About St. Mark A.M.E.
St. Mark A.M.E. church was organized as a Mission on May 22nd, 1922 under the pastorate of Rev. Issac Kirkland. The Mission was organized at the home of Mr. & Mrs. John W. Allen with other founding members in attendance. Those members were, Mr. John Harris, Mr. & Mrs. Loney Harrell and Dr. & Mrs. Stanley Simmons. Mr. John Allen was the brother-in-law of the late Mother Cassie Allen who was the mother of Sis. Dorothy Christmas. The worship services were held at Main Street from May 6th, 1922 until July 22nd, 1923.
In July 1923, Rev. R.T. Parson was appointed pastor. The meetings were then conducted at the homes of its members. In 1925, Rev. George E. Sanders was appointed Pastor Mission. The church grew in numbers during his tenure. Initial planning for the construction of a church home was implemented under his leadership. Several pastors served during the construction of the new building. They were: Rev. George Duhart (1930 – 1931), Rev. J.E. Evans (1931 – 1932), Rev. Elzae Warwick (1932 – 1937) and Rev. James C. Choice (1945 – 1954).
In 1973, Rev. William Kelly assumed the pastorate. Construction of the church began, and the St. Mark A.M.E. was completed, and the first service in the new church was held November 18, 1951. There was much praise and rejoicing over this long awaited blessing, a new “church home”. Rev. Thomas Puryear came to St. Mark in 1954. He served for one year. The conference then appointed Rev. Samuel L. Matchett to the church. It was during his second year of service at St. Mark (November 20th, 1957) that he was called to his reward. Rev. L. H. Midgett property payments were completed and the church was able to burn the mortgage.
In 1958, Rev. Spurgeon Harmon was appointed. His appointment lasted fourteen years. During his term as pastor, our present church located at 587 Springdale Avenue in East Orange was purchased. The year of purchase was 1968.
In 1972, Rev. John D. Bright was appointed pastor. His tenure lasted until 1974. In March 1974, Rev. Arthur S. Jones became the pastor of St. Mark. With prayer, dedication, hard work and sacrifice on the part of Rev. Arthur S. Jones and his faithful membership the mortgage was burned on November 14th, 1981. In addition to burning the mortgage, Pastor Jones and his congregation worked and prayed in order to add an annex to the church. The annex, The St. Mark Center, is to be used to provide spiritual and physical outreach to the East Orange Community. Rev. Arthur Jones Pastorate lasted for twenty years.
Rev. John C. Justice assumed the pastorate of St. Mark in 1996. Under his pastorate some of the finishing touches were completed on the new annex. We were encouraged to grow spiritually and give back to God, improving out tithes and offering. Pastor Justice served until March 1997.
In March 1997, Rev. James E. Deas, became pastor of St. Mark A.M.E. Church and its congregation. Under Rev. Deas, we experienced growth in membership, and increased finances. Most of all we have experienced a deeper faith and spiritual growth. In April 2005 we were blessed to receive a new pastor, Rev. John C. Reynolds, Jr. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we declare that we shall be like him. We are proud of the history of St. Mark A.M.E. Church and its faithful membership. Later the same year Rev. Carl E. Wade was appointed the pastor of the St. Mark family.
On July 27th, 2006, at the seat of First Episcopal district Christian Education Congress in Dover, Delaware, Bishop Richard F. Norris assigned Rev. Archie Cummings, Jr. to shepherd the St. Mark family.
On June, 11th, 2011, Rev. Vernon H. Peters was appointed pastor of St. Mark A.M.E. Church after having served as pastor of Heard AM.E Church (Roselle) New Jersey, Union A.M.E. Church, in Warwick New York, where the congregation of 53 members moved the one hundred year old historic edifice and turned it into an African American Museum and completed the construction of a new edifice and a two bedroom parsonage that cost about $1 million dollars.
On May 25th, 2014 Rev. Dr. Kenneth Mitchem was appointed pastor of St. Mark A.M.E Church
Because of God’s blessings and our faith, we have grown from a small mission with nine founding members who had a vision, to a “little church” on the corner of Springdale Avenue and Glenwood Avenue, where our light shines. “To God Be The Glory”.