Promising never to forget how the Lord has led in their past, members of the New Haven Church in Overland Park, Kansas celebrated the 60th anniversary of their existence with preaching, music and remembrances.
Organized in 1955 as the Johnson County Seventh-day Adventist Church, the name New Haven Church was adopted three years later, along with the opening of a 10-grade school.
On Sabbath former pastors—Elliot Smith, Luke Self and Michael Halfhill—delivered messages. Music permeated the services, featuring the New Haven Church Choir, Children’s Choir, Korean Choir, Sifa Voices (Swahili choir) and a concert by Margie Salcedo-Rice.
Ron Carlson, role playing as president of the Kansas Conference in 1955, invited members to come forward to sign the charter. Offstage, Dan Darrell read the names of all 80 charter members. Two members stood in attendance who had signed the charter 60 years ago.
Through the years, New Haven members have been instrumental in beginning what is now known as Shawnee Mission Health (1962); they planted the New Life Community Church in Olathe (1970); West Lenexa Church (1991); New Haven Hispanic Church (2008); Swahili group (2008); and Korean group (2015). The New Haven School changed its name to Midland Adventist Academy in 1981, and is now a 12-grade school.
John Treolo is communication director for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference.