Pilgrim Holiness Church

The Pilgrim Holiness Church (Wesleyan Church)

Pilgrim Holiness Church

Pilgrim Holiness Church, Cherry Tree, WV
See the Pilgrim Holiness Church Gallery.

Pilgrim Holiness Church is a religious denomination associated with the holiness movement that split from the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1897. It was first organized in Cincinnati, Ohio as the International Holiness Union and Prayer League. The organization later became the Pilgrim Holiness Church which eventually merged with the Wesleyan Methodists in 1968 to form the Wesleyan Church.

Recollections of the Pilgrim Holiness Church at Cherry Tree:

The retired (due to health) Rev Hattie Hickman lived in the big Victorian house across the street from us In spite of her strict fundamentalist demeanor, the church experienced good growth in the 1930’ and early 1940’s under her leadership. Rev. Hickman had previously also served as pastor in the 1920’s. Emma Jean Sexton was her housemate. Rev. Hickman and Emma baby sat me for one school year while my mother was teaching school so I heard many of her church stories. Emma became a practical nurse after Rev. Hickman’s retirement.

Margaret Jessup VanBriggle

Margaret Jessup VanBriggle

I clearly remember Revival meetings & one pastor, Rev Ward VanBriggle (a polio survivor, I believe), playing his violin and we sat mesmerized as his wife Mrs. Margaret Jessup VanBriggle gracefully moved her fingers across the piano keyboard. She sometimes would lead the congregational singing with embellishment from her shiny trombone. My minds’ memory can still recall her blasting out on “Look & Live, My Brother Live.” This was sometimes a prelude to the brothers and sisters running the aisles and shouting “Glory” as they experienced their religious fervor. A falling away of attendance finally lead to the demise of the congregation in the early 1990’s.

—-Robert McCormack

Quote from Eddie Atkins:

“I attended the Pilgrim Holiness Church faithfully from 1935 to 1940 and received a number of awards (called religious mottos) for thirteen Sunday continuous attendance. At one time I believe a man named Everett Hanners was our Sunday School Superintendent. Our Sunday school teacher was Chester Adams. As an award for not acting up in class and learning our Sunday school lesson he would take the entire class on a Saturday afternoon hike. One trip I well remember was a trip walking the railroad track from Cherry Tree to Chauncy and back with no food or water. The elders that I most clearly remember from that time period were: Fred Hutchinson, Bill Clark, George Browning, Ned Samson, Walter Dings, and Mr. White.”

Once during a revival meeting a woman evangelist played “Onward Christian Soldiers” on an accordion. Most of us kids had never seen or heard an accordion. Some cried, some hid under the seats and others tried to leave. I don’t remember which group I was in but I will never forget the sound of that accordion.”

Sunday School at the Pilgrim Holiness Church

Grandma Kitchen with her black stockings and long dresses immediately come to my mind. One of the Fred Hutchinson grandchildren one time kindly referred to her as “Mother Goose.” That, in itself, brings a smile and I do see the resemblance as I think of the colorful story books of my childhood. Bible stories and the colorful Bible character rolls hanging on the basement classroom wall stand out clearly in my early memories. One page from that role would become a prize for our perfect attendance during the quarter.

Ollie Kitchen (Grandma Kitchen)

Ollie Kitchen (Grandma Kitchen)

I see the familiar Grandma Kitchen leading us in singing “I’ll be a Sunbeam for Jesus.” Now I realize that it certainly wasn’t her voice, but rather her enthusiasm that infected us. We would run up the stairs to the sanctuary where we sat with her for the birthday offering and the Sunday School secretary, Robert Stoneoff (or was it Jimmy? ), would read the attendance and Sunday School offering figures. Sunday school would never again be as much fun as we moved on to the older classes and some of our peers dropped out. Others teaching Sunday School which come to my mind are Erie Wiley, Carrie Biggs, Harriet Sanson & Mrs. Edmondson.

