STRATTANVILLE, PA

 

The Pilgrim Holiness Church in Strattanville, Pa., had its start in the 1940’s. Rev. Jay L. Clark, an ordained minister in the Pittsburgh District of the Pilgrim Holiness Church, began conducting services in the old restaurant building on Main Street in Strattanville.

Under Rev. Clark’s ministry the flock began to grow, and soon the need for larger accommodations became evident. In 1948, the local Baptist Church went up for sale because of declining membership and the Pilgrims in Stratranville purchased the building.

The Strattanville Baptist Church was built in 1858 by descendants from the early Puritan Baptists who had so much influence in the early life of the colonies. The original beautifully-toned bell still rings forth from the church steeple. Alter Rev. Clark came Rev. William Lauffer. Since the church had no parsonage of its own the pastor took up residence in the church building in what are now Sunday school rooms.

Rev. Eugene L. Zerby took charge of the Strattanville pastorate in the early 1950’s. He also resided in the church building until the purchase of a parsonage on Pine Street in Strattanville was completed. This parsonage on Pine Street would serve the succeeding pastors and their families for the next 20 years. The Pine Street parsonage was just a few minutes’ walk from the church building.

After Rev, Zerby came Rev. Miles E. Gray, in the early 1960’s. Rev. 0. H. Shull then served as a supply pastor until 1967. At this time, because of the merger of the Pilgrims with the Wesleyans, the Strattanville Pilgrims chose to join the New York Pilgrims. The Strattanville church became a member of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York, Inc. In the year 1967, Rev. Lloyd Terpenning began serving as pastor, and continued until 1972. Under Rev. Terpenning’s leadership the church grew in attendance. Also the interior of the church building was beautifully remodeled. After Rev. Terpenning came Rev. Denzil R. Smith. Rev. Smith pastored faithfully until 1975. Alter Rev. Smith came Rev. Glenn D. Elsey who ministered wonderfully until 1976.

In the year 1975-76 the Strattanville church purchased a lovely property on Fisher Road, just a short drive from the church, and set up a beautiful new parsonage. In 1976, Rev. Bobbie Bidwell became pastor and he and his family moved into the brand new parsonage. Just a short time later, a spacious two car garage and breezeway were added to complete the new parsonage. The new parsonage and property purchases were paid off by the church in about a year or two at the most. Rev. Bobbie Bidwell served as faithful pastor until 1982, when Rev. H. E. Robertson assumed leadership of the flock until 1984.

Rev. John Case then followed in 1984, serving the flock until 1991. While Rev. Case was pastor the exterior of the church was remodeled with new siding and windows.

In 1991, Rev. Billie B. Bidwell was call as pastor and served faithfully until 1993.

Rev. Stephen J. Fuller is presently serving as pastor.


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Last modified 12/9/00