GRAND GORGE, NY
Rev, and Mrs. C. E. Whipple were the human instruments that God used in starting a Holiness work in Grand Gorge. They came to this area some years ago at which time gospel meetings were held. The work progressed as a nondenominational group.
A tract of land was purchased which, at one time, was a part of the “Flora Gray Farm.” Bro. Whipple had a vision for a holiness camp meeting in this county. An old barn was transformed into a camp meeting tabernacle, dining hall, and dormitory; thus, his vision was turned into a reality. For years a camp meeting was held here every summer. Some of the best known Holiness preachers of the day have graced these grounds. E. E. Shelhammer and Bona Fleming were evangelists at the camp at one time.
In 1930 a small church building was added to this property. The building still stands though presently it is not in use.
In 1946 the Whipples, desiring to go into evangelistic work, contacted Superintendent A. E. Blann and offered him the opportunity to purchase the campground and tabernacle for the sum of $2,500. The District accepted the offer. The church building itself was a gift to the District.
The Pilgrim Holiness Church of Grand Gorge was formally organized in 1946 with 16 members. Rev. Floyd Baker became their first pastor.
The old tabernacle was torn down. A parsonage was erected not far from the tabernacle site. The congregation eventually outgrew the small church building and a church building in Arena, NY was purchased and transported by sections to Grand Gorge and by clever hands was reassembled.
In the spring of 1977, an adjacent property consisting of a house and more than two acres of land was purchased through the vision of a local businessman, George Flower, who donated half the purchase price. The house was taken down and through the efforts of said businessman, the pastor and members of the church, a parking lot was made next to the church with a parcel remaining for future use as the need arises.
In recent years, a sign was erected, the sanctuary was painted and carpeted, and new steps installed at the front door.
The youth department sponsored a fund for a new piano which was purchased and dedicated in memory of Manley Waterman.
Russell Davis, Maurice Hobart, Roy Dorsett, A. M. Eads, John Sherman, and Emmett Wakefield have served as pastors here. The present pastor is Larry Major.