–Robert E. McCormack

 

Church Pastors Submitted by:

William C Clark
Archives Director
World Headquarters
Wesleyan Church Corp

  • 1921-22 G. M. Cunningham
  • 1923-24 J. C. Wakefield
  • 1925-28 J.S. Hayton
  • 1930-33 Hattie Hickman
  • 1934 H. Hickman starts Fayetteville, Everett Bailey takes Logan
  • 1935-38 Everett Baily
  • Harry Ensley (Supply?)
  • 1939-43 Hattie Hickman
  • 1944 J.E. Alba
  • 1945 Roy Bellomy
  • 1946-50 Vard Van Briggle
  • 1951-52 E.E. Leadingham
  • 1953 J.H. Berrige
  • 1954-57 Everett Wooten
  • 1958-64 John Nester
  • 1965 Noel Davis
  • 1966-67James F Scalf
  • Merger to form The Wesleyan Church
  • 1968 James F. Scalf
  • 1969 No Pastor/ to be supplied
  • 1970 Donald Walker

 

The Pilgrim Holiness Church (later the Wesleyan Church) closed in the early 1990’s. The records cannot be found. This is a list of some of the families who were members or who attended the church. The church was so strict that many faded away after a while and found another church home.
Adams, Chester Sunday School Superintendant, Sunday School teacher, Husband of Lucy Adams
Adams, Lucy Wife of Chester Adams
Adams, Maude Sister of Willow and Chester Adams
Adams, Willow Sister of Maude and Chester Adams
Atkins, Eddie Son of Edward and Kayte Atkins; Sister to Doris Atkins
Bailey, Annette Daughter of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Betty Wife of Donis Bailey
Bailey, Donis Husband. of Betty; Sunday School Superintendent
Bailey, Fred Son of Bessie Helen Bailey
Bailey, Gary Son of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Greg Son of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Gwen Daughter of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Jack Son of Bessie Helen Bailey
Bailey, Rosemary Wife of Jack Bailey
Bailey, Sharon Daughter of Bessie Helen Bailey
Bailey,. Everett, Rev Pastor 1935-1938
Baisden, Johnnie Daughter of Nole Baisden
Baisden, Nole Mother of Johnnie , Staten Stonoff, Robert Stonoff
Ballard, Kyle Husband. of Ollie Ballard
Ballard, Ollie Wife of Kyle Ballard, daughter of Ollie Kitchen
Biggs, Billie Son of Carrie Biggs
Biggs, Carrie Sunday School Teacher, Mother of Bill, Elbert, Mildred
Biggs, Elbert Son of Carrie Biggs
Biggs, Mildred Daughter of Carrie Biggs
Blevins, Imogene Daughter of Mrs. Blevins
Blevins, Mrs. Mother of Imogene; Sister to Everett Hanners
Brooks, Gwendolyn Daughter of Elizabeth Taylor Brooks Keathley; Granddaughter of Scott and Alice Taylor
Browning, Anna Wife of George Browning
Browning, Donna Gayle Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Doris Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Doris Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Elmer Husband of Exel (Browning)
Browning, Exel Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Wife of Elmer Browning; Mother of Naomi, Jean, Doris, Joan, & Dona Gayle
Browning, George Husband of Anna Browning
Browning, George Son of Pliny Browning
Browning, Jean Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Lena Daughter of Pliny Browning
Browning, Maude Daughter of Pliny Browning; Wife of Roscoe Long
Browning, Naomi Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Pliny (Aunt Pliny) Mother to George, Maude, Lena
Buchannon, Mr. Husband of Sadie Buchannon
Burton, Bessie Mother of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Marvin Son of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Michael Son of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Nary Wife of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Phillip Son of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Willard J. (Junior) Son of Bessie Burton; Husband of Nary Burton
Buskirk, Beatrice Wife of Joe Buskirk, daughter of Alice Taylor
Buskirk, Joe Husband of Beatrice Buskirk, killed in auto accident at Switzer about 1939
Cadd, Hazel Wife of Oakley Cadd
Cadd, Hazel Daughter of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Cadd, Karen Daughter of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Cadd, Oakley Husband of Hazel Cadd; Son of Bessie Burton
Cadd, Oakley, Jr Son of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Cadd, Wilmer Son of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Carver, Elwood Son of Ora Carver; Husband of Carolyn Tiller
Carver, Jane Daughter of Ora Carver, Wife of Sam Tiller
Carver, Ora Mother of Jane, Elwood, Reggie
Carver, Reggie Son of Ora Carver
Clark (Hannah) Martha Mother to Bill and Bethel Clark;Wife of Van Buren Clark
Clark, Bethel Brother of Bill Clark; Sang with brother Bill, and played the mandolin. Became evangelistic singer
Clark, Bill Husband of Ruth Clark; Former Sunday School Superintendent; 14 years -song leader; special singer with guitar;. Pressman at Pilgrim Publishing House in Indianapolis. IN
Clark, Billy Son of Bill and Ruth Clark
Clark, Judy Daughter of Bill and Ruth Clark
Clark, June Daughter of Bill and Ruth Clark
Clark, Ruth Wife of Bill Clark; Mother of June, Billy, Johnny, Judi; Daughter of Guy & Lena Smith; Sister to Ray Smith
Clark, Van Buren Husband of Martha Hannah Clark; Father of Bill Clark and Bethel Clark; ; Died 06-1942 ; Funeral at church
