Hicksville Christian Church “Touching Lives with the Love of Christ!"
  Hicksville Christian Church                             “Touching Lives with the Love of Christ!"

Our Historical Timeline

In 1948, Elmer Kile began the work of “Go Ye” Chapel Mission, as Orchard Group was then known.  Kile had moved to New York City to prepare for missionary work in the Soviet Union. But when he saw the tremendous needs and rapid growth of New York, Kile recognized he did not need to go to the Soviet Union to find a place to serve. 


Hicksville Christian Church started from the heart and vision of Elmer Kile. Shortly after establishing a local New Testament church in Linden, NJ, Elmer Kile (wife DeLoris) who founded "Go Ye Chapel Mission" gazed across the Hudson River and felt a deep compassion for the growing population of Long Island. His sights set on Hicksville - just 20 miles east of the Big Apple with a growing population. Potato farms were quickly being replaced with homes and people - "a field white unto harvest." 



1950-53  John Baird  served as Pastor (Graduate of Columbia University, Doctorate Degree)

  • Family (Wife Eleanor)
  • Although attending Columbia University as a student and even teaching some of the classes, John and his wife graciously moved out to Hicksville to serve the Hicksville Christian Church at its inception meanwhile John commuted to the city during the week to complete his education.
  • Under his leadership with the young Hicksville Congregation, there was a "marked increase in attendance and Spirit."
  • Needed renovations were made to the fifty year-old building.
  • The young congregation made its first steps towards independence as the personal loan of $3,000. was paid back to Elmer Kile for the down payment of the $10,000. purchase price of the building and property (owned originally by the Methodists and was a vacant building at the time of purchase).
  • In the two years of his ministry at the young Hicksville Church, Brother Baird would only accept reimbersement for his expenses for his valued service.
  • After receiving his Doctorate degree, he moved back west and taught at several different Bible colleges being sure to continue his financial support to the mission back East.


1953-63  Charles Elmer Faust  served as Pastor (Graduate of Kentucky Bible College)

  • Family (Wife Penny, and four children: Cindy, Cathy, Candice Lynn, and Carol Layne)
  • Under his ten year ministry the congregation more than doubled in size
  • the building was completely paid for (1955)
  • Hicksville congregation assumed full support of his ministry
  • Under his ministry the Hicksville Church was instrumental and involved in the beginning of four other new church plants in the area.
  • Resigned in 1963 to go to Eastern Christian College, Bel Air, MD, to serve in a promotional capacity.
  • Directly following the unexpected death of founder Elmer Kile, Brother Faust became the new Director of "Go Ye Chapel Mission" from 1968 to 1990 focusing much attention in the New York area missions.
  • Now, both in their 80's still serving the Lord in Texas in their home church!


1963-70   Charles (Chuck) Fordyce served as Pastor (Graduate of Johnson Bible College)

  • Family (Wife Mildred, five children - Bill, Richard, Joanne, Carolyn, and Barbara) Started a radio program which broadcasted out of Freeport, Long Island each Sunday morning. He was faithful to preach the gospel over the airwaves and as a result, came the beginning of a new church in Jamaica, Queens.
  • Brother Fordyce also initiated the Faith Promise program at Hicksville promoting an aggressive missions budget of over $10,000. 
  • Resigned in 1970 to begin a ministry with the new church in Warminster, PA which had been "mothered" by the Fairless Hills (Levittown) congregation. During his ministry there he started "Kids for Christ" ministries in the projects of Philadelphia - reaching underprivileged children with the gospel of Christ. Many interns from Christian colleges joined him in this ministry to children in the suburbs of Philly.
  • Presently (2013) he has survived his wife Mildred and is presently awaiting his day to glory in a nursing home in Missouri. (Passed away in June 2015)


1970-71  (Two year interim period - Don Topliffe, an Elder of the Hicksville Church, served in the pulpit ministry).

  • During this interim period, under the leadership of Don Topliffe and Kenneth Houghland (Elder) a parsonage was purchased in preparation for a new minister (1 East Street, Hicksville, NY)


1971-74  David King  served as Pastor (Graduate of Cincinnati Bible Seminary)

  • Family (Wife Sharon)


1974-75  (Interim period Charles Faust filling the pulpit)


1975-78 Bob Benhardt served as Pastor (Graduate of Cincinnati Bible College)

  • Family (wife Gloria, children: Eileen, Angela, and John)
  • Continued radio program for another 18 months until cancelled by the station
  • Jennie Titus, with the help of two other women from the church, started a Nursery School ministry, which grew to an enrollement of 88 children by 1977.
  • Resigned in 1978 to work with LOVE Mission and the West Manhattan Church.
  • Presently, he is back working at Steinway Pianos in New York city (where he was employed prior to 1975), and continues to pulpit fill for both Greenpoint and Maspeth churches on occasion. 


