The History of FBC
1968 to 2007
- How did our church come into existence?
- Has it always been in the same location on route 417 in Little Genesee?
- Has it always been known as Faith Bible Church?
These might be some of the questions asked regarding the history of Faith Bible Church. This, and other information is what you will find in the next few paragraphs of the History of Faith Bible Church, Little Genesee, NY.
In June 1968, the former Evangelical United Brethren Church merged with the Methodist denomination and as a result of that merger, a group of people withdrew from the denomination to form an independent church in Little Genesee, New York. Today there are three of the original 42 charter members still serving the Lord at Faith Bible Church.
The first service was held on Wednesday evening, June 26, 1968 as this group met in the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Little Genesee for a prayer meeting led by Rev. Howard Moses. Rev. Moses was on home service from Germany, where he served as a missionary with his wife Donna. That summer he continued to lead the Wednesday evening services, while Mr. Paul Francisco of Arcade, New York spoke several Sunday Mornings.
On September 28, 1968 Rev. Jerald Hill was called to serve as the first full-time Pastor of the newly formed Union Gospel Church.
The name was officially changed to Faith Bible on January 2, 1969.
The following summer the first Vacation Bible School was conducted with the teachers bringing children in their cars. The daily attendance was 55 to 59 children, who heard about Jesus, sang gospel songs and made crafts. V.B.S. has continued to be a highlight in the summers of hundreds of area children since that early beginning.
On March 11, 1970 Pastor Hill resigned. By October, when Pastor Robert Hibbard of Rochester, New York was called, there were nineteen active members, who welcomed their new leader and his family.
Our new Pastor brought enthusiasm and a new vision, as ground was broken on Sunday April 18, 1971, on route 417 in Little Genesee, NY. A parsonage and church would be built by the following December. The property was purchased from Clifford Day.
Mr. Francis Updyke, a master carpenter, was in charge of the construction until September 9th, when he was hospitalized. The men of the church, with occasional outside help, finished the project. The first service held in our new sanctuary was a prayer meeting on Wednesday December 1, 1971 at which God was praised for His faithfulness to this small congregation.
The church was constructed and equipped for $43,000. The auditorium would seat about 200 people. There were 11 Sunday School rooms, a fellowship hall, kitchen, nursery and Pastor's Office. The gymnasium, enlarged auditorium and more classrooms were added later.
A bus ministry began March 25, 1973 with one rented bus and 27 children. Jon Lindquist was the driver and Pastor Hibbard the bus captain. There were 158 in Sunday School that morning.
March 17-22, 1974 is a week that will long be remembered by those who attended the evangelistic services led by Doctor "Bud" Lyles. During those six nights there were 68 adults who came to a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of those people joined our fellowship and began to grow and serve the Lord here at Faith Bible.
Were you aware that Little Genesee Christian Academy once held classes in this church building? The first class was held on September 4, 1974 with 24 students and a staff of eight. The Principal was Pastor Hibbard and the supervisor was Richard Kolcharno. The grades taught were second through sixth.
Pastor Ben Elbe served as Youth Pastor from August 1975 until August 1976.
On August 18, 1976 Earl Higley began his ministry as Youth Pastor. Toward the end of 1976 Pastor Hibbard accepted a new pastorate at Schroon Lake, New York.
In March 1977 Pastor David Parsons, his wife Pat and two young sons came to shepherd the flock now numbering 149 members.
Confidence and Sacrifice Sundays preceded the second building project in 1977. This project doubled the auditorium and provided more office and Sunday School space. The congregation was much encouraged by the total offerings of $25,897 given to enlarge the original church. Those offerings paid the total building cost. Family night, including services for the whole family, began in September 1977, with Awana, Pro-Teen and Adult Bible Study and prayer time.
In February 1978, an extra bus route was added, and the ministry now included a bus going into the city of Olean. A new record attendance was set that day with 194 coming on the buses.
Rich Brokaw became the new assistant Pastor in the fall of 1978. He and his wife Kathy were an important addition to the work. Under Kathy's leadership a church library became a source of good reading and resource.
The First Annual Missionary Conference was held in March 1979 with fifty missionaries present. The amount pledged at the end of the five days conference was $36,000. Thus began an enlarged mission vision at Faith Bible.
On Sunday Morning April 11, 1979 Pastor Parsons read his resignation, which would be effective April 23, when he and his family would move to Denver, Colorado.
Our assistant Pastor, Richard Brokaw served as interim Pastor until August 1980 when Pastor Robin Mimna was called. In September of the same year David Herne was selected as Youth Pastor.