Conley, Ernest Son of Mae Conley
Conley, Freda Daughter of Mae Conley
Conley, Mae
Cornwell, Ben Father of Cutis and Ernest
Cornwell, Curtis Son of Ben Cornwell
Cornwell, Ernest Son of Ben Cornwell
Cox, Edward Husband of Mrs. Cox; father of Jimmy
Cox, Jimmy Son of Edward
Cox, Mrs. Wife of Edward Cox; Mother of Jimmy
Curry, Stella Wife of Wayne Curry
Curry, Wayne Husband of Stella
Deskins, Buddy Son of Robert and Maude Deskins; Engineer in Texas; Pastored in Wayne, WV until his early 70’s; Children: Sandy, Terri, Susan & Kim
Deskins, Doran Son of Robert and Maude Deskins
Deskins, Freida Daughter of Robert and Maude Deskins
Deskins, John Son of Robert and Maude Deskins
Deskins, Kim Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Deskins, Lois Wife of Buddy Deskins
Deskins, Maude (age 103 in 2003) Wife of Robert Lee Deskins; Mother of Buddy, Doran, John
Deskins, Robert Lee Husband. Of Maude; Killed in 1935
Deskins, Sandy Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Deskins, Susan Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Deskins, Terri Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Dingess, Alberta Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Betty Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Darrell Son of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Lilly Wife of Walter Dingess; Sunday Sschool Teacher-Young Married Class;
Dingess, Mary Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Merle Son of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Norma Jo Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Ruth Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Simon Husband of Zelda Dingess; Logan County Clerk
Dingess, Virginia Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Walter Husband. Of Lilly Dingess; Sunday School Superintendent;
Dingess, Zelda Wife of Simon Dingess; replaced Simon after his death as Logan County Clerk
Edmondson, Mrs. Mother of Pete Edmondson; Sunday. School Teacher; Moved to Ohio
Edmonsdon, Pete
Ensley, Rev. Harry Pastor Supply 1937
Frye, Bernard Husband of Betty Fry; Daughter of Hattie Herald
Frye, Betty (Herald) Wife of Bernard Frye, Daughter of Hattie Herald
Frye, Deana Daughter of Bernard and Betty Frye
Frye, Kathy Daughter of Bernard and Betty Frye
Frye, Patti Daughter of Bernard and Betty Frye
Gore, Anne Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Estell Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Helen Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Judy Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Lana Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Lona Second wife of Guy Gore
Gore, Margaret Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Mary Jo Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Peggy Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Polly Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Ruth Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Simon Son of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Virginia Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Hanners, Everett Sister of Mrs. Blevins, Worked at Pilgrim Publishing House in Indianapolis, IN
Herald, Hattie Mother of Betty, Jimmy, Lafe, and Virginia
Herald, Jimmy Son of Hattie Herald
Herald, Virginia Daughter of Hattie Herald
Hickman, Rev. Hattie Pastor 1939-1933; 1939-1943
Hutchinson, Bertha Wife of Fred Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Doris Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson; Doris & another young lady did some pioneer church work in Arizona.
Hutchinson, Fred Husband of Bertha Hutchinson; Children: Virginia, Paul, Silas, Freddie, Ruth, Doris
Hutchinson, Freddie Son of Fred Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Mae Pearl Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Paul Son of Fred Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Ruth Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Virginia Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson
Hutchinson,, Silas Son of Fred Hutchinson
Jessie, “Uncle Bob”
King, Mrs. Several daughters, Pauline
King, Pauline
Kitchen, Chester Son of Ollie Kitchen; Husband of Shirley; Pastored in Wayne, WV
Kitchen, Claude Son of Ollie Kitchen, Husband. of Stella; Sunday School Teacher
Kitchen, Claude Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Husband of Stella; Sunday School Teacher
Kitchen, Ernest Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Esther Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Ethel Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Operated the Stringer Children’s Orphanage on Mud Fork
Kitchen, Exel Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Wife of Elmer Browning
Kitchen, Jenny Daughter of Tony Dress; Wife of Olus, Played the piano
Kitchen, John Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Margie Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Ollie Wife of Plato Kitchen; Mother of Claude, Ethel, John, Margie, Ollie, Ernest, Olus, Excel, Chester, and Esther; Primary Sunday School. Teacher
Kitchen, Ollie Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Olus Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Husband of Jenny Dress Kitchen
