The rev. eliphalet nott potter
REV. ELIPHALET NOTT POTTER
from The Mediator Messenger,
Vol. XV, No. 2, July 1957
Copied (and slightly edited) May 14, 2008
It is an interesting
coincidence that two of the clergy most intimately associated with the
Church of the Mediator have borne the same middle name, Nott.
The Rev. Robert Nott Merriman of beloved memory served this
parish from 1913 until his sudden death in 1949.
The founder of the work was the distinguished Churchman whose
photograph appears below, the Rev. Eliphalet Nott Potter.
Dr. Potter, born
September 20, 1836, came from a noted Church family.
His father, Alonzo, and his uncle, Horatio, grew up on a farm in
During the remainder
of his long career, the Rev. Mr. Potter devoted most of his time to
academic work. An indication
of his stature is given by the fact that he was awarded honorary degrees
by seven different colleges and universities, among them such
outstanding institutions as
The character of this devoted and
scholarly priest who founded our parish can be gathered from a
Resolution adopted by the Vestry of Nativity Church on hearing of his
death in 1901.
intelligence of the death, far from home and family, of the Rev. E. N.
Potter, first rector of the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem South,
which occurred in the City of Mexico on the 6th instant,
required more than a passing notice, and the Vestry desires to place on
record their appreciation of the zeal and earnestness which he brought
to bear upon his church work, and the steadfastness with which he
maintained it during his rectorship of the parish.
With but a handful of devoted churchmen to aid him, he entered
upon his duties with youthful ardor and zeal and earnestness of purpose
that accomplished wonderful results.
During the period from July 1862 to early spring 1869, he caused
to be erected – and was largely instrumental in obtaining the
necessary means therefore – the Church of the Nativity and rectory at
South Bethlehem, Grace Church at Allentown, and the Chapel of the
Mediator at Allentown’s Furnace Street.
Dr. Potter was untiring in his labors for the welfare of the
Church, watched with solicitous care over his people, ministered to the
sick with tender sympathy, baptized our little ones, laid our beloved
ones to rest, and comforted those that mourned.
In his daily intercourse with his parishioners he was ever
courteous, friendly and had a cheery word for all…
"Our earnest, heartfelt sympathy is with you and yours in your sorrow."