The church-planting phenomenon in North America is not a recent concept. A quarter century ago, this was envisioned when an initiative toward church growth occurred with the planting of a church in East Orange, New Jersey. The church was renamed the SDA Church of the Oranges when she purchased her present church home in Orange, NJ. This venture was lay-led with the blessings of the Columbia Union and the Allegheny East Conference.
Seven years ago, the East Orange experience gave birth to the planting of the Irvington Seventh-day Adventist Church, in another city with no Seventh-day Adventist Church present. Though fraught with challenges, the concept of lay leadership stepping out to plant churches in unreached cities, has now become a cutting edge initiative of church growth in North America.
The Irvington experience is also another example of committed lay-persons leading out in the church planting process without the dependence on a paid clergy, on July 11, 1998. Finding initial worship facilities in a church hall at 1240 Clinton Avenue, the steering committee of nine lay persons, led by Elder Andrew A. McDonald, pressed on in the model of traditional Adventism. Within two years, we were admitted to the sisterhood of churches of the Allegheny East Conference.
On July 2001, Pastor Bruce Banner was assigned to be the first pastor. He served the church well and joined the momentum for our own worship facilities. Under his leadership, the Irvington Church purchased its present church building from the Lutheran Redeemer Church located at 120-134 Prospect Avenue, Irvington, NJ. Thereafter, church growth became a reality.
The official opening of the acquired facilities took place on November 21 –23, 2003, with our Columbia Union President, Dr. Harold L. Lee, preaching the Friday evening consecration sermon; Elder Walter L. Pearson, Jr., preaching the divine worship service and Elder Charles Cheatham, Conference President, bringing welcome and reflections.
On July 8, 2004, Pastor D. Robert Kennedy was called to the pastorate. He brought a New Vision to the church, made many changes and by God’s grace will lift the church to another level of growth, commitment and determination to follow the leading of the Lord in ministry, on this seventh anniversary celebration. Our most recent Pastor was Andre Campbell a dynamic speaker who envisioned God’s presence in the Irvington congregation.
Recently our Pastor was Carl Brewer I a passionate man of God with the heart of an evangelist. He is also driven to grow the Irvington Seventh-Day Adventist Church with a focus on missions in the community and the world.
Presently our Pastor is Carl Hinds.
Oh, what a mighty God we serve!