by Chris Clemens
Of the ever lengthening list of churches in the U.S. that are vying for the title of being the smallest, New York actually has two ‘Smallest Churches’. While neither one of them can be confirmed as truly being the ‘Smallest in the World’, this one in Great Valley doesn’t claim to set records but just simply to provide solace.
At 5748 Route 98 in Great Valley, NY sits a small modest family ranch on a road that meanders through the tree-lined hills of the area. I have always lived in Upstate NY, and drives like Rt. 98 are part of the reason I love it here. The homeowners have provided a portion of their front yard to road weary travelers who seek a spot for quiet reflection and prayer (maybe to St. Christopher??).
Gail Archer and Bob Earley built their 6 ft. by 10 ft. non-denominational ‘Little White Church’ in 2006 after a visit to Niagara on the Lake when Gail saw the Living Waters Wayside Chapel and wanted one of her own. After two months of building they had an official dedication service by the Reverend Darryl Reynolds of Binghamton in 2007. Inside the church is a guest book, a few spiritual reflection books, an altar under a cross–and even an air conditioner! Open daily from 7am to 10pm visitors are encouraged to stop and enjoy a few moments of quiet reflection and prayer.
*This post previously appeared on ExploringTheBurnedOverDistrict.com
Chris Clemens is the Founder/Publisher of Exploring Upstate. From his hometown in Rochester, he spends as much time as possible connecting with the history, culture, and places that make Upstate New York a land of discovery. Follow him on Twitter at @cpclemens