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A brief history
Community Wesleyan Church, Kirkville was formed by a group of people who attended the Fyler Community Union Orthodox Church and people who attended the Manlius Center Church. Both churches were served by Wesleyan pastors for many years.
The idea to start a new church began in 1961 when the group met with officials of the Wesleyan Methodist Church to negotiate purchasing 23 acres of land to build a new church. Rev. Thomas Boghosian who was part of the Champlain Conference at that time, had moved into the area to lead the Manlius Center Church and also took on the task of starting the new church in Kirkville.
In September of 1961, construction began on the parsonage and basement chapel. On March 5, 1962, Rev. Boghosian and family moved into the completed parsonage. The first service was held in the basement chapel a month later on Easter Sunday, April 22, 1962.
Services were held in the parsonage basement until the first level of the church was finished. In September 1962, construction started on the new church building. By March 1964 the downstairs basement first level of the church was completed and another first service was held on another Easter Sunday in 1964. The Sanctuary which is on the second level of the church was completed by Christmas of 1966. The first service that was held in the newly finished sanctuary was Christmas Sunday, Dec. 25, 1966.
In 1980, a two story educational unit was added on to the church. This included the overflow room and Sunday School area. Rev. Dr. Kelvin S. Jones developed two worship services in 1996. Noah's Ark Christian Preschool was founded in 1997.
Community Wesleyan church started out with just one church service at 11:00am. Sunday School was originally held at 9:45am until 2011.
In 2001-2004, many new improvements were happening around the church. The parsonage was remodeled to include a new larger dining room, replacement of windows, a new garage, and a new roof. Air-conditioning was installed in the sanctuary and a new church sign was installed in the front of the church. In 2004, a new addition was added on the west wing of the church, providing a new Noah’s Ark Preschool classroom, new upstairs classroom, and pastor’s office.
In 2012, our church celebrated its 50th Anniversary. During this time, we remodeled our kitchen, revamped the vestibule and installed new carpeting in the front of the sanctuary, for the first time since the original carpet. In 2013, new spot lighting was also installed and in 2014, new LED flood lighting was also installed to complete the lighting project. A new parking lot repaving the existing driveway and adding more parking spaces was completed in 2015.
On January 25, 2013, Rev. Dr. Eric Paashaus, who was the Associate Pastor at Community Wesleyan was voted unanimously to become the new Pastor upon Pastor Kelvin Jones retirement on June 16, 2013. He began his pastorate on June 17, 2013 and was officially installed as Senior Pastor on Sunday June 23, 2013 by Rev. Wayne Wager, District Superintendent. Under Pastor Eric's leadership, the second service is now a traditional worship service that sings hymns as praise with Dick and Fran Filmer on organ and piano and Dave Schwarz as the Worship leader.
In May 2014, the difficult decision was made to close the Noah's Ark Preschool due to low enrollment numbers, the director Pat Maum wanting to retire and teachers leaving. The Noah's Ark Classroom was repurposed as new Jam'n Kids Zone area and is led by Mrs. Magda Paashaus.
Pastors at Community Wesleyan Church
Rev. Thomas Boghosian
Rev. James Blaine
Rev. Edward Crandall
Rev. M. Richard Wolfe
Rev. Jay Whitaker - Assistant Pastor for visitation and evangelism
Rev. James Blaine
Rev. Dr. Kelvin S. Jones
Rev. Dr. Eric J. Paashaus (Assistant/Associate)
Rev. Dr. Eric J. Paashaus (Senior Pastor)
Rev. Benjamin Wade (Assistant Pastor for Youth/Administrative)