The Story of LaFayette C&MA
In the early 1980′s, a group of LaFayette and Tully area residents recognized that the number of individuals commuting to the Syracuse Christian and Missionary Alliance Church warranted the consideration of potential for a daughter Alliance church to serve the population south of Syracuse. This group approached the elders of the Syracuse with a request to begin holding prayer meetings.
Thirty-one people attended the first prayer meeting, held July 28, 1982 at the home of Warren and Jean Weerheim.
In mid-august of 1982, the “white house” (located just west of the current church building) was purchased. People from the congregation volunteered evenings and Saturdays to help with renovations. Much scraping, papering, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work took place. The second floor was renovated into an apartment to house the pastor and his wife. The inside was completed first followed by outside work including insulation, scraping and painting, and enclosing both the front and back porches.
September 19, 1982 saw the first worship service held at the “white house”. Eighty-two people were in attendance. In mid-October, Sandy Booher began leading Sunday Junior Church, SundaySchool classes for all ages were instituted, and the first youth meeting was held under the guidance of Bob Stanford.
November of 1982 brought with it the formation of the Lafayette Alliance church choir under the direction of Ruby Loomis. They sang for the first time in the Sunday morning worship service on November 14th.
The white house dedication ceremony occurred in mid-December of 1982 and three days later (December 15th), the church charter was formed. Fifty-nine charter members and individuals from a membership class received the right hand of fellowship into membership at the Lafayette Alliance on January 9, 1983.
In early May of 1983, a building committee was formed and had its first meeting during which there was a survey of needs and discussion regarding potential design and construction of a new church building. Later that month, members met and voted unanimously to purchase one acre of land adjoining the church property.
The first week long Vacation Bible School was held in late July of 1983, with Uncle Elwood (Alliance pastor for Oneida) teaching the children Bible lessons. Many willing hands volunteered to assist in music, crafts, recreation and refreshments.
The first missionary conference, with Rev. Gerald Carner from India and Norma Sassaman from Columbia occurred in October of 1983.
In the spring of 1984, ground broke for the new church building. A ceremony was held April 29th. A year later, despite it’s unfinished state, the first Easter service was conducted in the new building. On September 15th 1985, the first Sunday morning service was held in the new church building with one hundred and fifty-six people present.
AWANA Clubs for children where implemented in stages beginning in March of 1986. By September, clubs had been formed for Sparks, Pals, Chums, Pioneers and Guards.
The new church building dedication ceremony occurred June 22, 1986 and within less than two years, the mortgage was paid off completely. The mortgage burning ceremony occurred March 13, 1988.
Phase II of building construction began in September of 1988 with the addition to include a fellowship hall, kitchen, choir room, nursery and seven Sunday School rooms.
In the spring of 1989, the ‘red house” was purchased with approximately 4 acres of land. Renovations began in 1990. The house was gutted , insulated and some new windows were installed. A concrete basement floor was poured with new rooms added. Additionally, new wiring, plumbing, dry wall and a hot water heating system were installed. Hardwood floors were laid in the living area. The house was pained inside and out with a new roof and trim installed. The pastor and his family moved in during 1991. Much of the work done on the “red house” was completed by volunteers from within the church. On March 27th of 1997, a mortgage burning ceremony was held in celebration of payment in full on the “red house”.
More renovation on the “white house”, currently the residence of the assistant pastor, were completed in March of 1999. They included new windows and vinyl siding, as well as a furnace, hot water heater and roof.
In September of 2000, ground broke for the new educational wing of the church. Construction including additional Sunday school rooms and a youth room was completed November 2001.