South Ozone Park Seventh-day Adventist Church
It was in the summer of 1976 that Pastors Robert L. Lister, and Jonathan A. Thompson, pastors of the Jamaica Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Springfield Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church, respectively, held worship services every evening at the corner of Rockaway Boulevard and 142nd Place in Jamaica, New York, and for six weeks conducted evangelistic meetings that resulted in the birth of a new company of Seventh-day Adventist believers. Two years later, on July 22, 1978, the South Ozone Park Mission was organized into a Church.
The Jamaica and Springfield Gardens churches worked together to find a place for the new believers to worship. The new believers rented space from the Saint Luke Baptist Church, which was owned by Roy L. Gilmore, of Gilmore Funeral Home. Prior to Saint Luke Baptist Church owning the building, the church was the home of the Evangelical Church of the Good Shepherd from 1893 – to 1940. The property was built on farmland. The Van Wyck Expressway was built several hundred feet behind the church. Roy Gilmore purchased the building from the Evangelical Church of the Good Shepherd in 1940. In 1986, Pastor Robert Lister, through his relationship with Pastor Dr Roy L. Gilmore, the then pastor of the Saint Luke Baptist Church, was successful in effecting the purchase of the property church building and the parsonage next door.
The church building resembles the original structure built in 1893 and is proud of its history in the South Ozone Park community.
On July 21, 1990, the church members gave $20,000, over a period of six months to repair the interior walls of the Sanctuary. Addie Ray Edwards, the church treasurer, donated four chandeliers. Eighteen pews were reupholstered. A new sound system was purchased, and an alarm system was installed. A Hammond Organ was purchased to replace the pipe organ. On the exterior of the building, a flower-bedecked lawn was designed by Oscar Campbell and Joseph Eaton.
On May 6, 1995, the Church celebrated a “Mortgage Burning” convocation. The $70,000 loan that was borrowed on December 19, 1986, from the Atlantic Union Revolving Fund, was paid in full.
Attending the Celebration Service was Stennett Brooks, then President of the Northeastern Conference (deceased), the former Pastors, Robert Lister, who was the former President of the Southwestern Region of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Clifford Jones, who is the current Dean of Religion at Oakwood University Pastor Lionel Arthur (deceased), Pastor Charles Tapp, who is the current president of the Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and Pastor Howard Weems, who is the currently the Special Assistant to the President at Oakwood University and the Director of E.G. White Research Center at Oakwood University.
In 1996, the church installed a satellite system for streaming church services. In 2000, under the leadership of Pastor A. Llewellyn Williams, the church installed its very first air conditioning units. In 2012, under the leadership of Pastor Richard Bryant, the church donated over $30,000 to renovate the fellowship hall, lady’s bathroom, and kitchen. In 2019, the church acquired a new speaker’s podium that was donated by Pastor Trevor and Eunice Senior-Baker.
The road to victory at the church has been paved with dedicated people. God has blessed South Ozone Park Church with people of vision, strength, determination, and dedication. Today, we continue to celebrate the mission of the church under the leadership of our current Pastor, Dr. Abdele F. George.
The Pastors of the church are
A. Llewellyn Williams
Trevor H.C. Baker