Churches of God General Conference Logo Windsor Church of God

1125 Manor Road
Windsor, PA 17366
717-244-4324


Pastor:  Anthony Zumbo
Old Windsor Church of God
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Windsor Church of God Cornerstone

WINDSOR CHURCH OF GOD
The Church’s History
1858-2008

 

     The Rev. W.R. Weaver, in his brief historical sketch of the Windsor Church of God, located in Windsor Township, York County, near Windsor, PA, traces the history of the Church to 1858 in the following words of his presentation compiled in 1938.
     “The Church of God at this place owes it’s origin to Rev. Jacob Keller, an able and earnest minister of the Eastern Pennsylvania Eldership (now Conference) of the Churches of God, who began missionary work here in the Summer of 1858, meeting for organization at the home of one Daniel Holtzinger. 
     “The first services were conducted in this home.  Some of the first members were:  Daniel Holtzinger, Godlove Barley, George Aughenbaugh, Lydia Holtzinger, Catherine Manges, Leah Holtzinger, and Henry Hines. 
     “All the preaching was in German.  This little band of believers was faithful in serving the Lord; teaching the Word of God; and observing the ordinances, Baptism by Immersion, Feet Washing and the Lord’s Supper.    
     “Just when this small organization was planning to build a Bethel, the Civil War broke out, and many of our strongest men were called to war to settle the issue on the field of conflict, Rev. Jacob Keller, the pastor, that brave and true man of God giving his life in action on the battlefield. 
     “The little church almost died out during the war, but in 1865, Rev. J.M. Busch and Rev. J.F. Weishampel held revival meetings in this community and the church was revived and reorganized. There was a steady growth and in the year 1876 a Bethel was built.”
     The seal of the Windsor Church of God shows an incorporation date of 1861, which would seem to indicate that the Windsor Church of God , even in that early time showed promise of becoming a strong Church.  Much of the history of the Church from 1860 to 1868 was not recorded or was lost.                                The following is taken from a record of Rev. J.F. Weishample dated March 27, 1868:
     “Following a visit from Washington Boro, Lancaster County, I came to Brother Holtzinger’s home where Rev. J.M. Busch had been conducting meetings with much success. I preached in the neighborhood several nights and over the Sabbath and left after a number of persons were added to the church which is known as South York Mission which now numbers about twenty members.”
     On July 1, 1876, an article appeared in the Lancaster paper by Rev. Weishample:
     “The weak dutch Church of God in Windsor is now engaged in building a House of Worship and asks for aid.  We bid our readers to send them contributions, they are Germans, poor and few in number, but strong champions of the faith and the German interests."
     This Church Building (the first House of Worship erected by the Congregation) was built of native stone, and was used continuously by the Windsor congregation until the Second House of Worship (the one now in use) was built in the Summer of 1954 and the early part of 1955.  It was Dedicated in May of 1955.                                                                                                                                                                                     
     The Church of God at Windsor organized it’s first Bible School (Sunday School) on the 9th of May 1880.  The following officers were elected:  W.W. Liebhart, Superintendent; D.K. Ruby, Assistant Superintendent; Jacob W. Kraft, Secretary; Miss Mary Baker and Edward Clemens, Librarians; Peter Baker, Treasurer.
     Rev. O.J. Farling was appointed to Windsor Circuit in 1887 and, in 1888, he organized a church at Vander Avenue, York and the Mount Olivet Church. In the year 1926, by request of the Windsor Church, the boundaries were changed and Windsor became a separate charge.  Rev. Eli Howard remained at Vander Avenue, York and Rev. C.W. Peters became the pastor at Windsor.
     In the year 1927, the Windsor Church bought a parsonage at 22 North Penn Street in Windsor, PA. The church experienced steady growth.
     It was during the pastorate of Rev. W.R. Weaver and due to his insistence that a Church Building Fund for the erection of a New House of Worship was established.  That Building Fund grew to the point that on May 30, 1954 ground was broken, and on July 1 1954 the Cornerstone laying ceremony for the building of the New House of Worship was held.  The work progressed steadily during the summer of 1954 and the House of Worship was Dedicated to the Glory of God on May 1, 1955. The newspaper article which announced the event read as follows:
     “Windsor Church of God, organized 95 years ago, will dedicate it’s new bethel, built adjacent to the old one (formerly Holtzinger’s Church of God), several miles North of Windsor, Sunday afternoon.
     “The new brick building, 74 by 54 feet in dimension, is valued at $85,000 according to church officials.  Much of the construction work has been done by men of the 142 member congregation.  Ground was broken May 30, 1954, and the cornerstone laid July 1, 1954.  
     “Three services on Sunday will open the week-long dedication ceremonies.  Rev. Dr. C.H. Lefever, pastor of West Poplar St. Church of God, York, will bring the message at the 2 P.M. Dedication Service.  Howard and Nancy Glatfelter will sing some duets at the service.
