The start of the Springfield Assembly of God dates back to the summer of 1956. A young bible college student, Roger Brophy, was on summer break from his studies. He, with a couple of his friends, went to his hometown of Springfield, Vermont. During this time of summer vacation, Roger, his friends and fellow students David Hannah and Joseph Molton, were led of God to start a church in this thriving machine tool town located in the Connecticut River Valley of Southern Vermont. The street corner evangelism that these young men did that summer, would ultimately lead to church services at an old schoolhouse on Spencer Hollow Road. From those beginning services, at what then was the Spencer Hollow Club building, that group of people grew into a congregation. In October of 1956, the church services were moved to the Springfield Community Center. Reverend Dumitri Turk became the Pastor of this church as Roger and his friends went back to their studies.
Rev. Turk, as the first Pastor, eventually had to move the church services once again. This time the church met at the Westview Community Hall in the Westview Apartment complex on Westview Terrace in town. These series of moves prompted Rev. Turk to lead the congregation in the desire to purchase land to build on. In the summer of 1958, they looked into purchasing the property on the north side abutting the Westview complex. The owners, the Barlows were asking $30,000 for approximately 19 plus acres of land and a house. At that point, the Pastor and the board gave up on that due to money constraints. But God had His Hand on this and was in control. The spring of 1959, Mr. Barlow approached Pastor Turk asking if the church was still interested in the property.
He was willing to sell it to them for $10,000! Pastor Turk applied for a loan but because the bank considered it a commercial purchase and not residential, the bank would loan only $6000. Pastor Turk convinced Mr. Barlow to make a $500 donation, with $600 in the building fund, the remaining money needed was just under $3000. In Pastor Turk’s journal he kept, his mom and Mr. & Mrs. LaFrance loaned the church the remaining money needed interest free and the repayment terms were set by what the church could do! So, in July of 1959, the Springfield Assembly of God bought the property where the church is to this day. Praise the Lord! But God was not through. In the early part of 1960, it had been decided to sell the house along with 3 acres of land. A businessman, Carl Austin, who was in the monumental stone business, viewed the property and bought it for $9500!! God is great. So in one year, all the notes were paid off and the church owned the land AND debt free. Pastor Turk, impressed by God that his ministry in Springfield was complete, resigned and by late summer, a new Pastor took over.
The church continued to meet at the Westview Community Hall for a few more years. In May of 1962, Rev. John Burnell became Pastor of the church. The following year, September of 1963, Pastor Burnell and the congregation decided to start building the church structure. It would have six classrooms, a Pastor’s study, a five-room parsonage, as well as the meeting auditorium. Following a groundbreaking ceremony, Rev Burnell contracted Rev. Turk (who was at the time in Keene NH) to build this church building. Work on the building progressed as funds would allow. The parsonage was complete in July of 1965 for the Pastor and his family to move in, with services starting to be held at the incomplete building around that time. At last, on November 28, 1966, a dedication ceremony was celebrated at the completed Springfield Assembly of God Church. Finally, after ten years from it’s interception, the congregation had a home.
Through the rest of the sixties and seventies, the church experienced growth, both spiritual and financial, even with several pastoral changes. In September 1982, Rev Carroll Langley and his wife Lorain became the Pastors of the church. Their ministry, from 1982 until his retirement in 1999, brought the congregation stability and another building program. Their vision for the church was Sunday School. They put much tireless effort into the Sunday School, expanding the program with an eventual fleet of buses. This, of course required more classrooms, curriculum expansion, facilities needed expanding as well. One of their guiding scriptures was Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” So, the building was expanded to move the parsonage up to all one level. That would allow more classrooms to be added, and the sanctuary was expanded to accommodate growth of the congregation. This building program also added handicap access ramp to the downstairs and to the sanctuary. Jesus Christ has, and will always be, taught to both the young and old so all will grow to a mature relationship with this wonderful Saviour.
We are so grateful to the Lord for His faithfulness to this church. Throughout the over 50 years the Springfield Assembly of God has existed, God has reigned supreme in our church. His Holy Spirit continues to guide and lead this congregation. His Presence is truly among us as we meet and we will continue to seek His Will, for our individual and corporate lives, until our Lord comes to take His Glorious Church (His Believers) home.
We want to thank the families of Rev. Dumitri Turk and Mrs. Isla White for sharing their loved ones memoirs and old newspaper articles so this history page could be published on this website.