Kitchen, Shirley Wife of Chester.
Kitchen, Stella Wife of Claude
Lacy, Charles Clifford Son of Clifford and Faye Lacy
Lacy, Dana Son of Clifford and Faye Lacy; Preacher with program on WLOG radio station
Lacy, Donna Mae Daughter of Clifford and Faye Lacy
Lacy, Faye (Steel) Wife of Clifford Lacy; Mother of Charles Clifford
Lacy, Leanna Daughter of Clifford and Faye Lacy
Leadingham, Earl Son of Rev. E. E. Leadingham
Leadingham, Everett Son of Rev. E. E. Leadingham
Leadingham, Phillip Son of Rev. E. E. Leadingham
Leadingham, Rev. E. E Pastor 1951-1952, sons: Everett, Earl and Phillip
Long, Maude Wife of Roscoe Long; Mother of Barbara Long, sister to George Browning, Daughter of Pliny Browning
Long, Barbara Daughter of Roscoe and Maude Long
Long, Roscoe Husband of Maude
Marushi Freda Mae Daughter of Virginia Marushi
Marushi, Gloria Daughter of Virginia Marushi. Pianist, Married a minister who pastored at Barboursville, WV
Marushi, Virginia Mother of Gloria and Freda Mae
McCormack, Bobby Son of Virginia, grandson of Scott & Louis Taylor, Brother to Ronald
McCormack, Ronnie Son of Clovis and Virginia McCormack
McCormack, Virginia Daughter of Scott & Louis Taylor, Husband of Clovis McCormack; Mother of Bobby & Ronald McCormack
Nester, Carolyn Daughter of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nester, Debbie Daughter of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nester, John Son of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nester, John E, Rev Pastor 1958 – 1964, Children: Carloyn, Mary, John, Debbie
Nester, Mae Wife of Rev. John E. Nester; mother of Carolyn, Mary, John, Debbie
Nester, Mary Daughter of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nunley, Ben Husband of Nan; Church janitor-slept in basement
Nunley, Nan Wife of Ben Nunley
Robinson, Mrs.
Rogers, Margaret Wife of John Rogers, Mother of Hattie Herald
Samson, Beulah Daughter of George & Rena Samson
Samson, Bob Son of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Elba Son of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Luther Son of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Mae Daughter of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Mrs. Mother of Beulah, Belvia, Silvia, David
Samson, Ned Husband of Roxy
Samson, Rena Wife of George, Mother of Beulah
Sansom, Harriett Wife of Oscar Sansom, Mother of Sonia
Scalf, James F. Rev Pastor 1966 -1968
Smith, Lena Lena was church janitor, Mother of Esther Smith
Staggs, Blandine
Staggs, Cora Mother of Arthur Staggs; Later married Mr. White then Mr. Dell
Staggs, Dorothy
Staggs, Rosie
Stonoff, Robert Son of Nole Baisden; Active in Youth Society, went to Indiana to Frankfort Bible College, became an educator
Straight, Lorraine Wife of Roger Straight; Sunday School Teacher
Taylor, Alice Wife of Scott; Mother of Virginia McCormack; grandmother of Bobby McCormack; Sunday School Teacher
Taylor, Elizabeth Daughter of Scott and Alice Taylor; Wife of Johnny Jones; Mother of Johnny Jones Jr. and Gwen Brooks; Later married Clarence Brooks, then Lee Jess Keathley
Taylor, Scott Husband of Alice; Father of Virginia McCormack, grandfather of Bobby McCormack
Taylor, Virginia Daughter of Scott and Alice Taylor; Wife of Clovis McCormack
Van Briggle, Nancy Daughter of Rev. Vard VanBriggle and Margaret Jessup VanBriggle
VanBriggle, Margaret Jessup Wife of Rev. Vard VanBriggle; Mother of Nancy; Pianist, played the trombone
VanBriggle, Vard, Rev Pastor 1946 – 1950; Father of Nancy
Wakefield, Jj. C., Rev Pastor 1923 – 1924
Walker, Donald, Rev Pastor 1970
White, Ditha Wife of Wallace, mother of Doris
White, Doris Daughter of Wallace and Ditha White
White, Wallace Husband. of Ditha
Wiley, Erie Sunday School Teacher, local preacher
Wilson, Charlie Husband of Florence, father of Evelyn, Esther, Elvie, Lilly, Maxine, David, Doreen, William and James
Wilson, David Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Doreen Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Elvie Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Elvie Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Esther Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Evelyn Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Florence Wife of Charlie Wilson; played the piano
Wilson, James Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, James Everett Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson, Husband of Violet Wilson
Wilson, Lilly Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Maxine Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, William Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wooten, Bean Wife of Rev. Everett Wooten
Wooten, Corda Second Wife of Everett
Wooten, Everett Pastor 1954-1957, Husband of Bea; Husband of Corda; Father of Russell and Margaret
Wooten, Russell Son of Rev Everett Wooten; Became a minister; and pastored many years
York, Carolyn Daughter of Norwood York
York, Chester Norman Father of Bessie Helen Bailey
York, Helen Daughter of Norwood York
York, Larry Son of Norwood York
York, Patti Daughter of Norwood York