1979-89  Tom Goodlet served as Pastor (A graduate of Empire State College, having attended both Kentucky Christian College and New York Christian Institute)

  • Family (wife Carol (daughter of Charles and Penny Faust), Children: Thomas Mark, Christine Renee, and Amanda Lea(Amy), and Rebecca Marie)
  • During the Goodlet's ministry, Vacation Bible School became a means of meaningful outreach into the community.
  • Carol graciously used her gifts to teach and encourage the women of the church.
  • Participation in the Memorial Day Parade in efforts to make the church more visible within the community
  • Average attendance in 1987 was 85, with total offerings of $68,949 and Missions giving totaling $10,372.
  • Average attendance in 1989 was in the nineties, with total offerings of $70,354 and Missions giving totaling $10,372. 
  • Gifted in music, he organized churches in the surrounding area to practice together for annual Gospel musicals.
  • After celebrating their 10th year in ministry at Hicksville, the Goodlets received an invitation from the Northside Church of Christ in Newport News, Va, to a music ministry there.
  • Presently serving the Lord in Florida



1991-1993  Joe Kelly served as Pastor


1993-1997 Steve Woods served as Pastor

  • Family (Wife Dale, Seven (adopted) children)
  • Remodeling project - The origninal parsonage on 1 East Street was sold in the 90's since Pastor Woods and his family bought a home in Amityville (formally Will Rogers' house) for their large family. The money from the sale was used to remodel the basement of the church.
  • Hosted many memorable church get-togethers in their spacious barn.


1998-01 Milton Cruz served as Pastor

  • Family (Wife Tammy)
  • In an attempt to stay relevant to the surrounding culture, Milton was instrumental in introducing contemporary music to the congregation. 
  • In three years, Milton administered forty-three baptisms, nine weddings and five funerals
  • In an effor to separate and protect our ministry from a college movement that had extreme theological views and practices, we legally changed our name from Hicksville Church of Christ to the Hicksville Christian Church.
  • In an effort to modernize the sanctuary under established renovation goals, the pews were replaced with chairs in the sanctuary.
  • Was instrumental in building up the core leadership of the church.


2001-03  (Interim period - pulpit rotation with Elders and outside speakers until full-time minister secured)


2003-Present  Dave W. Schamberg serving as Pastor (Graduate of the Word of Life Bible Institute, University of Tennessee Temple - BA, and Dallas Theological Seminary -ThM)

  • Family (wife Kim and daughter Morgan)
  • During the Schamberg's ministry, a parsonage was purchased in Seaford (2004), four miles south of the church.
  • Focusing on "our Jerusalem" emphasis was placed on sharing the love of Christ to others. Venues and opportunities to present Christ through the Hicksville Business Expo, evangelistic efforts at the Hicksville Street fair and continued gospel outreach through our Compassion ministry.
  • Partnered with Franklin Graham in Angel Tree and Samaritan's Purse for both Christmas outreach efforts and responsive disaster relief programs throughout the years. 
  • Created and maintained the church website for visibility within the community and those seeking a church home.
  • Introduced Word of Life Ministries to HCC, a very evangelistic organization as we have partnered with them in NYC outreach as well as Local church outreach.
  • Our teens look forward every summer to a week of camp on a "Very Special Island." - many have found the Lord as their personal Savior through this special week of camp.
  • Introduced Acquire the Fire Youth Ministry to our Youth Group. Our annual Conference in Baltimore, MD has been a long time staple in our Youth ministry and continues to challenge our young people to live for Christ and make a difference now! 
  • Pastor Dave and his wife Kim (pianist) have both been serving together in both the worship and Youth ministries.
  • 2013 serves as the 10th year anniversary of their ministry with us!



I would close this segment by quoting Mrs. Hilda Fyfe, a godly woman who was one of the six original charter members at the inception of Hicksville Christian Church:


When asked about her personal dreams for the future of the congregation, Mrs. Fyfe replied:


"I just hope they continue to be

the kind of compassionate people they have always been.

I hope they always continue to believe in prayer,

and they always follow the leading of the Spirit."

(October 1979)




The information and quotes above have been taken from three sources:

  • A Slice of the Big Apple written by Penny Faust, Harmony House Publisher, copyright 1999, pages 16-18, 164-177, covering a period 40 years, 1950-1990)
  • THE "GO YE" MEN (The Life Story of Elmer Kile) written by William Heuman, College Press, Joplin Missouri, Copyright 1968.
  • Personal testimonies from long-term members of the Hicksville Christian Church, some of which were under the ministry of Pastor Charles Faust, the first full-time Minister of Hicksville Christian Church.


Lifting up one another in Prayer

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