During their anniversary celebration on Sept. 7, the largest Seventh-day Adventist church in Mid-America Union took an authentic look at their history. Located  in Lincoln, Nebraska, College View Church launched their celebration with worship pastor Deneil Clarke stating that more activities would follow later in the year, but that this opening event was especially important. He shared a few details about the original wooden church structure from 1894, and said that many early Adventist pioneers passed through Lincoln and preached from the original pulpit on display in the lobby, including Ellen G. White.

Multiple stained glass windows that had been installed in 1937 were saved when the wooden church was demolished, and were kept in storage until being reinstalled when the church was expanded in 2007. Terry Bock, who served as CVC’s administrative pastor for 33 years before retiring last year, offered to give tours of the building and the stained glass windows in the afternoon.

Following a slide presentation with photos of the various church buildings and construction through the years, several former pastors sent greetings by video, and encouraged the congregation to continue serving the Lincoln community.

Then Dr. Linda Becker, head elder, told a true story she recently heard about the power of forgiveness, adding that the story had touched her deeply. She went on to say, “In the past, College View Church has not treated people of color the way we should. They were asked to sit in the balcony or even turned away at the door. They were not accepted as other white people were. Today, we ask forgiveness from our friends of color for what previous generations did to you. We are sorry we did not see you as God’s children just like us. We ask you and God to forgive us and may God’s love flow to all people–regardless of color, status or background—who enter this church in the future.”

Attendees were then invited to participate in a responsive reading prayer created for the day, confessing shortcomings, asking forgiveness, and committing themselves to worship and celebrate God’s goodness with all brothers and sisters, for all time.

Photos: Courtesty College View Church