HISTORY

     The Levant Wesleyan Church was founded during the Civil War when a young Wesleyan Methodist preacher named Emory Jones came to the thinly populated settlement of Levant. Reverend Jones held a series of meetings in a little red schoolhouse and four women covenanted together in class membership: Jane E. Putney, Martha E. Grover, Hannah Perring, and Mrs. Bachus. The Levant Wesleyan Methodist Church was organized on April 6th, 1866. Property was donated by Sophia Lindquist and through the combined efforts of D.B. Douglas and D.W. Ball, the $4,000 church was dedicated, free of debt, on November 35th, 1871.

     Under the leadership of Reverend Willard G. Steele, a new church was completed and dedicated on April 30th, 1967. This building consists of the sanctuary and a full basement, costing about $158,000. The old church was converted to a youth center and opened on April 21st, 1967.

During the leadership of Reverend Fred J. Moore, a fellowship hall and education wing were built; these were dedicated on April 24th, 1977. This addition to the church, along with the fellowship hall, included a kitchen, conference room*, pastor’s study*, church office*, and additional restrooms.

*These rooms have since been converted into our more familiar prayer room, mother’s lounge, and green room, respectively.

 

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

  • Levant member John S. Willet became one of the first graduates of Houghton College

  • Reverend and Mrs. George H. Clark and Reverend and Mrs. Robert Perring left to become some of our first denominational missionaries to Sierra Leone, West Africa

  • In 1899, the first church parsonage was built on land donated by Albert and Elizabeth Lindquist.

  • In 1902, Reverend Clarke founded the Young Missionary Workers Band.

  • The church basement was added in 1909.

  • Miss Pearl Crapo accepted God’s call to missions and served at the Wesleyan Methodist Church Mission in Port Margot, Haiti, from 1950 to 1963.

  • Mrs. Hazel Johnston Yontz and her family became missionaries to Brazil.

  • On Sunday morning, December 10th, 1950, the church edifice was partially destroyed by fire. The congregation rallied together and restored the building, rededicating it on July 15th, 1951.

  • The Levant Christian School was organized and operated in the church basement and a Northside school building from 1987 to 2003.

  • Between 2004 and 2005, the church office was moved to the second floor and remodeled.

  • Between 2006 and 2007, the children’s ministry wing was painted and renovated. Murals were creatively done with the help of Lorna Perkins and many volunteers to help make the space inviting and more kid-oriented with the hopes to create a space where children could grow and deepen their faith.

  • In 2007, the youth center was moved to the basement of the sanctuary after being remodeled and painted.

  • Levant Wesleyan Church became officially debt free on May 31st, 2009, when we as a church body were able to pay off the $1.5 million mortgage.

  • To allow space for an extension of the handicapped parking lot and to allow easier access for anyone coming to Levant, the old church building and youth center was taken down.

OUR HERITAGE

     Levant Church has experienced many changes, withstood countless challenges, and has existed only because of God’s faithfulness to see His kingdom work come about in the lives and hearts of His people. These seasons of transition have helped to shape the people of Levant and have aided in our bringing about the mission of Christ. 

PRESENT REALITY

     Recently, Levant Church has had the opportunity and resources to open its doors to people in the area to provide space for community groups to meet. We have been able to expand our outreach and influence through partnering with organizations such as Special Olympics, 4H, Upward Basketball, Aspire, Little League, Jamestown Jackals, CASA, Levant Cemetery Association, Falconer High School AP Testing, Leah Homeschool Group, and Chautauqua Lake Childcare Center. Community sports and activities hosted here have included volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, scrapbooking, crafting, and piano recitals.

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