The History of East New York Seventh-day Adventist Church
In The Beginning
In 1964, there were no Seventh-day Adventist churches in the East Brooklyn area, so a few members from the Bethel Seventh-day Adventist Church got together and started a Bible study group, with the hope of setting up a group of Adventist church goers in the East New York neighborhood. The Bible study group met every Saturday at a member’s home on Dumont Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. However, the home became too small for the 20 individuals who met every week. Therefore, Pastor Edwin J. Humphrey, the pastor of Bethel, started canvassing the East New York neighborhood for a church where the Bible study group could rent and use the facility for worship services. During that time, the fledgling group, known as the East New York Seventh-day Adventist Mission was permitted to rent the Dutch Reformed Church to hold worship services.
In the summer of 1969, an evangelistic crusade, was held in the East New York area by Pastor Humphrey. As a result of that crusade, several individuals were baptized. The members of the East New York Seventh-day Adventist Mission, and the newly baptized individuals, were now fifty members strong, and had enough members to become a church.
An organization service for the East New York Seventh-day Adventist Mission to be recognized as a church by the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists was held on December 27, 1969, at 4:00 p.m., at the Dutch Reformed Church at the New Lots Avenue and Schenk Street address. George Earle, the president of the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, gave a charge to the congregation, while Pastor Humphrey and other conference officials, Robert. H. Carter, Executive Secretary, S.O. James, Patrecia Langley and the founding members of the Mission: Ornley Anderson, Lucile Bryant, John Bryant, Godwin Mitchell, Austin Carter, Mack Glasbie, Paul Glasbie, Cordelia Mitchell, Steve Mitchell, Alfred Mitchell and Mildred Johnson witnessed the new beginning for the East New York Church.
New Year and a New Church
Fresh with the excitement of the December 27 organization day still looming on their minds, the East New York Church would, a few days later, on January 1, 1972, celebrate another milestone of progress. The Church moved from the Dutch Reformed Church that they were renting, into their own building on 511 Elton Street in Brooklyn, New York. After moving into the building, the attendance of the church gradually grew from 20 members to over 400 members by 1988. The goal set by the Bethel church, ‘to bring the gospel into the East Brooklyn neighborhood’ was gradually being fulfilled. Pastor E. J. Humphrey would continue to serve as the Pastor of the Bethel and East New York Seventh-day Adventist churches until mid-year of 1972. At that time, the Northeastern Conference assigned Theodore Perry as the new pastor of the East New York church. The pastors who were later assigned East New York Seventh-day Adventist Church during its history are:
- Edwin J. Humphrey – 1969 – 1972 (Including Bethel SDA Church)
- Theodore Perry – 1972 – 1977
- H. Brewer – 1977 – 1978
- William McNeil Jr. – 1979-1983
- Ralph Williams – 1984 – 1988
- Jesse Bevel Jr – 1988 – 1991
- Charles McDonald – 1992 – 1995
- Arthur Morgan – 1995 – 1996
- Samuel Sampson – 1995 – 1999
- Eldeen King – 1999 – 2002
- Hope Ashmeade – 2002 – 2009
- Sednak Yankson – 2009 – 2014
- Jude Francis – 2014 – 2018
- Raymond Alcock – 2018 – Present