History of the Central SDA Church
460 S 800 E Salt Lake City, UT UT 84102
Liberty, Love, Faith, and Sacrifice
When thinking of the Bible reference "Not to despite the day of small things," it brings to mind very vividly the beginning of Central Church located at 820 South and 300 East.
In the early stages of the work in Salt Lake City, Utah, there was only one church where all the Adventists met. This church was called Central S.D.A. Church, now called Wasatch Hills Church.
Seventy years ago, on June 27, 1924, William G. Green, Sister and Brother Brockman, Sister Alice Henderson, and Brother and Sister Washington felt that they could work more efficiently among the Black people in Salt Lake City, Utah by organizing a black church. So they met with Elder J.A. Neilsen, President of the Utah Mission, Elder C.A. Purdem, Pastor of the Salt Lake Church, and Elder W.H. Green, Secretary of the Black Department of Washington D.C. Conference, to organize the church. The work began by conducting church activities and bible studies in their homes.
On July 11, 1925, Elder Purdem, Elder Neilson, Elder W.H. Green and Brother William Green, met together to select a name for the church. The name selected was "Liberty Park S.D.A. Church". On that same day, William Green was ordained as the Elder of the Liberty Park Church by Elder Neilson.
In July 1925, the pioneer members purchased the property at 820 South and 300 East and erected a tent to hold a series of Gospel meetings. The Gospel meetings were conducted by Elder W. H. Green of Washington D.C.
In August 1927, the final plans for construction of the building were made. The plans were to construct a brick building that would have a seating capacity for one hundred and fifty people. During the years of 1924-1928, the members, along with the help of the conference, raised the money to complete the construction of the church.
On May 12, 1928, the church was completed and dedicated. Elder J.E. Fulton, the Union President, was in charge of the Dedicatory Service and was assisted by Elder Neilson, President of the Utah Mission, and Elder P.G. Rodgers of the Wadsworth, Los Angeles, CA, Church. Later that year, Elder Rodger held a series of Gospel meetings for the church and Elder Jarrod Johnson held a series of Evangelistic meetings.
In 1931, Elder William G. Green received a Lay Preacher's Certificate. He was commended for his dedication to the Lord and his dedication to the organization of the Liberty Park Church. He pastored the Liberty Park Church for forty years.
In 1929, Brother Alex Dultan was baptized and worked hand-in-hand with Elder William Green. And with the support of the Charter Members, Liberty Park Church became a self-supporting church. The charter members were: Alice Green, Estella Taylor, Cecilia Leggroan, Nancy Leggroan, Mrs. Jenne Bankhead, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Foster, Pearl Whitman, Mattie Andrews, and Mr. & Mrs. Ed Goins, from Pocatello, Idaho. By 1931, the membership had grown from eight members to nineteen members.
In 1940, Elder Owen Troy held a series of Evangelistic meetings. From 1946 to 1948, Elder R.E. Berry held bible lectures and meetings. From 1955 to 1959, Pastor Harvey W. Kibble pastored the Liberty Park Church. From 1960 to 1968, Pastor J.B. Currier and Elder Davidson pastored the church. Between 1965 and 1970, Elder I. Evans, Elder G.N. Banks and Elder McLeod held Evangelistic meetings. Pastor Jefferson pastored the Liberty Park Church for five and one-half years until he received a call from the Southeastern Conference in the latter part of 1973. During the following year, Elder A.G. Strifling, President of the Nevada-Utah Conference, invited Pastor Calvin Robinson of the Southeastern Conference to pastor the Liberty Park Church. Shortly after his arrival, the Nevada-Utah Conference and Pastor Robinson felt that the members should find a larger church home to accommodate the growing number of members and visitors. What appeared to be an impossibility because of the lack of money in the building fund, became a possibility when the General Conference, Nevada-Utah Conference and the Regional Department of Pacific Union Conference gave the church a total of $50,000 to purchase the new church. During the first part of July 1975, the property on the corner of 500 South and 800 East, was acquired and soon the name was changed to Philapisthea S.D.A. Church. This name was derived from the words, Love, Faith, and Sacrifice.
The grand opening of the church was in September 27, 1975. Dr. E.E. Cleveland, Associate Secretary, Ministerial Association, General Conference of S.D.A. of Washington D.C., preached the Sabbath Sermon. Among the other guests were: Mayor Harrison of Salt Lake City, Elder E. Petrie, Publishing Secretary, Nevada-Utah Conference, Elder E. Broder, Youth and Educational Secretary, Elder C.H. Snyder, Treasurer of the Nevada-Utah Conference, Elder E.E. Cob, Pastor of Wasatch Hills Church, Elder Skip McCarty, Pastor of the Provo Church, Elder J. B. Currier, Pastor of the Vernal-Price District, Elder G.N. Banks, Regional Secretary of the Pacific Union Conference, Elder Thomas from the Ebenezer Church, Elder Davis, Calvary Baptist Church, Dr. H. S. McCleod, Seaside CA. Church and First Elder A.R. Dulan. Approximately 450 members, from the local Adventist Churches attended the service that Sabbath Day.
Pastor Robinson pastored the Philaspisthea Church from November 1973 to 1975. In 1976 to 1978, Pastor N.S. McLeod pastored the church. On September 30, 1976 Elder Strifling, President of Nevada-Utah Conference, changed the name from Philaspisthea to Central Church because of the difficulty in pronouncing the name. From 1978 through June 1989, Pastor R.N. Fernander pastored the Central Church for eleven years. In 1989 Pastor Baker held a series of meeting for three months and in July 1989 to April 1990, Pastor Irvin Rookstool pastored the Central Church and the West Valley Church.
In April 1990 Pastor Julius Jones and his family moved from California to Salt Lake City to pastor Central Church. The church was purchased in 1975 and was dedicated on September 24, 1994. Three of the former Pastors attended the dedication. Pastor Robinson, Pastor Fernander, Pastor Rookstool. Memorial, memories, and monuments were presented by Elder Retzer, President of the Nevada-Utah Conference, Elder Kenneth Ladd, Treasurer of the Nevada-Utah Conference, Elder E. J. Mendinghall, Director, Office of Regional Affairs, Elder Robinson, who move the church from Liberty Park to its current location in 1975. Elder Pennick, Elder Canson and Pastor Jones residing. Pastor Jones pastored center Church for eight years and on February 28, 1998 he accepted a call to Pastor in Portland, Or.
In July 1998, Dr.Rowland Nwosu, his wife Edith, and their four sons, from Southern California is our full time Pastor. On October 3, 1998, and installation service was held for Pastor Nwosu. Elder Larry Moor, and Elder Kenneth Ladd officiated the service. At present the membership is 137. October 20, 2001, Central Church was remodeled. Plans were drawn up to change the sanctuary to the fellowship hall, a baptismal pool, a choir loft and a platform was built. Later the mother’s room was completed. An upstairs room was made for storage. Pastor Roland Nwosu served Central Church for four years, and is now serving in California. July 26, 2003, Pastor Peters accepted the call to serve Central Church. His wife Monica Peters, and children. Pastor Peters last day at Central was on February 2, 2008. He served the church for four years.
The daughters of the Charter Members of Central Church are, Wanda Crawford, Maxine Goins, Nellie Howell, Florence Lawrence, Genevie Romero. Deceased daughters are, Lois Browne, Oma Prescott, and Yvonne Goins.
MAXINE GOINS HISTORIAN