CASSADAGA - Members of the Cassadaga Community Baptist Church held the annual meeting in the Church Fellowship Hall. The church is completing its 179th year of being a mainstay in the Cassadaga Valley area. The history of the church dates back to 1833, "when a group of people came over the Stockton hill to be baptized in the Cassadaga Lake and form the church." The land which the building is on, was conveyed to the trustees in 1836, and the building was constructed, with the bell being purchased from a firm in Pittsburgh.
The meeting, which is for the purpose of reviewing the last year's activities of the boards and committees, is also to look to the future for the good of the church. This year's meeting began following a luncheon coordinated by Scott and Vanessa Dibble, which also included many desserts brought by the members. The meeting was led by John Sipos, who is completing his 24th consecutive year as the moderator of the church. Sipos said that in the history of the church, "there have been many someones who have used their talents and treasures to build the church and keep it operating for this length of time."
Sipos has been active with the church for 37 years, serving in the Church as Sunday School superintendent, Vacation Bible School director, twice on the constitution revision committee and a Sunday School teacher for 16 years. Sipos is also the historian for the church, and did not encourage anyone to try and move his box of historical records, which is very full.
For the annual meeting, a booklet of reports from the various boards and committees was prepared and given to everyone who attended the meeting. Special thanks were given to Susan Sipos for using her computer talents in creating the cover of the booklet. Mrs. Sipos also serves as the treasurer of the American Baptist Women's Ministries. Special thanks were given to all who donate their time and efforts to make the operation of the church run smoothly. As Deacon Scott Dibble said, "all of the people wear many hats in this church" to do their part in helping.
Pastor Tim Miller opened the meeting with a prayer asking that the church be very successful in its future endeavors. Miller has served the church for the last quarter of the year, after the resignation of Pastor Max Cross, who was the pastor and associate pastor for eight years. Appreciation was extended to Pastor Cross and his wife for their many years of devoted service to the church.
The church holds Sunday morning services beginning at 10:45 a.m., and Sunday School classes are held each Sunday beginning at 9:15 a.m. for all age groups. The young people of the church today will be the leaders of the church tomorrow.
The boards of the church meet once a month on the first Tuesday evening. The boards meet together to share ideas. Deacon Dibble said "we are in an ever-changing world and the church has to keep up with changes." Pastor Miller said that "we need to remember the mission of this church, and that we need to reach out to those of the community." Member Karen Smith also added to the importance of the church reaching out to the community. One of the local missions of the church is the food pantry, and a report was written by Eleanor Esch and Carol Higgs.
Richard Watt, church treasurer, will begin his 20th year in that position.
The trustees report, written by Thomas MacKinder, listed all of the accomplishments in the last year, and included a "wish" list of new projects for this year.
The spring church rummage sale will be held in May.
Vanessa Dibble gave the clerical report which included three baptisms, four new members and one marriage during the past year.
Usher Norman Waterman, who served for many decades, was remembered at the meeting.
The Cassadaga Community Baptist Church is located at 25 Maple Avenue in the village, and welcomes visitors and new members.