Our Church History

The beginning of the Staunton Seventh-day Adventist Church is one of interest for it tells of the working of the Spirit of God in the hearts of people.  It was in 1924 that Fillmer Hevener left this area to seek employment in Hagerstown, Maryland.  He made his home with his sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Shull.  Emma Newcomer, a Sabbath keeping neighbor, was sharing her faith and as a result Mrs. Shull became a Seventh-day Adventist.  Her death, shortly thereafter, brought Fillmer to make his decision to become an Adventist.

The depression of the 1930's caused the company where Brother Hevener worked to close.  His bank account was lost when the banks failed.  So the Fillmer Hevener family returned to Churchville, Virginia to work and live.  He brought his "strange religion" with him but found that his brothers and the neighbors were not to receptive of the new ideas he taught.  As time passed interest grew in Fillmer's way of believing. A retired Adventist minister, Elder George Lawrence, was invited to hold a series of meetings in the Churchville Town Hall.   After these meetings sabbath school and worship services were held in the home of Lester Hevener.

It was soon learned that the John Shoupe family of Staunton were devout Adventists.  Elder Lester Coon conducted a series of meetings in a tent in Staunton.  At this time J.H. Coffman and family, Adventists living in Greenville, joined the small group which began holding services in an old building on Johnson Street.

The first baptism as a result of the tent meetings and additional Bible studies took place on March 17, 1934 in the Middle River. Elder H.P. Elliot, Potomac Conference President, officiated.  The individuals who were baptized that day, along with a few others who were received by letter of transfer and profession of faith, comprised the charter membership of the organized Company of Staunton.

Pastor Hill remained with the growing company until 1935, when Arthur Douglass came to serve for a few months.  Elder R.F. Woods organized the company into a church in the spring of 1936. The charter membership of the new church included the original group of organizers plus a large number of new believers baptized by Elder Woods.  The motto of the new organization was "The God of Heaven, He will prosper us, therefore, we His servants will arise and build." Nehemiah 2:20. Elder Woods located the lot at the corner of Windsor Lane and Dover Street for a new building. Untill the new church could be built, a more comfortable meeting place was found in the modern Woodmen Hall on Central Avenue near the Leader Publishing. 

It took two years to complete the church building.  It was dedicated free of debt on September 5, 1939.  The lumber for the church was donated by the Hevener brothers and the roof by Elder N.P. Neff and son.

Elder Woods was succeeded by Fenton Froom, who later became president of Potomac Conference. He was succeeded by Elder Kenneth Crofoot who was in turn followed by a long line of pastoral shepherds for the Staunton flock.

During the pastorate of Elmer Malcolm the land was purchased for the Coalter Street church as well as the building of the first portion of the C.F. Richards Junior Academy.   Two large classrooms were added with no less than five different additions added on to provide the spacious facility with its offices and gymnasium.  The past few years have seen a strong emphasis on the development of the school at C.F. Richards.

For many years the church family needed the addition of a social or fellowship hall.   During the 90's funds were raised and once again the Hevener Construction Company delivered a beautiful hall to the glory of God, which was fully paid for and dedicated in two years.

Not much as changed to the interior and exterior of the Staunton church in nearly a decade, but the workings of God are changing the hearts and minds of all who enter this beautiful church. We hope you will join us each Sabbath morning for a refreshing day's rest and worship service.