Ebenezer Seventh-Day Adventist Church

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Ebenezer Church Histoy
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SEVENTH·DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH

1911 - 2001
 This is a summary of the continuing history of the Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church by those who remembered, lived, and knew it best.
In 1911, the year that the first million dollars for missions was reached in the world-wide Sabbath School offering, the Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized. Perhaps this was a providential coincidence, since Ebenezer later established several churches in the greater Philadelphia area through the branch Sabbath School program.
The original 16 members of the Ebenezer congregation came from an integrated group formed by the East Pennsylvania Conference. That church group was formed in 1908 and met over a pharmacy on Fairmount Avenue near Eighteenth Street. The Negroes from this group formed the first Negro Seventh-day Adventist Church in this area.
The first church building for this new group was 1700 North Woodstock Street. During the next nineteen years the church moved at least eight more times. From February 1911 until August 1930, the church moved to these locations: 1700 North Woodstock Street, 19th and Reed Streets, 18th and Latona Streets, 16th and Kater Streets, Lombard Street between 15th and 16th, 12th and Bainbridge Streets, and 15th and Christian Streets.
It is widely reported that after two tent meetings and many new converts added, the congregation outgrew the facilities they were using. The Pastor approached the conference officials about purchasing a building but were told to continue using the tent they had used for the meeting and to put a heater in there for the winter. The Pastor and other influential members began to look around for a building to purchase for the church.
On August 20, 1930, the Ebenezer Church was purchased in the name of George Hampton because the congregation was not incorporated and could not buy property. The East Pennsylvania Conference, with whom the Ebenezer Church was affiliated at the time, was not involved in the purchase.
The church was purchased from the African Methodist Episcopal organization. Bishop Caldwell was the leader of that group. His congregation objected to selling to the Seventh-day Adventists. But he prevailed, and the church was sold to our congregation. The sale took place in 1930. On June 17, 1931 the title to the Church was conveyed to the Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Pennsylvania Corporation.
The first Church School was started about 1919 at the 16th and Lombard location. Elder R.L. Bradford was the Pastor of the then South Side Church, and the teacher of the school.
Ebenezer has been, and continues to be, a leader in education and human services. A church school was sponsored for many years as the Ebenezer Day School on the the first floor of the present church building. From there the school moved to a modern school building at 6007 Larchwood Avenue and became known as the Larchwood School. Other area churches now became partners in obtaining the new school, but the deposit to secure the purchase was provided by the Ebenezer Church. The growth of the school, now sponsored by several area churches, forced a move to the present facility which houses offices of the Allegheny East Conference as well as the Larchwood School. The current location is Thouron and Sedgwick Streets in the West Oak Lane section of the city.
Through the years Ebenezer has been pastored by many outstanding and distinguished men.Without listing each progressive title, here are some of the major offices once held or now being held by each man: Elder F.L. Bland, Vice President of the General Conference; Elder G.E. Peters, Secretary of the North American Negro Department; Elder T.H. Branch, Superintendent of the Malamulo Mission, Nyasaland, Africa; Elder W.A Thompson, Executive Secretary of the Columbia Union Conference; Elder J.G. Dasent, President of the Lake Region Conference; Elder D.E. Simons, President of the Allegheny West Conference; Elder M.A Burgess, M.V. and Education Secretary of the Allegheny Conference; Elder J.H. Lester, Executive Secretary of the Allegheny West Conference: Elder J. Milton Thomas, Director of Church Growth of the Northeastern Conference: Dr. A.R. Jones, Family Life Director of the Allegheny East Conference; and Elder Charles Cheatham, Executive Secretary of the Allegheny East Conference. Pioneer workers with long years of service were Elder R.L. Bradford, J.B. Mallory, J.E. Cox, and T.M. Rowe. A veteran in God's service was Elder W.M. Fordham. The inspiration of these leaders, combined with the enthusiasm and dedication of the members, has led Ebenezer to a consistent program of evangelism. The results have been ten churches started by Ebenezer Pastors, Bible Workers, colporteurs, Sabbath School workers, and laymen. Through the years thousands of lives have been touched and changed by the people of the Ebenezer Church.
The human needs are being met as Ebenezer serves the community and others in the Philadelphia area. As people are led to a higher place of achievement, they are also led to the higher ideal that God has for each of His children.
The Allegheny Conference was organized on December 17, 1944 in the Ebenezer S.D.A Church.The Allegheny Conference Missionary Volunteer Federation was organized at the Ebenezer Church on March 12, 1949. Mrs. Antoinette Ballard was the person responsible for this organiza tion. It should be noted that there were other youth federations and groups in the local areas; but Mrs. Ballard, with the help of Elder AV. Pinkney, had the vision and persistence to call together M.V. representatives from around the entire Conference to organize this Federation. This was the first conference-wide M.V. Federation. Without listing each progressive title, here are some of the major offices once held or now being held by each man: Elder F.L. Bland, Vice President of the General Conference; Elder G.E. Peters, Secretary of the North American Negro Department; Elder T.H. Branch, Superintendent of the Malamulo Mission, Nyasaland, Africa; Elder W.A Thompson, Executive Secretary of the Columbia Union Conference; Elder J.G. Dasent, President of the Lake Region Conference; Elder D.E. Simons, President of the Allegheny West Conference; Elder M.A Burgess, M.V. and Education Secretary of the Allegheny Conference; Elder J.H. Lester, Executive Secretary of the Allegheny West Conference: Elder J. Milton Thomas, Director of Church Growth of the Northeastern Con ference: Dr. AR. Jones, Family Life Director of the Allegheny East Conference; and Elder Charles Cheatham, Executive Secretary of the Allegheny East Conference. Pioneer workers with long years of service were Elder R.L. Bradford, J.B. Mallory, J.E. Cox, and T.M. Rowe. A veteran in God's ser vice was Elder W.M. Fordham. The inspiration of these leaders, combined with the enthusiasm and dedication of the members, has led Ebenezer to a consistent program of evangelism. The results have been ten churches started by Ebenezer Pastors, Bible Workers, colporteurs, Sabbath School workers, and laymen. Through the years thousands of lives have been touched and changed by the people of the Ebenezer Church.
  
The human needs are being met as Ebenezer serves the community and others in the Philadelphia area. As people are led to a higher place of achievement, they are also led to the higher ideal that God has for each of His children.
The Allegheny Conference was organized on December 17, 1944 in the Ebenezer S.D.A Church. The Allegheny Conference Missionary Volunteer Federation was organized at the Ebenezer Church on March 12, 1949. Mrs. Antoinette Ballard was the person responsible for this organization. It should be noted that there were other youth federations and groups in the local areas.  Mrs. Ballard, with the help of Elder A.V. Pinkney, had the vision and persistence to call together M.V. representatives from around the entire Conference to organize this Federation. This was the first conference-wide M.V. Federation.

                                                                       

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