but the laborers are few
THE FIELDS ARE RIPE
In the late 1950s, several families from Portville, NY were attending the Calvary Baptist Church in Olean, NY, under the leadership of Reverend Ira Weyhe. Through his encouragement and support, the building of a sister church was started in Portville. By 1960, a storefront on Temple Street was converted and began holding the first services of Portville Baptist Church with Pastor Robert Worthington serving as the pastor. God blessed this ministry in Portville and the congregation increased. Five years later, the property at 24 Temple Street became available and construction quickly began on the new place of worship for Portville Baptist Church.
Reverend Richard Cughan became the second pastor in 1967 and served for the next twenty-four years. With the growth of his ministry, the need for more space became apparent. A large addition, including a gymnasium, was added in 1973. During this time, several church families became concerned with the education of their children. Because of this concern, Portville Baptist Christian School was started in 1980 and continued through June 2018.
After the end of Reverend Richard Cughan’s ministry in 1991, Dr. Howard Longcore provided a four year interim ministry until the arrival of Pastor Terry Gibson in 1995. Pastor Gibson became the fourth pastor at Portville Baptist and led a community oriented ministry for ten years. At the end of his ministry, three years elapsed without a pastor, but God provided godly retired pastors to fill the pulpit.
Reverend Fred Kemp became the fifth pastor in 2008 and ministered for three years.
In 2012, God brought Pastor Robert Cook to Portville as the interim pastor. Pastor Cook had retired after a life-long ministry as pastor at various churches. With his heart for people, Pastor Cook has been instrumental in bringing unity and growth to the congregation. During Pastor Cook's ministry, many physical improvements have been made to both the church building and parsonage, including a new metal roof, concrete walkways, landscaping and a beautiful church sign.
Pastor Brandon Hollis was then called as the sixth pastor and served our congregation from October 2018 until April 2021.
Today, our church is shepherded by Pastor Mark Beckwith. Due to growing convictions regarding Baptist distinctives and a desire to serve Christ's Church as an overseer, Pastor Beckwith along with his wife (Dannielle) and two children (Adelyn and Camden) began attending our Lord's Day worship services on Christmas Day in 2022. A thorough examination of the life and ministry of Pastor Beckwith began with him serving as pulpit supply on January 15, 2023, and it culminated with the church welcoming Pastor Beckwith as an undershepherd beginning October 2023.