SCHENECTADY, NY

 

The Pilgrim Holiness Church of Schenectady, NY had its beginning in 1910 at 67 Euclid Ave., and in its early years was known as the Bellevue Mission. Rev. A. H. Wilson was the first pastor.

The next known pastor of the Schenectady work was Mrs. David Wilson, who served from 1916 to 1918, while her husband labored as an evangelist. Sr. Wilson was followed by Rev. Vanaus. At this time a rescue mission for fallen girls was operated upstairs in the building by Sister Mary Berg and Sister Augusta Engwer who served as matron.

From this time until 1938, little information concerning the church is available. Rev. Bozwell and Rev. Lindsay pastored the flock in these early days followed by Rev. Harry Felter in 1923, Rev. Felter resigned as pastor the same year, leaving the oversight of the work to Sr. Mary Berg until he returned as pastor in 1924. Other pastors of this period included Rev. Payne, Sr., Sr. Berg, Rev. Keyser, Rev. K. D. Livingstone, and Rev. Thomas Weir.

Rev. Weir served as pastor in Schenectady from 1938 until 1940. Rev. Aloes Adams then accepted the pastorate, serving for six years in that capacity. Bro. and Sr. Arthur Shene moved to Schenectady while the Adamses were pastoring the church. Beulah Hofmann was attending the church at that time. The Arthur Myers family came to the Pilgrim church sometime after this. The Shenes, Beulah, Arthur and Marian Myers and their children, Charlotte Hallenbeck, Virginia Jellison and Rev. Donald Myers, are members of the Schenectady church today.

In 1946 Rev. Earl Watts came to live upstairs in the parsonage and serve as pastor until 1953, when Rev. Frank Schweitzer became the new pastor, serving one Conference year.

n 1954, Rev. & Mrs. Lloyd Stuart and Paul came to make their home at 67 Euclid Avenue. With the encouragement of Rev. Stuart, the church soon purchased a house and lot in Rotterdam at 2105 Curry Road and moved their pastor to the new parsonage. In June 1955 a ground breaking service was held and the construction of our present sanctuary was under way. Following many long hours of labor by Bro. Stuart and the men of the church, the first service was held in the basement auditorium of our new church on Christmas of that year.

The dedication service was held October 13, 1957 with Rev. Melvin I. Snyder, assistant General Superintendent of the Pilgrim Holiness Church bringing the dedicatorial address. A quartet from Eastern Pilgrim College provided special music. Howard Hallenbeck laid the cornerstone during the service. At this time the church was valued at $70,000, with a cash investment of $35,000.

In July 1962, the Smarts accepted a call from the Tunkhannock, Pa. church to become their pastor. In August, Rev, and Mrs. Donald Hardy came to Schenectady to guide the flock through almost eight years of progress and spiritual growth. On April 13, 1969, Rev. Andrew J. Whitney, Conference President, conducted the burning of the mortgage on the church, then valued at $100,000.

In 1970, Rev. Donald Myers was called to return to his home church as our pastor. During Rev. Myers’ tenure as pastor a substantial addition was made to the parsonage and new lighting was installed in the sanctuary. In 1981 the lots directly across from the church and parsonage were purchased for additional parking space.

In July 1982 Rev. and Mrs. Bobbie Bidwell and David came to minister to us. Sister Bidwell was influential in starting canvassing to build our junior Sunday School and in 1984 a bus ministry began. To provide more space for classes movable partitions were installed in 1987.

Rev. William and Judy Saxton served as our pastors from 1988 until 1994. In 1989 a second bus and a church van were purchased. While the Saxtons pastored here recruitment for an Associate Pastor resulted in Wesley and Laurie Sanford coming to serve in that capacity in 1990. Upon the Sanfords’ resignation to accept a pastorate in the Conference in 1992, Daryl and Laura Hausman came to be our second Associate, serving to the end of the 1994 Conference year.

Our present pastor, Rev. Paul Case, Sr. accepted the call to minister in Schenectady in 1994. In 1996 a Conference-wide Youth Convention was held in Schenectady and was attended so enthusiastically that a February 1997 Youth Convention was planned and resulted in an overflow group of enthusiastic young and older folk attending.

After two years without an Associate Pastor, Philip and Carla Case were called to serve in the newly-defined position of Youth/Junior Church Directors. In recent months we have lost Sr. Evelyn Whitney, Sr. Hilda Shene and Bro. Delbert Hallenbeck from our church family. Their seats are empty and they are missed.


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Last modified 12/9/00