The Pilgrim Holiness Church of Fostoria, OH was born out of a tent meeting on E. Fourth St. held by Rev. Jake Reigel, a converted bootlegger from Lima, OH. The property at the corner of Wood and Crocker Streets was purchased and remodeled to serve as a church. The Fostoria Church was officially organized on May 16, 1937.
Rev. Reigel served the Church until 1938 when he left to start other Pilgrim Holiness Churches. The Rev. James Miller came to Fostoria in 1938 and stayed until 1940 when the Rev. Paul Harris was called. The Pilgrim Church had its first dedication service on September 28, 1942 with the District Superintendent, Rev. C. P. Pridgen, presiding at the occasion.
The Rev. Harold Monroe followed Rev. Harris as pastor in 1944 who was followed by Rev. Norman Maddox. On August 17, 1947 the Pilgrims held their first mortgage burning, being free from debt on the Crocker St. property. Rev. Maddox was followed by Rev. E. E. Wells, who was followed by Rev. Ottie Call, he being followed by Rev. Harold Todd. The Church then called Rev. Charles Brubaker, whose earthly possessions were moved all the way from Illinois to Fostoria on the back of a farm wagon. Rev. Ronald Travis was called in 1956 and remained nine years. During a revival in 1959 with Rev. Duane Saylor it was learned that the church building on W. Fourth and S. Wood Streets was for sale. Rev. Saylor called the church together and admonished the folk to look into the matter. They did so and in 1960 the present building was purchased. Well remembered by those who participated, was the leaving of the Crocker St. property, marching up the street, singing praises to God, and entering into this building. It was a momentous occasion. The church was chartered by the State of Ohio the same year, 1960.
In 1964 Rev. James Hulett was called to Fostoria, and again with God’s help and leadership, the church held its second mortgage burning on January 30, 1966. Rev. Hulett was followed by Revs. Ronald Travis, Eugene Roush, and Edmond Zickafoose. Rev. Paul Harmon then served the church for eight years. It was during this time, due to the tragic but evident decline of spiritual conditions, that the Fostoria congregation felt it necessary to separate from what had become the Wesleyan Church. This was accomplished in 1975. Subsequently the local church expressed a desire to be affiliated with the New York Pilgrims. This request was granted in 1975.
Rev. Daniel Roush was then called as pastor in 1979 and served for over eight years. During his ministry, improvements were made to the church basement and a Christian School was started. April 16, 1986 was a ‘red letter day” for the Fostoria Pilgrims as the entire church voted to become full members of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York. This was later ratified by The Annual Conference. A new front door was installed on the church in 1988 and the south side of the roof was re-shingled. The interior of the parsonage was also completely redecorated during the time of vacancy between pastors.
In 1988 the church called Rev. Wesley J. Hunting as pastor. In 1989 a major remodeling of the church was begun with a donation for new carpet. Men and women in the church as well as outside the church gave of their time and means to see the work accomplished. The north side of the roof was re-shingled and the sanctuary was completely redecorated with a new ceiling, new fans and lights, new carpeting and refinished woodwork. Rev. Andrew J. Whitney spoke at the special Rededication Service on April 22, 1990. Through the generosity of Bro. and Sr. Whitney, a new sign was purchased and erected beside the church in 1992. Then, largely through the generosity of one of our departed saints, the church was able to pay off its indebtedness to the Wesleyans, with Rev. D. M. Myers presiding over this third memorable mortgage burning on April 18, 1993.
In 1994, after reviewing the deteriorating conditions of the parsonage structure and environment, and after much prayer, it was decided to sell the parsonage on W. Fourth St. Several months of searching for property passed during which the parsonage family were graciously permitted to reside in a mobile home on Rising Sun Holiness Campground. During this time, new rest rooms were installed and the pastor’s study enlarged at the church. Suitable property was finally located on Township Rd. 87 which was purchased in May 1995. Ground was broken and construction began in June. Rev. Tim Hatfield, brother-in-law of the Huntings, along with his sons were hired to assist the pastor with the major portion of the construction. Other men and women of the church gave of their time as they were able. Finish work continued through the winter and spring until on June 10, 1996, the pastor and family were able to move into a lovely new four-bedroom ranch style parsonage situated on 3.5+ acres. “To God be the Glory, great things He has done!”
Last modified 12/8/00