In 1963 Rev. Anna M. Howard was given the task of starting a church in this community. When Rev. James Waters (while serving as pastor of Mt. Zion A.M.E., New Brunswick) assigned this “act of faith” to her, we wonder if even he envisioned the years it would take to make this dream a reality. However, Rev. Howard was a strong Christian lady that graciously accepted this challenge and never doubted North Stelton would someday have a church. Rev. Howard’s first step was to visit some of the families in this community to discuss her plans. This was followed by an organizational meeting at Sis. Cordia Fleming’s home.
After this meeting, it was realized that we would first begin with a Sunday School. Rev. Howard loved children and felt even if there isn’t a Church, that they should begin their education as Christians. The Sunday School was eventually housed in the basement of Mr. Will Roby on Poplar Road. Through the conscientious efforts of the late Bro. James Bryant and the late Bro. George Hush, Sr., a piece of land was secured for the purpose of erecting a house of worship.
On November 2, 1969, Bishop John D. Bright and the New Jersey Annual Conference met at the site in an official “ground-breaking” ceremony. During the years that followed, we continued to have fund-raising projects and various affairs to keep the spirit of North Stelton Chapel alive.
These were the hard years because those of little faith fell by the wayside and said the Church would never materialize. Rev. Howard continued to pray and work towards her dream until she fell ill and died in 1977.
It was Rev. Howard’s hope that Rev. Edward E. Adams (Asst. Pastor, Mt. Zion A.M.E., New Brunswick) would pick up the torch and continue her work in North Stelton. On May 7, 1978, our new church was dedicated and Rev. Adams was officially appointed pastor by Bishop Richard Allen Hildebrand.
BUILDING FOR THE LORD
During the tenure of Rev. Adams, the church congregation grew so much that two Sunday services were put in place to accommodate the membership. Realizing the needs of an expanding congregation, Rev. Adams set in motion the plans to have a larger building erected.
He continued to serve until he became ill in the 4th quarter of 1988. Interim Pastors Presiding Elder Charles E. Martin and Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings carried the church into the New Jersey Annual Conference.
On April 9, 1989, Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Saunders was appointed Pastor by Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings. On December 9, 1989, the Mortgage Burning Ceremony took place, paving the way for the erection of the new sanctuary.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
During the months that followed, Bros. Curtis Bynes, Jim Irby and William Davidson aided in the construction supervision while the entire congregation exercised their faith in God through their stewardship and service. The Church flourished both spiritually and financially and a commonwealth of love became spontaneous. Many souls were added to our ranks.
As the building progressed and the walls began to go up, there was a need for a special coordinator. Sister Marge Irby graciously consented and worked untiringly to select and coordinate the splendor of the Church’s decor. On June 27, 1992, in a grand assembly, North Stelton marched into the present edifice, at which time the church was dedicated by Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings.
The mission of the North Stelton AME Church is to Connect Christ and Community through Faith, Family, and Fellowship.
The vision of the North Stelton AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people through, Dynamic Worship, Powerful Proclamation of the Word, Anointed Teaching, Effective Evangelism, and Community Outreach.