Our History

With its unusual combination of Greek Revival and Gothic Revival architecture, St. John’s feels “not too big, not too small, but just right.” The Monroe County History of 1877 states that St. John’s has “one of the nicest interior structures of any building in the state.” It is also listed as both a State and National Historic Site.

St. John’s Episcopal Church was incorporated in 1840, with the building completed and consecrated in 1842. At that time it was smaller, ending where the chancel steps are now, with no tin ceiling – that was added in 1877 – and with frosted windows. The building was constructed of dolomite stone quarried from north of the Village of Honeoye Falls. In 1899 a Hook and Hastings tracker organ (Opus 1816) was purchased and is still used today - one of the few still in existence.

Early Days


  • The congregation was founded in the late 1830’s and the church building was built in the early 1840’s. The first wedding was performed in 1856. The Hook & Hastings tracker pipe organ currently in use was installed in time for Easter 1899.

  • The first congregation, a small group of Episcopalians, met in the late 1830’s in what was called a “Church Society”.

  • The ‘society’ chose a rector and wrote a Certificate of Incorporation on June 29, 1840.

  • The first two of five parcels that makes up the property that St John’s owns today was obtained in September 1840.

  • In 1841, there were twenty families enrolled in St John’s, consisting of sixty adults and thirty children.

  • On April 26, 1842, a deed to the church was presented to The Rt Rev William H DeLancy, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Western New York (the Diocese of Rochester was not formed until 1933). The building at that time was small, only 36 X 62 feet and did not include the chancel.

  • The first wedding was performed on September 2, 1856.

  • On July 3, 1875, a gift was given by Sarah Rand to make improvements to the church including the addition of the chancel. A house on Monroe Street to be used as a Rectory was also acquired in 1875.

From its beginning as a “church society,” meeting in Honeoye Falls’ first brick schoolhouse in 1840, to the present-day community of friends and neighbors, St. John’s Episcopal Church has been part of local history.

More information about St. John’s history is available in a lovely booklet prepared by one of our more beloved parishioners, Mrs. Helen Cooney, several years ago.  Unfortunately Mrs. Cooney passed away in February of 2003.  However, printed copies of her work are available through the Parish Office, located in the Carriage House.

St. John's Episcopal Church     |     11 Episcopal Avenue, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472     |     585-624-4074