The building of the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville brought many people from all over Newfoundland and the United States. On Palm Sunday, 1942, Mr. & Mrs. L.S. Eddy opened up their home for prayer meetings and Sunday School. It was the first protestant Sunday School in the area, and it became known as "The Cottage Sunday School." God blessed their efforts, numbers increased, and many came to know the Lord at sister Eddy's house.
However, space was limited, and upon invitation from the Base Chaplin, Sunday School would then be held in the Base Chapel where Mrs. Eddy continued as superintendent. She also assisted in Base services for a number of years before returning to Corner Brook.
Pictured to the left is a photograph of Mrs. Eddy's home that was used for Sunday school.
Zion Pentecostal Church had its beginning in 1950. The work started with a group of Christians meeting in the home of Mr. & Mrs. P.J. McKinney, who came from the United States and built a home near the beach and opened part of it up to hold services. This was then known as "The Little Church on the Beach." Services were announced as non-denominational, and many people attended. Mrs. Ada Broomfield, an old time Pentecostal from St. John's, assisted them for several months and her ministry on the Baptism of the Holy spirit was greatly used of God. Believers were encouraged to seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and a number of them were filled.
Pictured left is an old photograph of the McKinney's house on the beach. The house was in three sections and in the shape of the letter H. The secton in the middle that cannot be seen in the picture is where the services were held. This house was located where Tip Top Auto Body is today.
In January, 1950, the little group decided to become part of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland (PAON). Mrs. Lewis eddy was named secretary and leader of the group, with Mr. Gerald French as a helper. At that time it was very difficult to buy land to build a church on, but Brother H. Laing, and Brother A. Watkins brought word to the assembly that land was available. The land was purchased on Zion Drive and the first sod was turned in May, 1950. Most of the labor in the construction of the new building was donated by members of the assembly, and under the leadership of Mrs. Eddy and Mr. French, Stephenville got its first Pentecostal and Protestant Church, which was dedicated to God in October of that year.
Over the years, the congregration continued to grow, and soon plans were in effect to build a bigger church not too far from the current one.
In 1958, under the leadership of Pastor R.T. & Mrs. King, Zion (number two) was dedicated. This building measured 35' X 60', which included a balcony and basement to accommodate the growing congregation. As with the previous building, most of the work was done for free by members of the assembly who so willingly gave of their time. The previous church building was then renovated and converted into a day school.
Both of these buildings still stand today on Zion Drive; however, have since been converted into other business establishments.
The 1960's again saw tremendous growth in the area and in the congregation, and as a result, a third and even bigger building would be sought after to accommodate the need.
In July, 1969 when Pastor Edwin King came to Stephenville as Pastor, the second building was unable to accomodate the growing congregation and the influx of boys and girls in Sunday School. Plans were then made to either build another new building, or purchase the Harmon Air Force Base Chapel which had the facilities to accommodate the growing church. This building had a large main sanctuary, as well and an annex built on which would be used for many church activities. After much negotiation with Harmon Corporation officials, the Harmon Chapel became Zion Pentecostal Church of Stephenville.
On May 9, 1971, the Stephenville Pentecostal Congregation, in its 21 year history, dedicated its third church building, with Pastor A.S. Bursey officiating, who was then serving as the General Superintendent of the PAONL.
Pictured to the left is Zion today after many renovations to the outside, inside, and grounds. Various ministries of the church use the annex to hold functions and services, the youth have renovated a room in the basement to be used as a youth room where they get together to socialize, have bible study, and play games, and the main sanctuary is open for Sunday services, and services throughout the week. In the summer, the upper parking lot is used for evening drive-in services.
Zion Pentecostal Church is a self-governing assembly, and is affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland and Labrador (PAONL). We are located on Carolina Avenue in the beautiful town of Stephenville on the West Coast of Newfoundland.