You may have heard of L.A.F. (Ladies Action Fellowship) which was formed in the fall of 1981, as an outreach program. The ladies met weekly for Bible Study and work projects. The program continues, and the projects have touched many lives as shut-ins are visited, cards sent to the hurting, and packages received by our college students and military personnel. The largest outreach each year is the Mother and Daughter Banquet held each May. New babies and brides are congratulated with a shower, and hospitality dinners are sponsored to promote fellowship among the congregation. The prayer chain consisting of prayer warriors who are willing to pray for any emergency occurring in the congregation or community, is also a ministry of L.A.F.
Once more the church was without a Pastor, as Robin Mimna resigned on March 3, 1982. On Easter Sunday, April 11, 1982 Pastor David Parsons came back to complete the ministry he had left three years earlier.
Under Pastor Parsons ministry the church grew, both in numbers and in an added spiritual dimension. Great numbers of adults and children were baptized and many added to church membership. All ministries were expanded with several teens and adults serving not only in the local church, but in foreign countries as summer missionary teams went out.
Upon graduation from Columbia Bible Institute in the Spring of 1986 David Herne was ordained and became the Assistant Pastor.
Upon accepting a call to Pastor a church in Millville, PA., Pastors Parsons' resignation was given. It was effective June 28, 1987. He had served a total of seven years at Faith Bible. (1977-1979 and 1982-1987)
Upon Pastor Parsons resignation, Pastor Herne continued in leadership until November 1987 when an official vote was taken and he became the new Senior Pastor.
Under Pastor Herne's leadership a children's ministry; "Youth In Action" was formed. It was used to teach Biblical principles, as well as encourage children to say "NO" to drugs and alcohol with many area children responding in a positive manner.
The Kings Puppets were also an important part of the children's church ministry. This group of adults also ministered out in the community and in other churches, through the use of puppets and music.
Faith Emmanuel Bible Institute was started in the fall of 1989. This program is a college level study in Bible, through Liberty University, from which an adult can earn a degree in Bible without leaving Allegany County.
The membership continued to grow, and existing ministries expanded under Pastor Herne's leadership.
Pastor Mark Creech became associate Pastor in the spring of 1989. He served from May 7, 1989 until August 1990, when he resigned to accept a senior pastorate in Middlesex, NC.
In December of 1990, Pastor Herne resigned to develop a new ministry and "freely fulfill God's call on his life as it would unfold".
A special business meeting was held on May 20, 1991 when the pulpit committee nominated Rev. Thomas Kimbrough to be named the seventh Senior Pastor of Faith Bible Church. The vote was taken and the call given. Pastor Kimbrough and his wife Dorris accepted the call, although they were unable to begin their duties until September 1, 1991.
An expansion of the Music Ministry throughout the church and Sunday School has brought about a number of special programs for Easter and Christmas. A new sound system was purchased and installed in the Spring of 1994, which has added new dimension to the music ministry.
Under Pastor Kimbrough's leadership an Annual Fall Leadership Retreat for Adults was instituted. The retreats in 1992 and 1993 were a great source of encouragement, fellowship and growth to those attending. In 1992 there were approximately 30 adults and in 1993 about 45 were in attendance.
A ladies Bible Study, under the leadership of Dorris Kimbrough continues to be an encouragement to the ladies as they meet weekly.
A newer church van was purchased in the Fall of 1992. This is used for Sunday School and church as well as for bringing in children for the Awana Program on Wednesday nights. Awana continues to be one of the greatest consistent outreaches to area children.
During the summer of 1993, the Home Bible Study and Prayer Groups were successful in providing a closer fellowship within the church body. They continue to meet those needs one year later.
For twenty-five years, God has led Faith Bible to stand for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. May this time of celebration bring back great memories of joy, and renewed challenge for the future.
To the many leaders and Pastors of this church who have faithfully served our Lord, we are grateful to God for each one of you!
As the congregation began to age a bit, the Senior Impact ministry began, geared to those 55 years and older. This lively group meets during the fall and winter months enjoying a meal and varied programs taking place after the morning worship service once monthly.
Pastor Thomas Kimbrough announced his resignation in December 1995 which became effective January 14, 1996.
In August of 1996 Pastor Steven Park and wife Debbie were called to serve by an overwhelming vote. The Parks moved into the parsonage and began their ministry the first Sunday in November.
The Call to Missions was heard! In 1997 a team of young people traveled to Mexico to minister for two weeks. Dan and Laura Miller were commissioned for a three week stint of work with New Tribes in the Philippines. Gina Spees, a young person from the membership began training for her work with Campus Crusade.
February 26, 1998 the first Sportsman dinner designed as an "outreach tool" was attended by 150 men and boys. The Park family catered the meal, after which Paul Blaske, photographer and outdoorsman gave a slide presentation on Alaska.
Pastor Park resigned effective as of September 9, 1998.
Pastor Jay Parsons and his wife Cerigwyn were welcomed as the new Pastor and his wife on April 4, 1999.They served the church for four years resigning on December 23, 2003.
