We are located near Niagara Falls, but still about 400 miles west of New York City. Our thirty-five churches are located within one and a half hours drive from Buffalo. Each church takes their faith seriously, cares deeply about their community, is striving to offer effective, relevant ministries.
Twenty-four of our churches are located in rural or smaller communities, with several ministering in the poorest counties in New York state. Ten churches are in suburban areas surrounding the Buffalo-metro area and we have one on Buffalo’s West side. Our churches come in all sizes with twenty of them averaging less than 100 in worship on Sunday; five churches averaging between 100-200; six ranging from 200-400; one at 600; and two over 1,000 in their weekend attendance. We are glad to have within our district, Houghton College, one of the best Christian colleges in the nation. Our summer family camp, Refresh, is held on the Houghton campus.
Western New York is beautifully covered with trees and rolling hills, and our Southern Tier, includes part of the Allegheny Mountain range. Summers are quite mild, with people making great use of the the two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario) for boating, swimming, fishing, etc. In the winter, thanks to the lakes, we are blessed with snow, great skiing, snow-boarding, tubing and snowmobiling, at a very tolerable 32 degree average temperature.
The people of Western New York do not have a typical “New York” accent and are some of the kindest people on the planet. Most cheer for the Buffalo Bills, and the Buffalo Sabres who are exciting to watch. Western New Yorkers are, also, extremely proud of their “Buffalo wings”.
71% of the 1.1 million residents of the Buffalo metropolitan area consider themselves to be adherents to some faith as opposed to 50% for most Americans. 623,000 identify themselves as Catholic; 25,000 as Evangelical Lutheran; 21,000 as Luther-Missouri Synod; 21,000 as United Methodist and 18,000 as Jewish. Only the Wesleyan Church, the Mormons and Islam have experienced growth locally since 1990.