris, N. Y., in August, 1862, just after his marriage to Miss Charlotte Morris.
The next rector was the Rev. Robert Paul, who was sent to us by Bishop Huntington. He began his ministrations in our .Church September 1st, 1872, and remained until June 24th, 1873. June 29th, 1873, the Rev. Robert Hudson took charge of the mission. During this year the mission became an organized parish. Mr. Hudson remained less than a year, and the Rev. Charles T. Coer was recalled, and in May, 1874, returned to Binghamton, holding his first service in the Church of the Good Shepherd May 31st. Early in April, 1875, he again left the parish, which was vacant until July, 1875. Services were held by different clergymen sent by the "Bishop until the Rev. S. Gregory Lines began his active rectorship, which continued until September, 1878, when he removed to California for the benefit of his health. About the middle of September of the same year, the Rev. Milton Lightner began his ministrations. He continued in charge until November 2d, 1879, when he removed to California, and where he died not long after. November 16th, 1879, the Rev. Robert Granger took up the work of the parish, which he carried on until March 27th, 1881. After an interval of several months, during which the Rev. Mr. Gapen and others conducted service, the Rev. G. Livingston Bishop became the rector and remained until December, 1885. Mr. Bishop's rectorship was made memorable by the erection of the hospital addition to the House of the Good Shepherd. Into this work he, with Mrs. Bishop and Miss Jane A.Loomis, entered with the greatest devotion, and the hospital was opened on the 24th of June, 1884, without debt of any kind. Many interesting details might be added of the good done for suffering humanity during the time the hospital was in operation, but as this sketch refers mostly to the Church, these must now be omitted, for lack of space.
The Rev. Robert G. Quennell kindly came to the aid of the parish in the vacancy which followed, and gave an afternoon service on Sundays, after which Sunday School was held. He began these services January 3d, 1886. During the month of December, 1885, Bishop Huntington sent a clergyman for one service. Rev. Mr. Capen officiated on two Sundays, and on one the congregation was invited to join in the worship at Christ Church. The parish was indebted to Mr. Capen and other priests on some Sundays when Mr. Quennell could not be present. In October 1886, the Rev. Hubert Le F. Grabau became rector, beginning his ministrations October 17th of the same year. He labored earnestly until the autumn of 1890. During his rectorship he proposed the erection of a Parish house, and plans for accomplishing that much needed improvement were often discussed, and the Parish Aid Chapter was pledged to work for that end, but the way did not open to carry out the project until the year 1892. The Rev. S. D Day was called to the rectorship of the parish after the resignation of Rev. Mr. Grabau, and has now been in charge for six years. Through his efforts, with the faithful co-operation of the congregation the Parish Rooms Were erected, and a new sanctuary built. Mr. Day not only supervised the work of building, but labored many days with his own hands to add to the beauty and convenience of the additions. January 26th, 1893, Bishop Huntington came to the parish for the service of benediction of the new sanctuary. Rev. Mr. Day and his son wired the parish rooms for electricity, which has been in constant use ever since. The working societies of the parish are comprised of the Parish Guild (of which there are three chapters), Parish Aid, St. Agnes, and St. Cecilias. These all help the parish in various ways, each having its particular branch of work, but aiding each other as occasion requires.
This sketch would be incomplete if grateful mention was not made of other benefactions of Mrs. Helen S. Wright, to the parish beside the dear little church she has provided. The Rectory was built at her expense and that, and the lot upon which it stands has been given for the use of the Rectors of the parish, and the property is now held by the Trustees of the Parochial Fund in this Diocese and therefore cannot be alienated. Mrs. Wright expended about two hundred dollars in repairs upon the Rectory about two years before she gave up her title to the property, and has at all times manifested the deepest interest in the work and warm appreciation of every improvement made. After hearing of the vested choir which the Rev. Mr. Day has introduced, she wrote: "I was very pleased to hear of the introduction of the vested choir. It was all that was needed to complete the churchly equipment of the Church." Many memorial gifts have been made to the Church. A brass altar book rest from Mr. Alfred Masten in memory of his wife Ella Lyons Masten, prayer books for the chancel in memory of Miss Sarah Schenck, a set of prayer books and altar service from Rev. Mr. Grabau in memory of his children, a stained glass window from Mrs. Mary D. Greene in memory of a little daughter now in Paradise, and a beautiful carved oak altar, the gift of Mrs. Greene and her son, Mr. Dudley T. Greene who did much of the work upon it with his own hands. The font was also a memorial gift from Mrs. T. R. Morgan in remembrance of her daughter, Mrs. Hallock. The ewer waos a gift from the Sunday School in memory of that noble Christian woman, Miss Lucy Evans, who died suddenly May 15th, 1882, while on her way to one of the week-day services in Church. The silver communion service was a gift from Mrs. Peter G. Stuyvesant of New York, and the large Bible and first chancel prayer books were a gift from Miss Charlotte F. Moeller. The communion service and books were first used at the opening of the House on All Saints' Day, 1870. The new oak and brass altar rail and pulpit lamp were gifts of Mr. Day in memory of his two brothers.
Since the introduction of the vested choir, Miss Frances Lewis has presented a handsome processional cross, and Rev. Mr. Day has placed service boards on either side of the chancel for the convenience of the choir. The brass vases and candle sticks were gifts through the Rev. Mr. Bishop, and the five branch altar lights were also gifts to the Church.
In this review of the history of the parish, we find much to be thankful for, and much to encourage future effort, seeing that "hitherto hath the Lord blessed us," and raised up helpers to carry on the work. Many prayers have been offered and many efforts have been made for its success, ahd we trust that they will yet bear abundant fruit to the glory of God, and for the good of multitudes of men, womenand children in the years to come.