Christ Church, German Reformed Church, Fayette, New York
Once Joseph Smith came into their lives, members of the Peter Whitmer Sr. family played a key role in the early days of LDS Church history. Before that, they were ministered to by Reverend Diedrich Willers, who served members of his pastorate in several different locations in the region of Fayette, New York. One of those was this stone structure of Christ Church in the hamlet of Fayette.
According to Larry C. Porter, this house of worship was dedicated in 1824, three years after Reverend Willers entered into his ministry. Upon learning of the activities of Joseph Smith and the Whitmer family producing the Book of Mormon, Rev. Willers wrote and expressed concern to some professors at a theological seminary and otherwise sought to visit with Joseph Smith about the undertaking. As he did so, he learned that Joseph had already left to get the book printed. Rev. Willers served here until 1882, completing a ministry of 61 years! That same year, the tower and belfry were added to the stone hall. The structure is still used as a house of worship.
Map & Directions
This little stone church is located in Seneca County, New York between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. It is situated on Fayette Varick Townline Road (CR124) where it intersects with highway 414. The gps coordinates are: 42°48’51.74″ N; 76°48’32.07″ W.
This building, still in use, houses an active congregation of the German Reformed Church which owns and maintains the structure. Visitors are welcome to view the inside if they come to worship or if they are able to coordinate their visit with a member who can let them in.
Articles & Resources
Larry C. Porter, in LaMar C. Barrett, ed., Sacred Places Vol. 2, 143-144.
“Whitmer Farm in Fayette, New York,” history.lsd.org.