Tabernacle Bible Church of 455 Grove St., Honesdale, PA will
celebrate their 75th Anniversary with a
special ‘Homecoming Service’ on
Sunday, May 27th at 10:30 a.m.
Dr. D. Paul Williamson, former pastor (1997-2009), will be the featured
speaker. A celebration lunch, open to
the public, will follow the service.
All friends, past and present, are invited
to join us for the celebration!
Tabernacle Bible Church (formerly known as Honesdale Gospel
Tabernacle) is the “Lighthouse on the Hill,” overlooking Honesdale from its
location on 455 Grove St., across from the Wayne Highlands Middle School.
The Tabernacle’s current pastor, John S. Banks, was voted in
by the congregation in November, 2011.
its inception, this church’s priority has been sharing God’s Word, spreading
the Good News and leading people to Jesus Christ,” says Pastor Banks.
“Looking to the next 75 years, I pray that this church fellowship will
continue to be compassionate and caring.
It is my desire that it will become widely known as a safe haven where
the hope of Jesus Christ is available for all nations, young and old. It is my desire that the heartbeat for people
will continue to grow as we love others with Jesus’ grace.”
“We have all known hurt in this life.
Some of our own making and some not.
Finding a new direction for our lives with new friends who have ‘been
there, done that,’ can make all the difference as we find a new identity in
Christ. The good news of Jesus Christ
brings real purpose for living."
Current programs available at the Tabernacle include worship
services on Sunday morning and Sunday evenings at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm. Community Fellowship Breakfast at 9:15 am followed
by Sunday School at 9:45 am for all ages.
Several adult fellowship classes are available at 9:45 am each with a
different focus. A staffed, experienced
and trained nursery is always available.
Weekly year-round Wednesday night
Bible Study and Prayer Meetings for adults, and children’s programs over the
summer months including VBS in June, as well as AWANA during the school
year. Also available year-round is a
high energy Teen Program for ages 13-18, including outings, service
opportunities, super fun activities including Volleyball Tournaments, several
summer picnics with swimming each year, Snow Camp and an over-night game night
both put on by Word Of Life.
opportunities include a vibrant Mom 2 Mom group where the older women mentor
and help the younger, Widows Fellowship with monthly luncheons and outings,
Home Builder’s Fellowship for parents of school age children and First Place 4
Health weight loss accountability group. The Tabernacle also has an on-site
counselling service through partnership with Foundations Christian Counselling.
The fellowship is excited to have purchased a five acre
parcel right next door and across from the Wayne Highlands School District
administrative offices. Plans are being
made to use the location for ministry and community outreach.
Interestingly, through the years, the Tabernacle has never
conducted a fund-raiser! The church expenses
have always been totally met through the generosity of its congregation. As special needs arose they were met with
prayer as they are today.
brief history follows:
native and author Richard Gregory came out of retirement to lead the church
from 2009 to 2011 while God’s leading for a permanent pastor was sought. Under Gregory’s leadership the fellowship
established a vision for “10 from the Tabernacle,” a desire to see members
dedicate their lives to full-time ministry.
Dr. Gregory spoke often of ‘finishing well’. After more than 50 years in full-time
ministry himself the Tabernacle had the privilege of hosting his funeral when
he went on to meet his Lord in person.
Prior to Gregory, Dr. D. Paul
Williamson led the church form 1997-2009. Under his leadership the church
branched out with missionary efforts not just locally but also globally. The church’s motto became “God’s Word
Honored, Christ’s Love Shared.” During
this time the assistant pastor position was held by Sal Santoli who headed up
the local community outreach team.
Rev. Anthony Raffa (1995-96) served as the fellowship’s
fourth pastor. He is the one who coined
the Grove St. building the ‘Lighthouse on the Hill’. He had a strong evangelistic outreach
approach, desiring to help people find hope.
Raffa was preceded by Rev. Stephen Young (1984-1994), who
oversaw the sale of the churches first property on Court Street and the
acquisition and construction of the current church facility on Grove Street, as
well as the 50th anniversary.
Young was preceded by Rev. John McAndrews (1977-84) who
brought the Wednesday night AWANA youth program to the church. The program, attended by many children from
the community each week, continues to this day and will begin its 40th
year in September 2018.
It was Rev. William Ross Pisauro, then
the pastor of Union Church in Lake Ariel, who fostered the idea of a series of
special meetings to be held in Honesdale.
At the time of the first meeting, May 25, 1943, America was in the
middle of World War II, a year ahead of the D-Day Invasion. After the success of 6 weeks of Gospel
talks held on the second floor of the Honesdale Hose Company Number One on Main
St., Pisauro began leading regular Sunday afternoon get togethers and midweek
services for young people of the area.
By November 1944 Pisauro resigned
from Union Church and moved to the Honesdale area to pastor the newly formed
fellowship. While the church was growing
and before setting down roots temporary meeting locations included the Bentley
Building, where the Trackside Grill is today; the Dolitsky Building, 823 Main
St. and 814 Court St. The fellowship purchased and renovated the Dimmock Building
(formerly Dimmock Mansion and the site of the early Wayne County Hospital) next
to the Wayne County Court House and made it their home from 1952-1994. Pastor Pisauro served the fellowship from
1943 to 1977.
Today, 75 years later, Pastor
Pisouro’s vision for reaching the people of Honesdale with the message of the
Cross is still vibrant.