ENDICOTT, NY

 

On January 15, 1968, the first meeting of the Endicott Home Missionary Board, appointed by the Binghamton Church, met at the home of Byron and Verna Stoddard. At this time the decision was made to start 3:00 PM services at the I.O.O.F. Hall on Riverview Drive and Wednesday night prayer meetings in homes. Rev. James McLaren, who then pastored the Binghamton Church, gave direction and God blessed with 33 in attendance the very first Sunday.

Rev. Milton E. Pierpoint was called to pastor the group. With real spiritual fervor he very capably filled this position until his health failed. Rev. Glen Elsey, who then had become pastor at Binghamton, became the shepherd of this second flock. Attendance fluctuated from 20 to 60.

In April of 1969, the Conference Council agreed to accept Endicott as a Home Missionary Church and find them a full-time pastor. Rev, and Mrs. Ronald Myers and baby from Indiana arrived in early August. After the 1969 Binghamton Camp, morning and evening services were conducted. The blessing of the Lord continued to abide on the efforts of the pastor and people. Some people were doubtful that the group could meet their financial needs at the Hall, but on November 17, 1969, the group voted to purchase the former Christian and Missionary Alliance Church at 1405 Monroe Street at the price of $24,000. Although a bold step of faith, it was amply rewarded as the Lord supplied the needs and the group continued to grow.

On February 1, 1970, the building at 1405 Monroe Street was dedicated. The three-story building housed the church sanctuary on the first floor with Sunday School rooms in the basement. The second floor became the parsonage and the third floor was rented as an apartment. The dedication service was attended by about 100 people. Rev. Glen Elsey led the congregation in singing. Rev. Donald M. Myers, pastor at Tunkhannock and Council member, prayed. A resume of the work was read by Verna Stoddard. Jack and Adrian Pendleton sang. Rev. Andrew J. Whitney, Conference President, gave the dedicatory message. Rev. Donald J. Hardy, Conference Vice-President, read from the Discipline and addressed the appointed official board - John Rogers, Byron Stoddard, Adrian Pendleton and Rev. Ron Myers. Rev. Glen Elsey prayed the prayer of dedication.

In July 1970, Rev, and Mrs. Howard N. Beveridge and family became the pastors. Under Bro. Beveridge’s leadership, the Endicott Home Missionary Church was organized as a Pilgrim Holiness Church of NY, on December 8, 1970. Rev. A. J. Whitney, Conference President, was assisted by the Conference Secretary, Rev. Francis L. Richmond on this occasion. There were 12 charter members that accepted the covenant. Among these 12 charter members was Mrs. Evelena Livingston, mother of Mrs. Evelyn Whitney who served as Conference first lady beside her husband for 29 years. At Conference time in 1971, the Beveridges accepted the challenge to pioneer the Conference Missions effort in Brazil, thereby creating a need for another pastor in Endicott.

Rev. and Mrs. Gary Sutley and family moved into the pastorate for the next two years. In September of 1973, Rev, and Mrs. Willard Jones assumed the pastorate and continued until Conference of 1976. During this period the Conference Council declared the Endicott Church unorganized and reverted it back to a Home Missionary status. For the next 20 years the Council appointed the pastor, local committee and gave the general oversight to the work.

Rev. and Mrs. Daniel Shumway and family were the next ones to lead the Endicott flock. The Shumways were talented in music and their ministry was a great blessing. It was during this year that the two sons of Mrs. Elizabeth Smith were killed in a car/train collision. Bro. Shumway officiated at the double funeral.

Rev. Beatrice Dodge was the interim pastor for the 1977-78 church year. Sr. Dodge continued to live in her house on the Binghamton Campground and commuted back and forth. Her salary was $50 per week and the Nortons often took her into the community for calling in an effort to build up the attendance.

Rev. and Mrs. Dale Shillington came to pastor after the 1978 Conference and remained until Conference 1980. Bro. Shillington graduated from Bible College and then came to Endicott as his first church. During the 1980-81 Conference year Rev. and Mrs. Guy Rocker were the pastors. Bro. Rocker assisted in the moving of ten cottages from Lily Lake to the Binghamton Camp to be used by zone pastors.

After the 1981 Annual Conference, Rev. and Mrs. Billie B. Bidwell moved into the Endicott parsonage. During their tenure the ministry to children and youth via van/bus had its beginnings in Endicott. The Sunday School grew and church attendance climbed. In 1983, Mrs. Viola Norton purchased the former Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and parsonage situated at the corner of Roosevelt St. and Riverview Drive and deeded it to the Pilgrim Holiness Church of NY, Inc. to be used as the Endicott Pilgrim Holiness Church. Thus the congregation moved from the three-story structure at 1405 Monroe to a beautiful church with ample Sunday School rooms and office for the pastor at 1701 Riverview Drive. The Bidwells left their second floor apartment over the Church on Monroe Street and moved into the two-story parsonage at 1703 Riverview Drive. Many improvements were made under the Bidwells’ leadership including painting of the church sanctuary and the donation of a new concert model Hammond organ by the Doolittle family as a memorial to their mother, Mrs. Lillian Shaffer. The Bidwells served faithfully as pastors until Conference time of 1989.

The next pastor was a young couple with their family from Ohio, the Randy Neville family. More vans and a bus were purchased and a Junior Church ministry was begun. Rev. Neville spent many hours in mechanical labors on the fleet of vans. They served until September 1991.

On September 19, 1991, Rev. and Mrs. Edward S. Lecates were appointed as pastors and continue unto the present in this capacity. Again the children’s ministry was expanded with Sr. Lecates operating the Junior Church ministry each Sunday during their first year. In July of .1992, Rev. and Mrs. James Hallenbeck were engaged as assistant pastor in charge of the children and youth ministries. Mr. Harlan Norton completely renovated the third floor apartment at 1405 Monroe Street and donated it rent-free for the living quarters for the assistant pastor/youth directors. In July 1993, Barry and Esther Sweitzer were called by the local committee to assume the duties of Youth Directors. The children and youth ministry has continued to grow to an average of 35 to 50 children each Sunday. A full-fledged youth ministry is conducted by the Sweitzers. Five vans are operated each Sunday morning in transporting children and adults to Sunday School and Church. Again, property improvements have been steadily noted. The parsonage received vinyl siding in the summer of 1994. The interior of the parsonage has been painted, new carpet installed in the living room and dining room, an awning placed over the back steps and a new platform deck built at the back entrance. The church Sunday School rooms have been painted, the basement auditorium, and the vestibule. The most recent (November 1996 to February 1997) improvement has been the insulation and vinyl siding that has been placed on the church. A new porch was built over the entrance steps and new metal doors with etched glass now replace the old wooden entrance doors. This work was completed by the Sickler Construction Co. from Meshoppen, Pa. For the first time since the initial purchase of the Monroe Street property, a loan was taken to cover the costs of this project.

On June 28, 1995, the Endicott Home Missionary Church became an organized church of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of NY, Inc. with ten members. A board and trustees were duly elected and the pastor is now called by the local congregation. Rev. Donald M. Myers, Conference President, officiated at this organizational meeting. The first board for the newly organized church was as follows: Harvey J. Burnham, Sunday School Superintendent; James P. Gehman, Secretary; Harlan E. Norton, Treasurer; and Ida McCulley, Advisory member.



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Last modified 12/9/00