These two churches at Decatur, Illinois, and Bloomington, Illinois, considered becoming a part of the New York group, but felt that due to geographical separation, it would be better to form a self-supporting group, and work in cooperation with the New York body. In December of 1966 a committee was formed by the council of the New York Pilgrim Holiness Church, Inc. Rev. Eugene Gray was appointed as Chairman. Rev. James Southerland was appointed Secretary; Rev. John Yount, as Advisor. They petitioned the N. Y. PHC to organize an autonomous conference in the midwest.
Thus, the first five churches to join were:
Bloomington, IL (Pastor: Rev. Eugene Gray)
Decatur, IL (Pastor: Rev. James Southerland)
Evansville, IN (Pastor: Rev. John Yount)
Petersburg, IN (Pastor: Rev. James Sneed)
Franklin, IN (Pastor: Rev. Harold Jordan)
A new organization known as the Midwest Conference of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York, was then begun. June 16-25, 1967, the 1st annual Camp was held indoors at the Decatur IL PHC located at 2615 Prairie Ave. Rev. Victor Glenn (Director of Faith Missions, Bedford, IN) & Rev. James McLaren (Evangelist- Binghamton, N.Y.) were the evangelists. Mrs. Shirley Gray and Paul Gray provided special singing. Rev. Eugene Gray served as Chairman and Rev. James Southerland as Host Pastor.
The 1st Conference Session was held at the Illiana Camp Ground in Terre Haute, IN, on August 26, 1967. The Holy Spirit placed His seal of approval upon the conference from the opening prayer. Shouts arose from the congregation and numerous testimonies were given as the glory of the Lord descended upon His people. The following men served as our 1st Council:
Rev. Eugene Gray (President)
Rev. James Sneed (Vice President)
Rev. J. A. Southerland (Secretary)
Rev. C. Marion Brown (Treasurer)
Rev. John Yount (Advisory Council Member)
Rev. Ed Shemalia (Advisory Council Member)
By 1971, the Conference had become an autonomous body.
The next year they reorganized as the Pilgrim Holiness Church, Inc. --- MORE TO FOLLOW - - - STAY TUNED!!