The first Pilgrim Holiness Church of Russell, NY was organized June 4,1935. It began as a small Sunday School in the Elm Creek neighborhood and was conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Pratt in 1933. After a successful revival meeting there were enough members to support a pastor. Rev. Benjamin Rickenbach, Sr. was called. He was followed by Rev. Donald Hardy, Rev. Alan Gilmore, Rev. Cohn Grassie, the Revs. Carl and Sadie Shafer (1944 to 1946), Rev. Anna Pratt (1946 to 1951), Rev. Howard Curtis (1951 to 1953), Rev. Fred Hinderliter (1951 to 1966), Rev. Paul Case (1966 to 1972), Rev. Donald C. Myers (1972 to 1983), Rev. Wesley Hunting (1983 to 1985), Rev. Jude Parks (1985 to 1987), Rev. Robert Morehouse (1987 to 1994), Rev. David Howell (1994 to 1996), and Rev. Ronald Robison 1996 to present.
During the 62 years as an established church, God has called several of its members to be ministers and other Christian workers. Billie and Bobbie Bidwell have pastored in our churches and Betty Durham Smith has labored in New Guinea. The church has supported a native worker in South America and built homes for three workers in Africa, and given several thousand dollars to missions.
The church services were held in store-type buildings and houses until land was purchased at Main and River Streets in 1956. Here a church was built under the capable leadership of Rev. Fred Hinderliter and people. The church was dedicated in 1956, and in November 1968 the mortgage was burned. In 1966 a house was purchased near the church for a parsonage. This house was destroyed by fire August 29, 1989. A new parsonage was built, next to the church, with much sacrifice and labor by the pastor, Rev. Robert Morehouse and people and dedicated December 1, 1989.
Last modified 12/9/00