MILLVILLE, NEW JERSEY
On October 1, 1972, a small and faithful group quietly and conscientiously left their little church on 3rd Street in Millville to embark on an untried path, with their pastor Rev. Thelma Parker and coworker, Miss Velma Stover. Twenty-one people met for their first service in the basement of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Headley, which had been turned into a small chapel. At this meeting the name ďThe Holiness Church of MillvilleĒ was chosen, offices were elected, and Rev. Parker was elected as their pastor. They began praying for Godís guidance for the future.
In January 1973 the group met and approved pursuing the possibilities of purchasing the property on the corner of Broad St. and Snyder Ave. which had formerly been a cornfield. Trustees were elected to proceed with the incorporation of the church. Incorporation was completed January 25, 1973.
On April 4, 1973 the group voted to become affiliated with the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York, Inc. On April 28, Rev. Andrew J. Whitney, Conference President, and his wife met with the group and presented privileges, conditions and responsibilities of affiliation. A vote to affiliate was unanimous. At this time Rev. Whitney received into membership 12 full members and two preparatory members. The ground breaking for the new church also took place in April.
On June 4 a building permit was secured and on June 5 excavating began. A full basement was constructed upon which a modular home was placed for the parsonage. Labor Day week, 1973, friends and ministers of the Conference, which included the Hallenbecks, Rev. Whitney, and Rev. Joseph Hunting, came to help begin construction of the church which adjoined the parsonage. The church people, many of which were women, diligently worked at the job, including mixing cement and all that is involved with building.
The fruit of their labors was the reality of their own beautiful place to worship, complete with a steeple and electronic bells.
The first service in the church was December 2, 1973 with 75 in attendance. It was with much rejoicing that the dedication service was held on December 16, 1973, with Rev. Whitney in charge and Rev. Joseph Hunting as soloist.
The church continued to experience growth and Godís blessing under Rev. Parkerís leadership. A large parking lot was laid and landscaping done resulting in a beautiful memorial to the hand of God on this people.
The church was received into membership with the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York in July 1975.
As a result of much sacrifice, a mortgage burning was held in the spring of 1986. Rev. Parker retired from the pastorate In June 1986. Rev. Gary Mills assumed the pastorate in July 1986, and has remained to the present.
Since that time two acres of the property were sold behind the church which made possible the installation of central air and gas heat in the church and parsonage. In addition, the basement of the church was remodeled to make way for a small auditorium, the parsonage was redecorated with new carpeting installed: the exterior of the church and parsonage were repainted and a new roof put on, as well as many other changes and additions.
For several years the church hosted a local IHC each spring. It also hosted a Ministerial Convention.
Even though many of the people who helped to found the church are no longer a part of the congregation, their vision lives on. Over and over, we have been assured of Godís help, and look for His help in the future, that we may continue to be a lighthouse in South Jersey.