     “Rev. G.F. Broske, pastor of the congregation since 1950, will preach the first sermon in the new bethel during the 10 A.M. Worship service.  There will be duets by Gladys Frey and Elsie Strickler, also by Vada Hilt and Charles Baker.  The 7:30 P.M. service, Rev. Dr. Roy Schreiner, Harrisburg, Editor of the Church Advocate, will bring the message and the Friendly Four will sing.
     “Other services scheduled are: Tuesday, Rev. C.W. Peters, York, Pastor from 1926 to 1930.  Music by Mr. And Mrs. Herman Smith, also by Maxine Runkle, accordionist. Wednesday, Rev. J.E. Strine, Carlisle, music by Mr. And Mrs. Austin Wright.  Thursday, Rev. H.E. Wagner, Jr., Roaring Springs, PA, pastor from 1938 to 1940. Music by the Chapel Four also by accordionist Patsy Shaw and Faye Miller.  Friday, Rev. J.D. Ensminger, Harrisburg, pastor from 1940 to 1950.  Music by a ladies’ trio from Chapel E.U.B. Church also by Fred Shaw accordionist. 
     “The Building Committee was composed of these Church Councilmen: Charles Loyd, Lester Neff and Theodore Hilt, Elders; Harry Runkle and Harry Gohn, Life Elders; Wilbert Loyd, Elias Frey, Eugene Hilt and Hannigan Frey, Deacons, and Jacob Runkle, Building Fund Treasurer.
     “Enrollment of the Sunday School is 177.”
     At the time of that Dedication Sunday in 1955, the Sunday School was presided over by Mr. Charles Loyd, Sunday School Superintendent.  Other officers were Mr. Lester Neff, Ass’t. Supt.; Frederick Flinchbaugh, Secretary; Barry Miller, Ass’t Sec.; Edna Poff, Treasurer and Jacob Runkle, Building Fund Treasurer.  The Sunday School attendance was 203 and the Offering was $49.12.  Teachers in the Sunday School were Harry Gohn, Preston Mundis, Eva Smith, Charles Kinard, Lester Neff, Charles Loyd, Gerald Herman, Eugene Hilt, Clara Loyd, Freda Hilt and Miriam Warner.
     Shortly after the congregation occupied the New Church Sanctuary, the first House of Worship was demolished and the stones therein were used to form the foundation (the base) for the Church parking lot.
     The story of this Church reminds one of reading in the Book of the prophet Nehemiah (chapter 4 verse 6): “So we built the wall and all the wall was joined together. . . etc. . . .FOR THE PEOPLE HAD A MIND TO WORK.”  The mortgage burning service for the New House of Worship was held on July 20, 1958.
     A fund to build a parsonage adjacent to the New Church was begun following the paying of the total indebtedness of the Church.  The new parsonage, a ranch type home of eleven rooms on the main floor, with full basement, which included a large area for social gatherings and a one care garage, etc. was built and dedicated on December 6, 1959.  The plans for the new parsonage were drawn up by Brother Wilbert Loyd, assisted by Roy Filmore, the builder.  The parsonage was paid in full September 13, 1963.
     In 1974, the Church parking lot was enlarged.  By 1979, plans were made to enlarge the parking area still further which was accomplished by paving an area to the rear of the church. The lot can now accommodate 80 cars.
     A new lighting system was placed in the Church Sanctuary with all the fixtures being presented by various members.  The folding curtains separating two class rooms from the Church sanctuary were replaced by more sound-proof folding dividers in early 1978.
     Between 1974 and 1979, four men of the church dedicated themselves to the preaching of the Gospel: John Baker who studied at Washington Bible College; Richard E. Smith who pursued the Conference Course of studies; Michael Walker who studied at Findlay College, Findlay, Ohio and Dr. Richard D. Smith who planned to enter Winebrenner Seminary, Findlay, Ohio in September of 1979.
     In that same time period, eighty-three new members were received into the church bringing the membership in 1979 (after losses by death, etc.) to an even 200.  Fifty persons followed the Lord in Christian Baptism during that same period. The Sunday School enrollment showed 224.
     The Fiftieth Anniversary of the new Church building was held as a “Homecoming and Anniversary Celebration” on Sunday, October 24, 2004 at 9:00 AM. The morning service held messages from Rev. William Smith, the presiding Pastor, and former pastor Rev. Russell Aults. A video of the construction of the new church was narrated by New Tribes Missionary, David Hilt who had grown up in the Windsor Church of God.
     A luncheon was served in the Parsonage Social Room after the Morning Worship Service.  The menu was soups and sandwiches along with an Anniversary cake and drinks. 
     An afternoon service was held at 2:00 PM with messages and remarks from former pastor, Rev. Preston Lucas; Dr. Michael Walker, pastor of Bowmansdale Church of God; David Hilt and Pastor William Smith.  A second video was shown, different from the morning’s video, showing the construction of the new church. It was a time of remembrance of people and happenings over the years which was aided by Memorabilia Displays containing photos in the Vestibule and Downstairs. Memories were also jogged by “Remember When. . . “ remarks by Vada Himes in the AM service and by Norva Junkins in the afternoon service.  
     The following is a list of pastors who served the Windsor Church since it’s founding.  Those named from 1926 until the present are those who have served since it became a station.