Pastor Jay had a vision to expand the use of the Bus Garage property on Horserun Road. This vision included a 44 x 44 foot pavilion, including handicapped accessible bathrooms, a kitchen, ten to twelve picnic tables, a softball field, as well as a bar-b-q pit. This project was funded by four weeks of sacrificial giving with one third of the giving to go to World Missions.
On Sunday evening, August 1st, the first service was held at the Pavilion. Those attending enjoyed a time of singing, teaching and testimony.
On a Saturday morning, early in February 2000 seventeen men joined together for breakfast and a devotional time at the church. It was hoped this would initiate a men's ministry.
In October 2000 the first Bolivar-Richburg teacher appreciation dinner was hosted at F.B.C. This was followed by the video "Molder of Dreams." We trust this has built a bridge of friendship between area schools and Faith Bible as this outreach continues each fall.
Another first began in June of 2001 as the church hosted PIONEER OIL DAYS community worship at the pavilion on Horse Run Road.
In 2002, more ministry to meet the needs of people were begun which includes, Fun and Fitness Ladies exercise night, men’s basketball, Divorce Care and Grief Share.
In the spring of 2003, ground was broken for the installation of an "outside elevator" which makes the church more easily accessible to those in wheelchairs or who have difficulty navigating the many stairways in the church.
Three hundred men and guests shared the first Wild Life Banquet in February 2005. Charles Alsheimer's program followed the meal with several making decisions for Christ at that time. This program has proved to be popular and continues each winter.
In April, 2005 the first Arbor Day service at the property on Horse Run Road was held. Two small trees were planted. It is hoped this is only the beginning which is a unique way to remember a loved one in memoriam. Trees can be ordered at a cost from $50 dollars to $150 dollars. A call to the church office (585-928-1856) will take care of this.
Two Sunday morning worship services, one at 8:30am and the second at 11:00am with Sunday school classes for the whole family give people a choice as to the early traditional service or the contemporary one. This opportunity began in October 2005.
May 2006 - Athletes in Action baseball team, a part of the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, sponsored a team in the New York Collegiate League. The A's played their "Home" games on the field at Bolivar-Richburg Central school and were hosted by FBC families throughout the season.
In June of 2006 Divorce Care for kids was given as a summer ministry.
An outreach to young people in area communities began in September of 2006 with a "home" football game at Bolivar Richburg. After the game these 5th Quarter parties take place at the pavilion on Horse Run Road. This is a great way for the kids to enjoy hot dogs and other goodies and relax with friends in a wholesome atmosphere.
Churches are where God's people gather to worship Him, Learn from the Bible, encourage each other and welcome new believers into God's family. So as Faith Bible Church advances into the 21st century may it continue to meet needs of the congregation, as well as those of our surrounding communities.
Area churches joined with FBC to hear messages from Dr. Jimmy DeYoung during four services in February on such topics as the Arab-Israeli conflict and end-time prophecy.
In May, FBC hosted a simulcast conference featuring topics of leadership and motivation among staff and employees. Area business people gathered on a Saturday for this learning experience.
Pastor Jonathan Greeson and his wife Laurie were called to join the staff and head the growing teen ministry.
A new look for FBC was completed, as white aluminum siding now covers the red-stained boards that had been the identity of the church since 1971.
Early in January, Steve and Annie Chapman presented a musical program to a "packed house," inspiring those attending with their message in music.
The Wounded Warriors Project, which serves to assist veterans wounded in combat, teamed up with FBC to provide a high-tech hunt in nearby Oswayo, Pennsylvania.
Highlights of ministry this year began with the observance of Sanctity of Life Sunday and continued as Pastor Jonathan taught the teens the Biblical perspective on purity. Early in February, a 50-day Spiritual Adventure began, ending on Easter Sunday.
Israel Cohen from "Chosen People Ministries" presented a Passover seder, explaining its significance to believers in Jesus.
The church library was made more relevant to reading, learning and enjoyment in this century. Also, a newsletter was launched in August entitled "Faith Family in Focus." This includes articles and information for the whole family.
The teens made a mission trip to New York City to work with street people. This venture was rewarding to the teens, as well as to those to whom they ministered.
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) was launched as an outreach to the moms of both church and community.
Centershot, a new outreach, was launched for 4th to 6th grade boys and girls, and met for an eight week session on Wednesday evenings. This ministry uses the life skill of archery to reach people with the gospel. A new session for adult women is beginning in June.
In April an ordination service was held for Pastor Dave Cook, Pastor Jonathan Greeson, Shawn Foster and Trevor Pearsall with a message by Dr. Dino Pedrone, president of Davis College in Binghamton.
MOPS program continued under the direction of Mandy Taylor and Teresa Gaston.
In September a special seminar was attended by 70 people on "The Church & Homosexuality - a biblical Response", taught by Stephen and Irene Bennett.
