Nestled on 6+ acres of land on top of Catlin Hill is the Full Gospel Church Catlin, surrounded by the beauty of God’s marvelous creation. Our church sits as a Beacon of Hope for the Catlin Center area and its neighboring communities. Since its birth God has been faithfully building and maintaining a Pentecostal witness here on the hill.
On Dec.7th 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Early into 1942, Americans were heavily into the throes of war. It was thirty miles round trip to Glad Tidings Church in Elmira Heights. With gas rationing in effect, driving that distance became a serious problem. Alice Parker and her sister, Cissy(Mrs. Wilson Bump), began to pray. As they prayed, God gave them the vision of a church in Catlin and a burden to see it come to pass.
The first service was held on April 5, 1942 in the schoolhouse located where the Parker Bump pavilion now sits. named in honor of the women who prayed and believed God for a work in the Catlin community. Mr. Wilson Bump was trustee for Catlin Center School District #1, and permission was granted to use the schoolhouse to meet for church until a building was constructed. Services continued and the need arose for a pastor. Mrs. Eleanor Dunn became the first Pastor. Pastor Dunn was a very close friend of both Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Bump and had graduated from Zion Bible Institute a few years prior. The new congregation continued to grow and endured the hardships and struggles of growth. The second Pastor came along, named Cora Luciano.
Under the leadership of Rev. Harry Knisell, the third pastor, the church was incorporated in 1944 as The Full Gospel Church of Catlin Center. Rev. Russell Plants, a missionary on leave from Egypt, presided at the incorporation and Attorney Riggs from Elmira drew up the legal papers. The congregation began to feel the need for a building. At this time, land was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Parker. The present church is now standing on that land.
In Oct. 1949 under Pastor Homer Cooper, construction began. The first service in the new building was held on Aug.20 1950. This was only temporary,and cold weather brought the congregation back to the schoolhouse.
In 1959, under the pastorship of Rev. Alfred Chamberlin, the church became affiliated with the NY District of the Assemblies of God. Rev. Joseph Flowers, Superintendant of NY AG officiated.
In 1959 the vestibule, furnace and electrical wiring were added.
Rev. Bernard Bullock pastored in 1959. Following Rev. Bullock was Rev. & Mrs Charles McClure. Following the McClures was Rev. & Mrs. Harold Harding. During this time a Great Gospel Ministry was taking place and the building of God’s house continued.
Pastor Larry Parker began on Nov. 15, 1981 as the 17th Pastor of FGCC. His mother, Alice Parker, was the last of the founding members. After 23 years of pastoring FGCC, God called Pastor Parker home on Nov.8th 2004.
Without a shepherd to lead the flock, the members of FGCC demonstrated unity and began to pray for a pastor. They didn’t know who he was but believed that God did. In less than three months, the church board met with Rev. Patrick & Petrice Neyman. By a unanimous vote, the Neyman’s were elected to be the new pastors of FGCC on Feb.13, 2005. Changes and growth have continued under their ministry to this day.
Today, through it’s weekly services, Annual Old-Fashioned Message of the Cross Camp meetings, Revival services and more… FGCC continues to be a hub of Pentecostal ministry in the Southern-Tier of New York State. Now with our website we are looking forward to reaching many more for Christ through the internet.
Won’t you join us and be a part of the continual history of FGCC!