We worshiped in the Geary and Stockton church for more than twenty-three years, and then concluded it was time to move from a business district to a residential section. We sold the building with the lot that had cost $16,000 for $120,000, and at the corner of Franklin and Geary streets built a fine church, costing, lot included, $91,000. During construction we met in the Synagogue Emanu-El, and the Sunday-school was hospitably entertained in the First Congregational Church, which circumstances indicate the friendly relations maintained by our minister, who never arraigned or engaged in controversy with any other household of faith. In 1889 the new church was dedicated, Dr. Hedge writing a fine hymn for the occasion.
Dr. Stebbins generally enjoyed robust health, but in 1899 he was admonished that he must lay down the work he loved so well. In September of that year, at his own request, he was relieved from active service and elected Minister Emeritus. Subsequently his health improved, and frequently he was able to preach; but in 1900, with his family, he returned to New England, where he lived with a good degree of comfort at Cambridge, near his children, occasionally preaching, but gradually failing in health. He suffered severely at the last, and found final release on April 8, 1901.
Of the later history of the church I need say little. Recollections root in the remote. For thirteen years we were served by Rev. Bradford Leavitt, and for the past eight Rev. Caleb S.S. Dutton has been our leader. The noble traditions of the past have been followed and the place in the community has been fully maintained. The church has been a steady and powerful influence for good, and many a life has been quickened, strengthened, and made more abundant through its ministry. To me it has been a never-failing source of satisfaction and happiness.
I would also bear brief testimony to the Sunday-school. All my life I had attended Sunday-school,—the best available. I remember well the school in Leominster and the stories told by Deacon Cotton and others. I remember nay teacher in Boston. Coming to California I took what I could get, first the little Methodist gathering and then the more respectable Presbyterian. When in early manhood I came to San Francisco I entered the Bible-class at once. The school was large and vigorous. The attendance