The October Missionary conference was held at Denton Hill Ski resort. The missionaries in attendance were Nate and Amy Kidder, Mike and Diane Kushinikov and Alex Jaruchik.
December brought a special Christmas Eve service "Christmas at the Stable" held at the Hoffman Farm in Coneville PA, with Trevor Pearsall delivering the devotion and leading the music on guitar.
We were also presented with the musical "I'll be Home for Christmas" on December 3rd and 4th directed by Stephanie Pearsall.
February 10-12 we hosted an evangelistic weekend with Dr. Larry Moyer, starting with our annual Wildlife banquet Friday evening and including an evangelism training seminar on Saturday.
July saw our teens traveling to Tennessee for a Mission trip to work at a camp for underprivileged children.
Our annual Missions conference this year featured Dr. Tom and Normandy Woodward.
In November a Women of Faith Christmas Simulcast was held and attended by approx. 200 women from the area.
December started a "Renovation Project" - which included changing the direction of the Sanctuary and replacing the pews with chairs, which increased our seating capacity by 100.
The March Wildlife Banquet was attended by 300 people and our speaker for this year's event was Scott Jordan.
A children's Easter musical, "It's all because of Jesus" under the direction of Ginny Wilhelm and Rhea Childs, was presented at the 11:00 service on March 24th.
In June a dedication service was held with guest speaker Dr. David Parsons in attendance as well as Pastor Clint to dedicate our new sanctuary. This service was followed by a chicken bar-b-q at the pavilion.
The Missionary conference was held at Rock City Park with Bob Till Sharing the highlights of his ministry on Sunday morning.
We continue to hold Veteran's Day services in November at the pavilion and continue throughout the year to support the L.E.E.K. facility in PA and the Wounded Warriors.
The children presented the musical "For the Glory of the King" directed by Rhea Childs on Dec 8th. The musical "Bringing Home Christmas" was also presented on December 22nd by the adult congregation, also under the direction of Rhea Childs.
The annual Wildlife banquet, with this year's speaker, Charlie Alsheimer was filled to capacity and the money raised this year went to the LEEK preserve in PA to help wounded beterans.
April brought a Missions trip to NY City by both adults and teens to minister with the NY Relief Bus outreaching to street people by providing hygiene products and socks. This provided many opportunities to personally interact with the homeless, as well as praying with many.
In June 27 men attended the Word of Life retreat.
The summer brought opportunities to fellowship at our church picnic in July and also the opportunity to attend an Oswayo Valley Community Picnic in the park in Shinglehouse with musician and evangelist Randy Paul.
The 2014 Missions conference "To the Jew First" was held in October and our special guests were Jim and Rebecca Fox who shared their ministry to Jews with us and also shared their musical talents with us.
The March Wildlife Banquet with speaker Dave Tripiciano was attended by 200 in March.
Another year of change here at Faith Bible Church as Pastor Clint Pearsall announced that he would be stepping down as Senior Pastor on July 2nd, 2015. He agreed to stay on for up to six months to help with the required transitions as he pursued the next chapter in their lives.
August 30th brought Pastor Clint's final Sunday at FBC as he accepted a new employment position and was scheduled to start this new position on Aug 31st.
A pulpit search committee was established and the search for a new Pastor was underway. During this time our Youth Pastor, Jonathan Greeson, agreed to assume the duties of Senior Pastor and started filling the pulpit on Sunday mornings.
After a few months of searching and visits by potential candidates we invited Pastor Ben Ramirez to candidate for the position of Senior Pastor. At the May business meeting it was voted by the membership to extend the Call to Pastor Ben Ramirez to come to Faith Bible Church. Pastor Ben accepted the Call and he and his wife Laura Lee arrived in July from Iowa. His first Sunday message was delivered on July 10th 2016.
Summer Bonfires on Friday evenings were enjoyed by many at the Pavilion during the months of June, July, and August.
The 2016 Missions conference was held at the church with visiting missionaries Nate and Amy Kidder and Bob Till attending and sharing with us.
October the Hot Dog outreach was set up at the Shop and Save to distribute hot dogs, candy, and tracts and Bibles to the area families during the trick or treat event in town.
November found us at the fire hall in Bolivar hosting a free harvest dinner to our Community.
The children's musical, "Away from the Manger" directed by Ginny Wilhelm was presented on Dec. 9th and 11th. Our annual Christmas Eve service and a beautiful Christmas Morning Service were enjoyed as well on Dec 24th and 25th.
The annual Wildlife Banquet attended by approx. 175 was held in March with speaker, Steve Sorenson.
An Easter cupcake tent was set up at the Bolivar Pool during the annual Easter Egg Hunt put on by the Bolivar Lioness Club. We provided cupcakes, coffee, and milk for the families at this tent as well as giving out tracts, pinwheels and Bibles.