Jeremiah Lanphier’s Retirement

Jeremiah Lanphier’s Prayer Meeting Continued For Many Years After 1857:

113 Fulton Street.

Services.

The birthplace of the Great Revival of 1857.

“DAILY Prayer Meeting at noon. This meeting is known the world over as the “Fulton Street Prayer Meeting.” Its doors are open daily, as they have been since 1857, for all who desire to worship God through faith in Christ. During the year 13,226 persons have attended this meeting and 5,308 letters, requesting to be remembered in the prayers of the meeting, have been received from all parts of the world.

“The thirty-fifth anniversary of the Fulton Street Prayer Meeting was held September 23, 1892”

The thirty-fifth anniversary was held September 23, 1892, in the Church at 5th Avenue and 29th Street, and was largely attended. Rev. Peter Stryker, D. D., presided, and amongst the list of speakers were the Rev. Jacob Freshman, Rev. E. F. Miel, Rev. B. B. Tyler, D.D., Rev. S. H. Virgin, D.D., Rev. A. B. Wilson, D.D., and Chas. Earl, Esq. Letters of regret were received from Rev. Howard Duffield, ]I. iI.. Rev. R. S. McArthur, and Caleb B. Knevals, Esq.

On Tuesday afternoons at four o’clock the New York Sunday-school Association holds here the meeting of the Sunday-school Superintendents’ Class for the study of the lesson and consultation about their work, under the leadership of Mr. Ralph Wells. All Sunday-school teachers are invited.

On the second Wednesday of each month the Society for Promoting the Gospel among Seamen holds the monthly meeting of its Board of Directors in the parlor.

“The Noon Prayer Meeting: 1893.”

LAST year occurred the first change in the direction of this meeting since its establishment thirty-six years ago. Mr. Lanphier began to feel the infirmities of his advanced age, and his eyesight was perceptibly impaired. At his own request the Consistory retired him on the 1st of August with an appropriate provision.

At the same time Mr. C. F. Cutter was appointed as successor, a gentle man who was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover, and at Yale College, where he was graduated in 1875. Afterwards he took a course at Union Theological Seminary and added to it some law training, but at the time of his appointment occupied a responsible position in the house of Messrs. Charles Scribner’s Sons.

At the anniversary, September 23d, when Mr. Lanphier formally handed over his office to his successor, many addresses were given by old friends of the meeting, recalling the various scenes of former years, and many fervent prayers were offered for God’s blessing on the retiring veteran and his young successor.

Mr. C. N. Crittenton spoke of the inspiration the meeting had given him in his rescue work in New York and on the Pacific slope. Mr. Huggins, a frequent attendant from the beginning, told the history of early years and related many incidents of answered prayers. Mr. Horner, having examined the records of the meeting, said that the meetings numbered 11,232; over 56,000 prayers had been offered; and the written requests for prayer, besides those made verbally, numbered more than 225,000. More than half a million persons had attended.

When Mr. Lanphier rose to speak, he was visibly affected. “Dear old Fulton Street,” said he, looking around, ” how I love you; I have come to say good-by and God bless you.” The old man’s voice broke and he had to pause for a time till he controlled his emotion. Then he went on: “I commend to you my dear brother Cutter who succeeds me. Hold up his hands; encourage and cheer him in his work. He will need your help and your prayers.” Then taking Mr. Cutter’s hand, he fervently prayed that God would bless him and give him great faith. The scene was very pathetic, and never will be forgotten by any who witnessed it.

On Tuesday afternoons at four o’clock the New York Sunday-school Association holds here the meeting of the Sunday-school Superintendent’s Class for the study of the lesson and consultation about their work. All Sunday-school teachers are invited.

“The Retirement of Mr. Lanphier.” 1894.

IN August, 1893, the diligent and zealous Superintendent of the Daily Noon Meeting in Fulton Street, signified his wish to withdraw from further service owing to his age and infirmities. The Consistory, early in 1894, unanimously adopted the following minute which had been prepared by a committee appointed for the purpose:

THE MINUTE.

“In the Spring of the year 1857 a general desire was felt to increase the efficiency of the North Church in William Street, and in June of that year the elders and deacons worshiping in said Church were appointed a committee to select a suitable layman whose business should be to visit in the neighborhood and gather children into the Sunday-school, and invite persons to the Church services. In July they reported that they had engaged Jeremiah C. Lanphier, who they believed would render just the service required, and in October following they informed the Consistory of the gratifying success which attended his labors.

“The Noon Prayer Meeting”

But very soon one form of this success commanded general attention, not only in this country, but even across the ocean and on the other side of the world. This was the noon prayer meeting, which he started alone, and which gradually increased until the room was crowded every day for many months in succession, it became a common thing for persons visiting this meeting to refrain after the hour ended and seek counsel and aid for their soul’s welfare from Mr. Lanphier and others associated with him, and the room where the meeting was held often became the birthplace of souls. The meeting has been maintained from that day to the present, and although the interest has varied very much, yet the aim and spirit of the service has continued unaltered.

During all these years Mr. Lanphier has preserved the same quiet, earnest and unobtrusive course with which he began his work. Success did not elate him, nor was he discouraged by indifference. He was signally favored by a benignant Providence. His health, with a single exception in 1891, has been unbroken through the long tract of thirty-six years. His good sense, acquaintance with Scripture and ripe Christian experience enabled him times without number to say a word in season to those seeking the salvation of their souls.

Nor is it recalled that he ever did anything that required explanation. He has served the Church under the direction of no less than eight collegiate ministers, and he enjoyed the respect and confidence of them all. Now that, through infirmity and advancing years, he has retired from active service, the Consistory have pleasure in putting upon their minutes this sincere tribute to his character and worth.”

To this, Mr. Lanphier made the following fervent and grateful reply:

New York, March 1st. 1894; No. 130 East 16th Street;

“To the Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York:

Dear Brethren:

The minute which was prepared by the committee appointed by the Consistory of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York, in reference to my retirement from the charge and management of the ‘Fulton Street Prayer Meeting,’ and the conclusion of my active service as lay missionary in connection therewith, has been received by me, and it affords me very great pleasure to say that my heart is filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father and to you, my dear brethren, who have shown such kindness to me during all these past years of my lay missionary labor in the North Dutch Church, Fulton Street, and now more than ever for this additional mark of kindness to me in the preparation of the minute just received.

Words at this time fail to give expression of the deep feelings of respect and love which fill my heart. Your thoughtfulness of me in retirement from active service as lay missionary is another proof of your appreciation of my imperfect efforts in the dear Master’s service, which is most gratifying to me. My prayer now for you and the Church which you represent, is what it always has been in the past and always will be in the future—that God’s richest blessings may rest upon you and abide with you, and the dear meeting over which for so many years God honored me as its Superintendent under your direction.

I am, dear brethren,

Yours in the fellowship and service of our common Lord and Master,

J. C. Lanphier.”–The (Collegiate) Reformed Protestant Dutch Church (New York City); 1894. The ‘Collegiate Dutch Church’ was organized in 1628, and chartered in 1696. Additional information. More Information Re: Jeremiah C. Lanphier