 Rev. Jacob Keller                  1858-1865                             Rev. L.C. Sollenberger         1905-1906

Rev. J.M. Busch                      1865-1868                             Rev. W.J. Grissinger             1906-1908

Rev. F.J.Weishample             1868-1869                             Rev. J.F. Fleegal                    1908-1909

Rev. John Sherborne            1869-1870                             Rev. C.D. Rishel                     1909-1912

Rev. S.C. Stonesifer               1870-1872                             Rev. C. Carmichael               1912-1913

Rev. H.C. Hockenberger      1872-1875                             Rev. G.H. Knox                       1913-1914

Rev. C. Knoll                            1875-1877                             Rev. L.H. Eckart                     1914-1916

Rev. H. Heis                             1877-1878                             Rev. W.H. Shade                    1916-1925

Rev. I.A. Albert                         1878-1879                             Rev. Eli Howard                     1925-1926

Rev. H.W. Long                       1879-1882                             Rev. C.W. Peters                    1926-1930

Rev. F. Still                               1881-1884                             Rev. W.R. Weaver                  1930-1938

Rev. S.E. Herman                   1884-1885                             Rev. H.E. Wagner, Jr.            1938-1940

Rev. H.C. Banzhoff                1885-1887                             Rev. J.D. Ensminger             1940-1950

Rev. O.J. Farling                     1887-1891                             Rev. G.F. Broske                    1950-1964

Rev. J.H. Martin                       1891-1901                             Rev. Russell Aults                1964-1974

Rev. S.E. Kline                        1901-1902                             Rev. Preston Lucas              1974-1982

Rev. H.W. Long                       1902-1904                             Rev. William C. Smith           1982-2005

                                                                                                    Rev. Anthony Zumbo            2005-