Presbytery of Suffolk County

The Occom Circle

Presbytery of Suffolk County

Name (variant)

Long Island Presbytery; Presbytery of Suffolk County on Long Island


East Hampton, Long Island


The Presbytery of Suffolk County, established April 1747, was the governing body for Presbyterian churches in the East Hampton area of Long Island. The Presbytery ordained Occom on August 29, 1759 and remained his ally and supporter throughout his life. It is likely that the Presbytery's support for Occom stemmed in part from the presence of Samuel Buell, who was one of the Presbytery's founders, an extremely influential member, and Occom's close friend. Several of Occom's missions fell under the Presbytery's authority, including his early work among the Montauks and his missions to the Six Nations in the early 1760s. The Presbytery ceded their claims to Occom in 1765 so that he could go on his fundraising mission under the authority of the Connecticut Board. Occom was again involved with the Presbytery after his return from Great Britain. In 1791, he transferred his allegiance to the Albany Presbytery because it was closer to Brothertown. The Suffolk Presbytery was a member of the Synod of New York (after 1758, the Synod of New York and Philadelphia).


Chase, Frederick. A history of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. 1891. Gillett, Ezra Hall. History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (Vol. 1). Presbyterian Church Committee 1864. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. Nicholson, George. The Story of Long Island Presbytery and Churches. Long Island Presbytery May 1956. Webster, Richard ed. “Samuel Buell” In History of the Presbyterian Church in America. Bedford: Applewood Books 2001 (original print 1858) pp. 592-599. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Accessed 9/6/2013. See Nicholson for a thorough time line of the Presbytery's history.

General note

For a detailed history of the Presbytery's affairs, see Nicholson and Gillett.