History of the Seashore Community Church of the Nazarene
In December 1912, Reverend Horace Trumbauer, Superintendent of the Washington-Philadelphia District, organized the Rio Grande Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene with 13 charter members in the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Lock. Shortly after that, the congregation rented what was known as the Lummis House, converted the living room into a Sanctuary and worshipped for some time.
Reverend Monroe Hand was appointed leader of the Rio Grande Church until the District Assembly convened and a Pastor was formally announced. Following the District Assembly, Reverend Hand was officially named pastor. His ministry continued for 12 years during which the church grew to 48 members. During his Pastorate, the congregation made great personal sacrifices and purchased a lot on Church Street in Rio Grande. Soon a place of worship was built on this site.
In 1924, Reverend Byron H. Maybury became the Pastor. It was under his leadership a basement was added to the church providing Sunday school classrooms.
In 1927, Reverend John Donaldson became the Pastor. A parsonage was built on a site adjacent to the church during his Pastorate.
During the next seven years, the church had five Pastors: Reverend George Andrews, Reverend Thomas Spiker, Reverend J.M. Huff, Reverend Leslie McKay, and Reverend John E. North. It was during the Pastorate of Reverend North in 1938 that the mortgage on the parsonage was liquidated.
In 1943, Reverend Jerold Jones became Pastor. Under his leadership many improvements were made to the church including a new heater, renovation of the interior, and the addition of stained glass windows.
It was during the Pastorate of Reverend R.C. Roberts in 1946, that a vision for a larger church with more adequate facilities was conceived. Reverend George Dixon filled the pulpit for several months in 1949.
Reverend Harold Berrian was called to be Pastor in 1949. After his first year, a new church building was begun on Route 9 and Myrtle Avenue. The cornerstone was set in place by District Superintendent Reverend E.E. Grosse and Reverend Berrian. The old church building was sold as a residence. In August 1952, Reverend J.E. Turnock became Pastor. The new building was dedicated on October 5, 1952.
Reverend Charles F. Jester became Pastor in 1955. He was followed by Reverend Alan M. Parlee in 1959 and Reverend John Doney in 1960. It was during Reverend Doney’s Pastorate that a new parsonage was purchased. In 1963 Reverend L. Dale Wanner assumed the pastoral role, succeeded by Reverend Carl Cockran, Jr. in 1964, Reverend G.H. Keis in 1967, and Reverend Harold E. Henderson in 1969.
During Reverend Henderson’s pastorate an annex was added to the Route 9 building and new pews were placed in the sanctuary. In 1973, Reverend John C. Sluyter, who later went to the mission field, became Pastor. Reverend Richard D. Patmore and Reverend Archie R. George followed him as Pastors in 1974 and 1976 respectively.
The front entrance of the church was renovated during the Pastorate of Reverend Ernest C. Hinson, in 1981. This renovation included building new steps, a ramp, and a cross on the front. These improvements were made possible through a bequest given by Mr. Fred Lund.
In 1983, Reverend Allen E. Lamos, Jr. accepted the call to become Pastor of the Erma Church of the Nazarene. Early in his pastorate, improvements were made to the interior of the fellowship hall, and the exterior of the parsonage was completely renovated. In 1986, 8.5 acres of land on Seashore Road was purchased for new facilities in an act of faith. A portion of the parsonage lot on Tower View Road was sold in 1988. The new parsonage was built on the Seashore Road property and completed in 1989, and the old parsonage was sold as a residence that same year. In 1992, the Seashore Children’s Learning Center, a Christian Daycare, began operating in the Annex of the Route 9 site.
The new church building was erected and on May 7, 1995 dedicated. With the relocation, the Erma Church of the Nazarene was renamed the Seashore Community Church of the Nazarene.
In 1996, Reverend Sam Mountain became Pastor. Under his pastorate the church acquired the church properties located on 1300 Rosehill Parkway and on Washington Blvd in North Cape May.
From 2006 to 2011, Reverend Scott Durbin acted as Pastor.
In 2011, Dr. I Charles Gates became pastor. Under his pastorate, renovations to the Seashore Road property occurred; such as new carpets and paint throughout the church. Dr. Gates also brought stability and organization to the church structure.
In late 2013, an addition to the church building on Seashore Road was constructed and completed in time for Christmas. This 50 X 60 sq ft building includes a small cafe’ for Sunday morning coffee and fellowship, as well as a large Ministry Hall. The rear of the building houses our community Food Pantry and Thrift Store, both of which opened in early 2014.
We have given the playground for the children a permanent home across the parking lot, with shade trees and a locking privacy fence. The fellowship hall has been painted with a mural giving the look that you are inside a castle, with the castle doors constructed in wood at the front of the room.
In 2016, Reverend Mark Hardy became Senior Pastor. In his first year Pastor Hardy implemented updates to the policies and procedures of the Learning Center and began the necessary updates to the building in order to comply with emergency management requirements made by the state of New Jersey.
In January of 2017, the garage on the parsonage property was renovated to make an apartment for the Youth and Worship Pastor. Purchasing procedures were streamlined and updates were made to the technology used during Sunday worship.
In May 2016 the Church building located in North Cape May on Washington Boulevard was contracted to Iglesia Pentecostal Ultima Cosecha Church under a lease/purchase agreement.