East Aurora Wesleyan Church History
The East Aurora Wesleyan Church began as an outreach endeavor of the Ellicott Church, now Wesleyan Church of Orchard Park. A prayer meeting was started in 1917 in the home of George Newbury. Later, tent meetings were followed by a revival in a local schoolhouse. On August 13, 1920 a group was organized in the home of Dela Place.
Four years later a tabernacle was built on N. Willow Street and dedicated under the leadership of Rev. George Bathhurst. The church continued to be an outstation of the Ellicott Church until 1933, when Rev. George Osgood was called as the first full-time pastor.
The church rented the abandoned Universalist Church on Main Street in 1935. The tabernacle was sold in 1951 and the Main Street church and parsonage were bought for $18,000. An additional building from the Episcopal Church across the street was also annexed.
Under the ministry of Gary Beers the outreach endeavor Church in the Park was established in nearby Hamlin Park. This ministry continues each Sunday in August, to date. Another outreach program, initiated by Pastor Rich Nightingale includes Movies in the Park, animated films for families, every Friday night at dusk in Hamlin Park, through July and August.
During the past 20 years the church has been known in the community for these outreach efforts, as well as its musical productions, youth and children’s ministries, including Toytown Preschool, which has had a strong impact on the children of the community spanning the last two decades.