The original founders of the church arrived in central New York following the Revolutionary War.
The Finger Lakes region was first known as "The Military District," because the land was set apart as "bounty land" to be given to the victorious soldiers of the Revolutionary War. Tompkins County was said to be filled with a "rough lot of men" who were in desperate need of a Gospel witness. The towns of Groton and Lansing were originally named Locke and Milton in the late 1700s and early 1800s. West Locke in particular (current day West Groton) had several businesses at this time including a tannery, an ashery, a carriage shop, a small woolen mill, and a saw mill, as well as several others. A good water supply brought many people to this area.