God's People at St. Timothy
The following is a short history of the origins of this congregation, but more significant is the story about the people. The dates are recorded milestones in the history of this congregation. Beneath and between these dates lies the real story of people’s lives – God’s people coming together in faith and love of Him, community, and world. While the building was being planned, St. Timothy was the community "Suitcase Church", where there were births, baptisms, and deaths. There were periods of joy and grief. Some members of St. Timothy have been present from the beginning or close to it. Others have died or moved away. Through the years, people moved in, around, and out of the building, each with a life lived in faith that helped form the present congregation. Imagine those lives while reading through the numerous events outlining the history of a friendly, faithful people. So to how it all began …
In 1957, the Rev. Jon T. Keekley of Florida surveyed the Hyde Park area as a mission developer for the Atlantic District, and by January 1958, the first worship service of St. Timothy’s was held at the St. James Episcopal Chapel. A Couple’s Club and the Luther League was soon established, and the first Confirmation was on 23 November, 1958. On 17 May, 1959, the St. Timothy Charter Consecration Service was held with certificates presented to 52 charter members. The Installation Service for Pastor Keekley took place on 12 June, 1960.
During the 1960’s, St. Timothy’s started the tradition of being active in the Hyde Park community with participation in 4th of July parade floats, and won first place in 1966, with the theme: "God Bless America on its 190th Birthday." Pastor Keekley moved from St. Timothy’s in 1965 to serve a Canadian congregation.
In December, 1965, the installation of Rev. Donald Hoger occurred. His wife, Lois, took over the choir reins.
By 1973, "The Suitcase Church" moved from St. James to the Grange Hall. However, the following year, the Grange Hall caught fire destroying all contents including the new communion ware. St. Timothy found a new home at the Dutch Reformed Church, with the confirmation class confirmed on 2 June, 1974. The moving wasn’t over, as St. Timothy’s congregation then moved to the Moose Hall and mid-week Lenten services rotated among the homes of members. Finally, on 18 July, 1976, groundbreaking ceremonies took place with construction scheduled to begin in September. With a budget of $50,000 and donated labor from BOCES students, construction plans were becoming a reality, but before completion, the building was damaged in a thunderstorm after a tree snapped and toppled onto the southwest corner. During this time, a 55-year old pipe organ, valued at $40,000 was bought by St. Timothy members for $4,000. It was brought from Deliverance Temple in Newburgh by many of our members and stored to await completion of the church. The Christmas Eve Service of 1977 took place in the lower level of the current building, and on 25 June1978, Sunday service took place in the lower level with a building dedication that afternoon.
In January of 1994, Pastor Hoger retired. Maria Knight became our faithful church secretary. On 4 December 1994, Rev. Richard E. Johnson was installed as the new vacancy pastor. His wife Donna was also warmly welcomed, and she soon became instrumental in Sunday School and other activities. In October of 1995, a new Sunday School and Adult Bible Class was begun. St. Timothy joined the 150th Anniversary observance of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod in May of 1996. Other events through the years were the annual Family Picnic, Rummage and Bake sale to benefit the Elevator Fund, and the start of the Family Worship Sunday in 1998.
In 2004, Pastor Johnson retired. However, full retirement wasn’t the case for either Pastor Johnson or Pastor Hoger. They continued to preach the Word at St. Timothy as their schedules allowed. Many outstanding men came to preach while the congregation remained in a vacancy position. Due to tremendous dedication by the St. Timothy leaders and members, some took on the role of preaching the Word when pastoral services were not available. The membership remains close and determined to provide a loving atmosphere for all who enter the doors of St. Timothy. After a long search for a candidate to fulfill the pastoral role, Wayne Olson, was installed as Vicar on the 2nd of December 2007. He was ordained as Pastor of St. Timothy on 13 October 2012, and recently celebrated his 10th year of ordination.