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Chamber Awards Gala: Ransomville Business of the Year, Fillmore Chapel United Methodist Church

by jmaloni
Sat, Apr 20th 2013 07:00 am
Pictured are members of the Fillmore Chapel congregation.
Pictured are members of the Fillmore Chapel congregation.

Submitted by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will recognize 10 area individuals and businesses at its annual Chamber Awards Gala, Friday, May 17, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.

In addition to the tributes, the annual event will feature an evening of live music, a silent auction, table wines donated by local wineries and businesses, and hors d'oeuvres followed by a sit-down dinner.

2013 Ransomville Business of the Year

The Ransomville Business & Professional Association has chosen Fillmore Chapel United Methodist Church as the 2013 Ransomville Business of the Year award recipient. The church has been a steward of the community and helped make the 25th Ransomville Lighting of the Wreaths event a huge success. For the second year in a row, a church has received this award, showing that community spirit and a dedication to making Ransomville a better place to live and work is strong.

Located at 2523 Youngstown-Wilson Road at the intersection with Ransomville Road, Fillmore Chapel has served the community long before the 1852 structure was built. The original furnishings of the congregation are still in the church, including the pulpit and pews that connect worshippers with a long history of sharing God's love in the community. At the same time, modern technology, including a sound and projection system, invites those gathered to experience the presence of God through music and visual imagery.

Pastor Anne Cole has led the church for the past three years. She is the first female pastor at the church and has helped motivate the congregation to take a more active role in the community and work collaboratively with other organizations and churches.

Worship service is held on Sundays at 11 a.m., with Sunday school for the children at 11:15. Children participate in the first part of the service and then attend their own program, which includes a puppet ministry.

Jeanette Brooks has been the organist/pianist for many years and provides the music each Sunday. Oftentimes, there are others who provide special music, including groups from other local churches.

Fillmore Chapel also holds a worship service at the Ransomville Manor the first and third Sundays of each month at 9:30 a.m.

Thursday night Bible study is held at the church each week at 7 p.m. During the summer, the Vacation Bible School program is popular with children from all over the community. VBS will be held this year Aug. 19-22 from 6 to 8 p.m. each day. The VBS program is a collaborative effort, with three other United Methodist churches in the area.

Service to Community

The focus within Fillmore Chapel's congregation has been one of service. Members from the adult group at the church volunteer with the Care-n-Share Food Pantry in Ransomville as well as the WNY Food Bank. The congregation supports the Heart, Love and Soul food pantry in Niagara Falls with financial gifts and donations of food. Both Pastor Anne and congregation member Claudia Fleckenstein serve on the board of directors for the food pantry.

Other local community efforts included the painting of "Grandma Carter's Fruit Stand" at the Ransomville historical room, raking leaves and church members performing other tasks for those who can't in and around the Ransomville hamlet, as well as revitalizing the Lighting of the Wreaths program. The congregation also actively participates in Ransomville's Community Faire.

As noted, 2012 marked the 25th year for the Lighting of the Wreaths in Ransomville. Members of the congregation took it upon themselves to organize and provide leadership, as they solicited help from community members and businesses to ensure that the 25th year was a success. It was a big undertaking for the group, but there was a lot of help from members who took the lead on several aspects of the event. In fact there was so much enthusiasm and great ideas, that everything just came together.

Meetings for the 2013 event have already taken place at the church, using the positive feedback received, with a goal to make each year better than the last and encouraging greater participation from the community.

Goals for the church include continuing the ministry and programs that started recently, and continuing to share God's love with the congregation's neighbors in ways that make a difference in Ransomville and the surrounding community. Fillmore Chapel is a dynamic congregation that loves Jesus passionately and desires to share his love with others. Many in the congregation also attend training courses to offer new activities and programs that might fit a need in the community.

Fillmore Chapel is collaborating with other churches to implement "Grief Share," a new program designed to help others get through tough times. The church's website is being used as a tool to help get more information out. Expanding the digital footprint is in the plans, with more photos and video, aiming to keep the communication open and up to date.

For more information on Fillmore Chapel, call 716-791-3815, visit http://www.FillmoreChapel.org, or stop by on Thursday at 7 p.m. for Bible study or a Sunday service at 11 a.m.

The Ransomville Business & Professional Association and the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulate Fillmore Chapel United Methodist Church as the 2013 Ransomville Business of the Year.

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