Andover Alliance Church History
The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of Andover has presented an active ministry in this community since its inception as a home prayer meeting in 1937. Perhaps the youngest congregation in the community, the church was officially organized as an accredited church on May 10, 1939, with six charter members. In those early days, the church met in a room over the old movie house on East Greenwood Street (The Sugar Bowl, owned by John Karcanes). Several other locations were used for church services.
After considering many sites for the church, the committee, elected by church membership, bought the former Dean schoolhouse, which stood on Burch family property land located between what is now Baker Road and New York State Route 417. The church people transported the schoolhouse to its present location on Rochambeau Avenue. Reverend Harley A Beckwith was instrumental in getting the schoolhouse building moved. For a time, the church had no basement sub-structure, but as the church grew, the need for more space prompted the Building Committee to enlarge. Stories have been told how the Lord supplied the money to pay for the project.
In October 1972, the church purchased a parsonage for future pastors and their families. The property purchased was the former Ruger house at 8 Baker Street in the village. The house was repainted and repairs were made. Over the years, an addition was made to the property. The property was sold in the 1990’s as the current pastor, Reverend Bruce Crossley purchased the Givens’ farm and the church had no future need of a parsonage.
Added improvements over the years included a huge church renovation project in the early 1990’s. During the ministry of Reverend Bruce A Crossley, the church building was doubled in size, adding two additional Sunday school rooms, furnace room, and additional bathroom, and doubled the size of the sanctuary.
Property south of the church building was purchased. A parking lot was added on this property, behind the church building.
In March, 2002, the church purchased a home located at One Rochambeau Avenue, the former home of the Everett Davis family, for use as a new parsonage.
When the house located between the parsonage, One Rochambeau, and the church, Five Rochambeau, became available, the Governing Board spent much time in discussion and prayer regarding if and how the Emery House could be used for church ministry. The possibilities seemed many – Youth Ministry, expanding Sunday School and small group classes, community outreach, housing for missionaries, and a ministry the Lord has not yet laid on our hearts. In addition, we would be able to improve access to the church parking lot located behind the church. The house was purchased in the fall of 2010. The Lord has blessed as the congregation has been able to give toward reducing the principal on the loan to purchase the property. Praise God, our 30 year mortgage was paid off in less than three years!
When the house located between the parsonage, One Rochambeau, and the church, Five Rochambeau, became available, the Governing Board spent much time in discussion and prayer regarding if and how the Emery House could be used for church ministry. The possibilities seemed many – Youth Ministry, expanding Sunday School and small group classes, community outreach, housing for missionaries, and a ministry the Lord has not yet laid on our hearts. In addition, we would be able to improve access to the church parking lot located behind the church. The house was purchased in the fall of 2010.
In the spring of 2012, renovations of the Kitchen and Storage Area in the Fellowship Hall was completed. This provided a more comfortable setting for fellowship dinners as well as our Sunday morning donuts and coffee fellowship.
The 20 year, 40,300 mortgage on the 3 Rochambeau property was paid off in less than 3 years. On March 23, 2014, we celebrated God's greatness and the faithfulness of the church family in giving toward the mortgage reduction over the past 3 years. In the fall, work began on site improvements. Sheds were moved, a tree removed, and gravel was installed for the base of the garage relocation and in the parking lot.
In the spring of 2015, the concrete for the garage relocation was poured in place, the garage was moved, tree stumps removed, topsoil removed and gravel installed for the new driveway.
Electrical work in the garage was completed, windows sash in some sanctuary windows was replaced, and windows in the basement were replaced.
The residence on the 3 Rochambeau property is now being used for church ministry. The full potential for 3RA is still in God's hands; currently, the church library, sunday school class and youth meetings are in 3RA.
In the fall of 2010, the church began a much needed expansion of storage space and improvement of our Kitchen facilities. A crawl space was dug out and walls and floor installed to provide storage space. The existing Kitchen equipment was removed and new facilities with over 25 feet of base cabinet/countertop and much needed wall cabinets were installed. The end results make it much easier to provide for meals and fellowship as well as provide more comfortable seating at tables in the Fellowship Hall.
The garage located between the church and 3 Rochambeau Avenue was relocated for use for VBS and other special events. It is located next to the expanded and improved parking lot behind the church. In addition, a new driveway was installed east of the church.
The exterior stairway to the basement was enclosed.
Over the years, the church has strived to be a blessing to the community. The church is active in offering vacation Bible school, missionary conference, clothing and food provided for those in need, and is an active participant in the community Lenten services. The church has hosted Pulpit-in-the Park services at the American Legion Park many summers and has hosted special music outreach services on the school lawn during the Andover 4th of July celebrations. Andover Christian and Missionary Alliance Church continues to be a vital part of the religious heritage of Andover.
Andover Alliance Pastors
The church has had over twenty pastors since its inception in 1939:
January 1939 – January 1944 Reverend Milton C Hurne
February 1945 – May 1945 Reverend Charles C Olenhouse
August 1946 – August 1947 Reverend I Russell Clark
September 1947 – June 1949 Doctor Gordon F Larson
July 1950 – September 1953 Reverend Edward D Poser
October 1953 – Nat 1955 Charles M Abbott
June 1955 – September 1957 Reverend Richard W Pendell
March 1957 – May 1958 Reverend Melvin E Vance
June 1958 – June 1959 Carl A Hokanson
September 1959 – Sept 1960 Richard W Beais
September 1961 – January 1967 Donald T Geffers
January 1968 – January 1972 Reverend Milton C Hurne
August 1972 – August 1974 Reverend Stephen B Clark
September 1974 – May 1976 Reverend Jeffery A Mackey
December 1976 – Sept 1979 Reverend Richard A Storr
January 1980 – October 1985 Reverend David J Smith
March 1986 – October 1988 Reverend Robert J Witchey
April 1993 – April 1995 Reverend Stephen B Clark
December 1988 – August 2001 Reverend Bruce A Crossley
December 2001 – June 2007 G William Anderson
March 2009 – Present Reverend Philip Barner
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