A D&H Railroad depot placed on a lot provided by area Catholics is the Pilgrim Holiness Church of Bloomingdale, New York.

The work which became the Bloomingdale church began in Vermontville, a small community some four miles from Bloomingdale, about 1931. It was, no doubt, a result of the desire of local people saved at Vermontville Camp Meeting, for a place of worship, and the interest of the pastor at Lake Placid, Rev. Loren Wilson, and some of his people. Bro. 0. L. Fay and Bro. Kenneth Peck were among those who held meetings — sometimes in the Town Hall and sometimes in the general store of Frank and Lillian Hough. A tent meeting was held in those early days with Rev. Ethel MacFadgen and Rev. Virginia Miller. It appears, from available records, that the church was organized at Vermontville in April 1932 with Cassius Shumway, Lura Shumway, Carl Abbott, Jennie Downs, Kate Rieck, Lillian Hough and Cleo Rieck as Charter members. Rev. Lee Lawrence was the first pastor.

In 1935 the District Council voted to locate the work in Bloomingdale. In late 1935 or early 1936 a building formerly used as the D&H Railroad depot was purchased at a cost of $500. A lot was given to the church, but since it was the site of the former Catholic Church, and next to their cemetery, the Catholic folks made arrangements to provide another lot in exchange. The present lot was acquired in this manner on June 15, 1936.

The months following must have been busy ones for, under the direction of Rev. George Lamb, the building was moved some two miles, reassembled and remodeled, becoming a neat and attractive house of worship. The move was completed in two trips, moving one-half of the building each trip. As the building was being moved Bro. Carlron Abbott rode atop the structure singing “The Ark is Coming up the Road.” In February 1937 the church was dedicated.

On March 18, 1937 the church was incorporated as The Pilgrim Holiness Church of Bloomingdale, NY. The first trustees were Charles H. Rieck, Carlton W. Abbott and Chester Barton. In August 1937, the first funeral was held in the church — that of Mrs. George (Cecelia) Telistone. In September 1937, the first wedding was held, uniting Arthur Shene and Hilda Johnson.

For some time a young people’s paper including articles, testimonies, etc. was published monthly. This publication was under the direction of Bernard Barton, who later became a pastor in our Conference. In 1943 and 1944, while Rev. George E. Culver was pastor, a theme song “Over the Top for Jesus” was used to help reach the goal of paying off the mortgage on the church. In 1944 the mortgage burning ceremony was held on a Sunday afternoon with a capacity crowd in attendance.

Improvements have been made from time to time, including Sunday School rooms and installation of an oil furnace in the church. The church was later remodeled to include natural birch paneling, a suspended, acoustical ceiling, and carpet. Several years ago vinyl siding was added. Recently new pews have been ordered and should be installed by Mother’s Day, 1997.

In April, 1948 a parsonage was purchased, not far from the church, at a cost of $1,750. This building has also been remodeled, and enlarged. A two-car garage was built and, more recently, attached to the parsonage by a breezeway. The entire building now has vinyl siding. The 1996 minutes show a church valued at $122,400 and a parsonage valued at $70,100 with no indebtedness. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!

But, who can evaluate the spiritual result of a church which stands as a testimony to the faith of those earlier saints, and as a lighthouse in the community? How many people have sought God at its altar? How many burdens have been lifted by a special visitation of God's Spirit? Or how often has resolve been strengthened and temptation resisted because of an anointed message by the Pastor? eternity will reveal the results of the faithfulness of God’s people.

The influence of the church has not been limited to the immediate area. As happens to many churches in small communities, people move to other areas for various reasons (economic, etc.) and thus there are preachers, preachers’ wives and dedicated laymen in our Conference and other denominations who have received spiritual help in Bloomingdale. And so the church continues to heed the admonition ‘Be not weary in well doing....”

The pastors who faithfully served the Bloomingdale Church are as follows: Rev. Lee Lawrence — 1932 to 1935; Rev. George Lamb - 1935 to 1938; Rev. Lee Lawrence - 1938 to 1940; Rev. Donald Hardy - 1940 to 1942; Rev. George E. Culver - 1942 to 1944; Rev. Francis Nason - 1944 to 1947; Rev. George E. Culver - 1947 to 1948; Rev. Paul E. Fryer - 1948 to 1952; Rev. William F. McCulley - 1952 to 1959; Rev. J. Kingsley Yauger - 1959 to 1966; Rev. Alvin M. Downs - 1966 to 1971; Rev. Paul Case, Sr. - 1971 to 1974; Rev. Ralph Burch — 1974 to 1976; Rev. Daniel Shumway - 1976 to present.

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Last modified 12/8/00