Looking Back Over 60+ Years
of the Church in Elmira
The story of the local church in Elmira begins here...
In the fall of 1957, Clara Vandevelder, a Christian living in Lakeland, Florida had a niece, Helen Bailey of Binghamton, NY who passed away unexpectedly. Clara had been corresponding with Helen's husband, Don Bailey via letters through the mail, trying to offer comfort and share the gospel from long distance. She also had a nephew whose name was Robert who lived in Elmira. Robert had a wife and her name was Jackie. Clara had also been corresponding with Jackie via the mail and was sharing the Good News with her as well.
Editor's Note: This reflection on the history of the Southern Tier Church of Elmira was compiled by Jim Paul. This memorializes what has already occurred at STCOC and serves as inspiration moving forward in the work. What a difference just one faithful person relying on God can make!
These were the church pioneers who laid the foundation of what today is the Southern Tier church of Christ. We all should be thankful for these men and their wives who devoted their lives to sharing the gospel with others.
Isaiah 6:8 (NKJV)
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
“We must be sure that the legacy of faith received from the pioneers who came before us is never lost.
Let their heroic lives touch our hearts, and especially the hearts of our youth, so the fire of true testimony and unwavering love for the Lord and His Church will blaze brightly within each one of us as it did in our faithful pioneers.”