Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Stroudsburg SDA Church
The Stroudsburg SDA Church had its beginnings in the summer of 1907, when Pastor Charles Baierie; a Minister of the East PA Conference held an evangelistic meeting in a tent on the corner of Second and Main Street in Stroudsburg PA. Among those that were baptized was Carrie Banks, the mother of Tunis Banks. A temporary Sabbath School was organized with 24 members on October 5th 1907 and when the permanent organization took place on December 28, 1907 there were 43 members. In 1910 the membership of the Sabbath School had increased to 53.
The members rented halls until 1914. Land was purchased and a small church was built on Second Street almost at the same spot where the crusade tent had been pitched. The dedication service was held on Sunday, March 28, 1915. The principal speaker was H. M. J. Richards, President of the East PA Conference of SDA. He was also the father of H. M. S. Richards of the Voice of Prophecy (1929 October first broadcast)
The church building was expanded in 1919 and the original structure converted into a school. The children had Sabbath School rooms in the basement of the church. The new structure was a frame construction covered with stucco and it had a belfry and a small front porch with steps on either end. The focal point in the sanctuary was a painting of the Ascension by Pastor Charles Baierie.
According to one report a six-grade school had been in operation for several years in a converted garage on Washington Street, East Stroudsburg, loaned free of charge by Mr. Nathan Abeloff a non-SDA businessman in the community. It’s quite probable that the Church school during 1919 -1920 school year moved to the Second Street location. There were twelve students and Linnie Baumgartner Miller was the teacher.
On August 18, 1955, the church was heavily damaged in a disastrous flood in Monroe County. During the year that followed the flood Stroudsburg SDA Church worshipped in the Christ Episcopal Church in Stroudsburg. (205 North 7th Street). The members of that church had graciously reached out to the Adventist Group. Minor repairs were made to the building and school continued in the old church building. Ruth Heller was a teacher at this school between 1953 to 1955. It was also in 1955 that Tunis and Blanch Banks were hired as teachers, Mr. Banks retired in 1975 but Mrs. Banks stayed until 1978. The average enrollment at the school during the Banks tenure was 30 to 40 students.
A parcel of land on West Main Street (purchased from the Christmans) our present location, and a school with a gymnasium was built at the cost of $52,000. The school was debt free and ready for occupancy in January of 1957. The gymnasium was used as the sanctuary for church services until a church was added to this structure.
Church Services were held in the gymnasium for 11 years. On September 26, 1966 groundbreaking was held for the Church. Main speakers at this event were Pastor Donald Hunter, President of the East PA Conference of SDA and Joseph Small, Mayor of Stroudsburg. The construction of the Sanctuary and Sabbath school rooms was completed at the cost of $26,000. The first worship service was held on Sabbath May 13th 1963. By November 1975, the $33,000 mortgage had been liquidated. Dedication service was held on April 17, 1976 and the dedication sermon was given by Pastor A. J. Patzer, Assistant Vice President of the North American Division of SDA.
In 1975 the church purchased from the Christmans the building which now houses the Community Services. It was once used as machine shop then as bicycle repair shop. The services provided were quickly appreciated by the community since the church now had a central location to continue the work that it had been doing from several locations for many years. The Stroudsburg Community Services became one of the largest suppliers of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) by packing and shipping over 1000 boxes per year.
In 1989 Donald and Jan Krpalek started teaching at the Stroudsburg SDA School. Enrollment that year was 18 students from grades 1 to 8. Their presence not only enriched the school but the church was also tremendously blessed by their ministry until their departure in 1998. Joseph Ruvo served as the chair of the school board from about **1989 to 2008**
Other Pastors who served at some phase of Stroudsburg SDA Church include: Bruce Fox, B. Paul Gernet, Eugene Wood (1975- ), Z. R. Currie, and Gerald Fillman (1989-1991)
On January 1992, Pastor Dean Heisey was appointed to Stroudsburg SDA Church; membership had grown to 163. The members were dedicated to spreading the good news of the Gospel as they looked forward to the soon return of Jesus. Pastor Heisey served until July 1998.
Pastor Gerald Small served from Aug 18th 1998 to December 2008. Known as the people’s pastor he loved visiting with members, enjoyed Caribbean food, and was a frequent story teller at the church school.
Pastor James Clarke served from May 13th 2009 to December 2012. He too, was an avid story teller at the weekly devotion at the church school. He was responsible for the initial stages of the development of the proposed new church complex on the 14 acres of land that was gifted to the church by the Chrismans.
Pastor Livingstone Aaron our current Pastor began his tenure on February 9th 2013. He has the distinction of having visited all the sick and shut-ins within his first year at the church.
Helen Lazo- Principal
Mina Gravatt - Principal
Audrey Yansen 1998-2018
Blakeslee Community Worship Center
Mount Pocono Haitian
Machal Williams - Principal
West End Simple Home Church
Denise Burton Daniels
50 + Members: Edith Funk (mother of Robert Christman Sr. Comm. center leader): 1917, Marion Smith: 1931, Margret Kitchen: 1932 George Dennis: 1939
Thanks to the Following persons who helped with this compilation
- Gertrude Armitage Deceased
- Mary Lou Freeman
- Ruth Heller
- Jim and Audrey Yansen
- Robert and Julie Felker
Submitted by: Martin Wilson Dec 2018.