Pilgrim Holiness Church Gallery

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5 Responses to Pilgrim Holiness Church

  1. Bob Simmons says:

    I was much interested in Eddie Atkins comment about receiving awards for attendance in the church and calling them ‘religious mottos” I also was raised in the Pilgrim Holiness Church and recall those mottos we used to sell them as fund raisers in those days also.

    I have looked for one for years and years just to have for a remembrance. My father and grandfather pastored and started many Pilgrim churches. If you have any info on how I could buy or whatever one of those mottos if anyone still has one I waould appreciate hearing from you.They were usually blue or purple with sparkle around the edge with a bible verse.

    Bob Simmons
    newcov7@gmail.com

    • Bob Piros says:

      Bob,you might want to try
      http://www.pilgrimholinesschurch.org
      they’re located in Syracuse N.Y.
      phone # 315-475-2000.

      • robert says:

        When the Pilgrim Holiness and the Wesleyan Methodist Churches merged to become the Wesleyan Church some of the more radical Pilgrim Holiness Churches left the denomination, the largest being the New York district which is now called the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New Your, Inc. If you look at this web site, you will see examples of what the Pilgrim Holiness Church was like in the 1950’s regarding standards of dress, youth rallies, camp meetings, etc. When I viewed the web site it was like going back in a time machine to the 1950’s.

        I attended Eastern Pilgrim College at Allentown, Pa and sang in the Chapel Singers. Many of those churches were included in our spring tour. I especially recall singing at the Pilgrim Holiness Church at Sayre, PA.

    • robert says:

      Last week I had a long distance conversation with Doris Atkins who grew up in Cherry Tree and attended the Pilgrim Holiness Church Sunday School in the 1940’s. She is not on internet. She has a motto and would be glad to give it to you.

      Doris Vranch
      PO Box 714
      Stollings, WV 23646

      Robert McCormack

  2. Kathy McNeely says:

    Granny Kitchen was my Cradle Roll teacher. I loved her. Every Mother’s Day my sister Patty and I would buy her a handkerchief in a pretty box and take it up to her in the front row, where she always sat. We would hand it to her, give her a hug, and she would always be so sweet and thankful. I can’t remember anything she said, but I remember the love. (Of course, I was very young.) I do remember that she taught us the song, “Jesus Loves Me.”

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