The Northville Pilgrim Holiness Church traces its beginnings to a group of “come-outers” who in the years of 1906 and 1907 found that holiness didn't “fit in” in the churches they had formerly attended. Henry Earley became the leader and preacher for the group. A building was built by Uriah Patrick and others about 1907 to 1908. The Christians in this new church were so thankful for the truth that they were anxious to pass it on to others. Consequently, prayer and preaching services were held throughout the surrounding countryside until every night of the week was filled. The Northville Church was responsible for helping mother holiness churches in Gloversville and Wells.
After about four years, Bro. Earley felt the time had come to call an “outside” preacher. A young man from Maryland recently graduated from God’s Bible School was called. His name was A. E. Blann. Rev. Blann arrived in Northville in October 1910. His ministry here lasted for 33 years. With his rich sense of humor and his friendly manner, he soon won the hearts of the people and became a highly respected member of the community. He also proved to be an excellent preacher and Bible teacher who watched over his flock with jealous care. In 1943, Bro. Blann was elected Superintendent of the New York District of the Pilgrim Holiness Church.
When Rev. Blann left the church in 1943, Rev. Alvin Young, a well-known evangelist and singer who made his home in Northville, was asked to assume the leadership of the Northville church. Bro. Young served with faithfulness for the next 13 years. He was a man of excellent spirit and a friend to all. He was a fine preacher as well as a gifted musician and singer. In 1956, with his wife gone and himself suffering from physical afflictions, Bro. Young resigned as pastor.
Rev. Nicholas Fair of Michigan became the new leader of the flock. Although the Northville church had been an independent religious society since its founding, while Bro. Fair was pastor, plans were made to affiliate with the Pilgrim Holiness Church. This was done in 1957 at a special service presided over by the District Superintendent, Rev. 0. L. Fay.
Rev. Paul Pierpoint was called as successor to Bro. Fair in 1959. Many improvements to the facilities were made while he was pastor, and many memorable special services and revivals were experienced. In 1961, while pastoring at Northville, God took Bro. and Sr. Pierpoint’s lovely infant daughter, Esther Jane, home to be with Himself.
In 1963 another crisis came to the church as a result of the impasse between the New York District and the General Church. A majority of the local church voted to stay with the New York District. In the summer of 1964 Bro. Paul Pierpoint resigned.
God was gracious to the Northville people and sent them Rev. Milton Pierpoint to lead them at this difficult time. Although not physically strong, Bro. Pierpoint did the church immeasurable good by his wonderful messages, his kindly spirit, his earnest prayers and his warm friendship. Bro. and Sr. Pierpoint suffered a serious automobile accident while traveling to Binghamton over icy roads. God graciously restored them, but as the Conference year ended, the congregation sadly bade farewell to the Pierpoints.
The next pastor was Rev. Edward Lecates, a young man from Delaware. He and his family moved here in July 1965. Church attendance increased as Bro. and Sr. Lecates gave themselves to calling and witnessing. In July 1970 a new venture was undertaken, a radio broadcast, called “Glorious Freedom,” originating in station WIZR, Johnstown. Under his leadership, the Northville Christian Academy was founded with Bro. Lecates as its principal. God’s evident blessing was seen upon their ministry at Northville and they enjoyed wide acceptance among the people of the community. In March 1981, after 16 years as pastor, Rev. Lecates announced that he would be leaving Northville as of June 30.
The next pastor to be called was Rev. Bittinger. Rev. Larry Bittinger with his wife and five children arrived in Northville in September 1981. Rev. Bittinger also became the principal of the Northville Holiness Academy and the church and school continued to prosper under the ministry of the Bittingers.
Necessary repairs had been made to the church and parsonage from time to time, but extensive repairs to the aging property were now indicated. In February 1988, a church meeting was held to vote upon the board’s recommendation to sell the present property and build a church and parsonage elsewhere. Out of 17 votes, 16 were in favor of relocating. The next step was to decide on a new location. In April 1989 Rev. Bittinger felt led to leave the Northville area to pastor elsewhere. The Mountain Road lot owned by Charles Ginter was chosen as the most suitable of those available for our building program. Since we had no pastor for a time, the pulpit was filled by members of the church or preachers from the Conference. Our next pastor was Rev. Richard Purchase from Point Pleasant, WV. Rev. Purchase arrived in December 1989 with his wife and son. Their stay in the parsonage was short as the property was soon sold. The last service in the old church was held Sunday evening, March 25, 1989. Because of the sale of the church property, the Northville Holiness Academy was closed. Gerald Ginrer drew the plans for the new church. On April 15, 1990, a ground-breaking service was held with our Conference President and many others attending. Members and others worked together to build and finish the church. In June 1990, a new three-bedroom modular home was moved onto the church property and an attached garage was subsequently added.
Charles Ginter designed the windows for the church, featuring a cross, shafts of light, praying hands and the star of David. The front windows contain a Pilgrim ship. The cross on the platform wall was made from the altar from the former church. The new church and parsonage were dedicated on Mother’s Day 1991. Conference President Rev. A. J. Whitney was the main speaker with former pastors who were present also taking part in the service. A steeple has since been added to the church.
The prayer of the Northville Church is that God will continue to bless and many souls will find the Lord before Jesus comes.
Last modified 12/9/00