God's People at St. Timothy
The following discourse is about significant events and related facts in the history of St. Timothy. However, the rest of the story is about the people. The dates, etc, are recorded milestones in the history of this parish. 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, and St. Timothy was the community "Suitcase Church", 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 price 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 June, 1978, 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 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.
St. Timothy's became the recipient of a piano in memory of Howard Bernard. A grand celebration taking place on the afternoon of March 30, 2008. Included in the program were selections of the St. Timothy Choir, with vocal and instrumental solos by Susan Brembs, Lois Hoger, John Knight, Michael Kolta and Barbara McGuckin. A reception was held afterward.
During Sunday Services on June 22, 2008, Vicar Olson recounted the events of our building dedication 30 years ago in 1978. A potluck luncheon followed the worship service to celebrate and remember. Fathers and recent graduates were also honored at the luncheon.
On September 14, 2008, we said farewell to our Organist and Vice President, Susan Brembs. Following Worship Service the congregation gathered for a farewell luncheon. Mrs. Brembs was presented with a vase in thanks for her dedicated service to St. Timothy. We welcomed Lois Hoger as Organist during her installation at Worship services on September 21, 2008.
A Lutheran Women in Mission (LWML) society, after an absence of over 40 years from St. Timothy, was formed on June 11, 2009. On June 28, 2009, a special meeting was held following worship service to select leadership. The following were chosen for the 2009-2010 term: Linda Olson, President; Karen Dale, Vice-President; Julia Ahlquist, Treasurer; and Rochelle Cohen, Secretary. The ladies of the society chose the name "Mite-y Angels", and have organized many activities including: Silent Auction, Bake and Tag Sale, Christmas Dinner, Shipment of personal items and cookies for Navy personnel in Afghanistan, LWML Sunday, and a Blood Drive.
For 2012, a few changes took place. The much loved Lois Hoger retired as Organist, and we also said our farewell's to Maria Knight, who served as Church Secretary for 18 years. Janet Feimer took on the role of Parish Assistant following Maria's retirement from a job well-done. "Vicar" Wayne Olson became our Pastor on Saturday, October 13, 2012, being Ordained and Installed by First Vice-President Rev. Dien A. Taylor, and assisted by Rev. Derek Lecakes, Rev. Jonathan Ellingworth and Rev. Victor Nelson. Parish members are making a good transition of changing from 5 years of saying "Vicar" to now saying "Pastor".
On October 15, 2017 the St. Timothy Congregation celebrated Pastor Olson's fifth year as an ordained minister. His wife, Linda, sang "I the Lord of Sea and Sky" during the procession, and the choir sang several lovely hymns throughout the Divine Service. Following the service, a potluck luncheon was held.