Church History

A small group of people met on Rt. 46 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Snyder concerning starting a church in Keyser, WV.  The pastor would be Rev. Theodore Hartman. 

The Pentecostal Holiness Church of Keyser was formed under the Mid-Atlantic Conference on Sunday, August 4, 1974.  Our conference superintendent, Rev. Joseph A. Harrison, was in charge.  The group met upstairs on 36 Mineral Street, which was the Odd Fellows Hall in Keyser.  Twenty-three people were present. 

There were 15 charter members and one nominal member, three trustees, one deacon, and a secretary-treasurer. 

After the organization and several services in the upstairs hall, the Keyser church moved on October 20, 1974, to the Disabled American Veterans building at 432 North Main Street, the "building across the tracks."

The Board agreed to give the pastor $25.00 a month.  The first organ cost $350.00.  The first piano payment was $25.63 a month.  The full cost of the piano was $1,007.68.  The rent for the building was $75.00 a month. 

The following year, 1975, the church purchased a 1972 Dodge Van for $1,650.00.  On May 22, 1975, the Board agreed to raise the pastor's salary to $50.00. 

In November 1975, there was discussion about purchasing ground from Bro. Snyder to build a church on Rt. 46.  They decided not to purchase at this time. 

On July 3, 1977, Bro. Hartman resigned as pastor of the Keyser Church.  The church was growing fast from the seeds planted by Bro. Hartman.  Keyser Church was the fastest growing Sunday School in the Mid-Atlantic Conference during the years of 1976-1978 and was awarded a banner at the General Sunday School Convention held in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

On July 18, 1977, the church voted on a new pastor -- Rev. Wayne Funkhouser was chosen.  He and his wife, Catherine, continued to see the church grow. 

On May 9, 1982, there was discussion concerning purchasing property located on Newton Street in Keyser.  The building discussion was put on hold because of a major stroke suffered by Rev. Funkhouser.  In 1983, while at home, he suffered a stroke.  He retired from Westvaco that year in October.  Rev. Catherine Funkhouser, his wife, filled in as pastor for him while he was recuperating.  The Lord miraculously healed Bro. Funkhouser and brought him back to the ministry.  Now after retirement from Westvaco, he could pastor full time. 

Bro. Funkhouser still felt the Lord dealing with him about going forward with the purchase of property and the building of a new church.  The Sunday School started a building fund project, and the last Sunday of the month was "Poster" Sunday.  Children became very creative with their posters.  They were all made of money.  The children loved making their "money posters."  Everyone pitched in and helped by giving children money to put on their posters. 

On May 20, 1984, there was a business meeting to talk about applying for a loan of $89,000.  All members voted yes. 

In August 1984, they met with David Parrish and signed an agreement for construction of the present Pentecostal Holiness Church.  August 12, 1984, was the ground-breaking service.  Bro. Jim Lopez, pastor from the Piedmont PH Church, was our speaker.  Board member, Jim Kasmier, David Parrish, and Bro. Funkhouser broke ground that day.  The foundation was poured and the upstairs framed in 1984. 

Our first service in the basement was January 13, 1985.  In 1986, there was a change in the name.  It was changed to Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Assembly. 

When we started on the upstairs of the church, many people gave of their time and talents for the work of the Lord.  Many donations were received at that time.  The Bethel Holiness Church in Lonaconing, Maryland, gave the church a check for $5,000.00 to help complete the sanctuary. 

The church furniture arrived, and on Sunday, August 23, 1987, the entire congregation, led by Rev. Wayne and Catherine Funkhouser, marched around the church singing, "Tis a Glorious Church."  Rev. Mayo, the conference superintendent, was present for our dedication service that day. 

In 1989, central air was put in the church, and on September 8, 1993, a 16-foot steeple was erected atop the church. 

On July 10, 1996, the mortgage was paid off. 

Through the years, the church has helped plant churches in Romania and India and has helped many people and mission trips along the way. 

On March 30, 1997, we had 171 in Sunday School. 

In July 1997, Bro. Earl Williams received his Mission Workers License, and in December 1997, he received his Minster's License.  Bro. Funkhouser announced his retirement would be on February 15, 1998, because of ill health.  Bro. Earl Williams' name was presented to the church to become the new pastor.  He and his wife, Christine, were overwhelmingly welcomed.  Bro. Williams officially became pastor on February 16, 1998. 

On April 12, 1998, there were 175 in Sunday School. 

On April 18, 1998, Rev. Wayne Funkhouser went to be with the Lord after 21 years as pastor of the Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Assembly and almost 40 years in ministry for our Lord. 

In May 1998, Bro. Earl Williams received his Ordination License, and Donna Leatherman received her Minister's License. 

Property had been purchased for a parking lot.  The lot needed a retaining wall, so Bro. Williams, with others from the church, built a retaining wall in 1999.  This year the church also purchased a keyboard. 

On October 17, 1999, Sister Christine Williams went to be with the Lord. 

In October 2000, the church purchased the two buildings behind the church.  One could be rented out for a time and the other used for Sunday School rooms. 

In 2000, Rev. Earl Williams met Jeri, and in January 2001, they were married and have worked together in service for the Lord and our church. 

In September 2003, Sister Jeri Williams received her Minister's License with the Mid-Atlantic Conference. 

In September 2004, Rev. Donna Leatherman and Rev. Catherine Funkhouser received their Ordination License through the Mid-Atlantic Conference. 

In 2004, Bro. Williams and the Church Board asked Rev. Donna Leatherman if she would be the Assistant Pastor of the church.  She agreed to taking the ministry position. 

On October 29, 2006, Bro. Williams resigned as pastor, and Bro. Wesley Russ, Mid-Atlantic Conference Bishop, asked Rev. Donna Leatherman to be the Interim Pastor for the church until a pastor could be elected, to which she agreed. 

In October 2007, Randy Leatherman, II, son of Rev. Donna Leatherman and grandson of Rev. Wayne and Catherine Funkhouser, became our new pastor, and Rev. Donna Leatherman became our co-pastor. 

In November 2009, D.J. Hetrick became our youth pastor. 

In March 2011, Rev. Catherine Funkhouser went to be with the Lord at the age of almost 93. 

Presently our church continues to grow, and plans are now being made for expansion to accommodate the growth.