The Haverhill Pilgrim Holiness Church had its birth among a small mission group who began to worship in a rented church in the year 1935.
On December 27, 1935 Rev. Ethel L. MacFadgen and Rev. Virginia M. Miller joined this group as pastors, an association which was to continue until July 1958.
The back of the depression was still unknown at that time and it was literally a season of trusting and obeying. Although church rent was only $3 weekly, and coal could be purchased for $11 per ton, every penny had to be prayed in. During the year of 1938, an agitation began to be identified with some established holiness body. A church meeting was called and the situation discussed. Although some opposition appeared, the majority voted to join the New York Conference of the Pilgrim Holiness Church.
On April 17, 1939, under the leadership of Rev. Albert H. Wilson, District Superintendent, a church of nineteen charter members was organized.
Simultaneously with the interest in missions came the desire to worship in their own building. Samuel Haas made and brought to each service a small box into which change was dropped to start a building fund. Because of this effort and loan of $100 from Estelle Miller, the property at the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue was purchased, the price being $2,500. Renovations were made and on August 31, 1941 the Pilgrims moved into the church at 404 Main Street. A small chapel had been finished on the first floor and a five room parsonage occupied the second floor.
Rev. H. J. Olsen, District Superintendent, officiated at Because the church took a firm stand on tithing, by April 1, 1945 all bills made in connection with the buying and renovation of the property were paid in full. What a joyous time for the church when a service was held with the burning of the mortgage.
During the pastorate of Rev. A. J. Whitney a new church was erected on the property adjoining the first chapel. The design was Colonial Wildwood Chapel, size 40 by 60, so chosen because of New England tradition. The church was built by volunteer labor.
August 18, 1961 was the dedication day for the new building. Rev. 0. L. Fay, District Superintendent, was the speaker for the service and Rev. J. L. Hunting was the singer. The indebtedness of the building was met by one-year pledges, the largest single money gift being $4,000. On October 4, 1970 the mortgage was burned and all property declared free of debt by the Conference President, Rev. A. J. Whitney.
Through the years much water has passed under the bridge and many things have taken place since then. Thanks be unto God, He has kept the doors open to this church as a light house in this community providing light to those whose lives have been wrecked by sin.
Haverhill church continues to operate by faith trusting God to provide all of its needs physically, spiritually, and financially.
Many lives have been transformed and changed by the power of God as a result and influence of this church. Truly, God has been faithful and good to those whose hearts hunger and thirst after Him. The Lord has never failed this church all down through the years. It is still in full operation willing to help those that are in need.
To this day, God is still moving and answering the prayers of His people who will put their trust in Him. Currently, Haverhill church is reaching out and ministering to many children from the community and having a positive effect on the parents as well. The Sunday School room walls down stairs had to be knocked out twice to provide room to hold them all. Since then, we've outgrown those rooms and are now meeting in a big room. Thanks be to God, several of our young people have gotten saved as a result of the Sunday School outreach. We have some that never miss a service.
Haverhill church would earnestly covet your prayers as they continue to let their light shine in Haverhill, MA.
Pastors that have served the Haverhill Pilgrim Holiness Church and the length of their service are as follows: Ethel L. MacFadgen and Virginia M. Miller December 1935 to July 1958; Andrew J. Whitney - August 1958 to July 1962; Maurice Schenk - September 1962 to July 1963; Edward Palm July 1963 to July 1967; Billie B. Bidwell July 1967 to July 1971; William Brown - July 1971 to July 1974; Hugh F. Litzinger - November 1974 to July 1976; Dallas McKendree - July 1976 to July 1978; Duane Lum July 1978 to July 1981; Roger L. Henry - July 1981 to June 1982; Paul L. Case, Sr. - June 1982 to July 1987; Terry Bickel - September 1987 to April 1988; David Fuller June 1988 to July 1993; Larry Major July 1993 to July 1994; Jonathan Fall July 1994 to present.