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Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrates anniversary

Rev. and Mrs. Cook

Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church  celebrates anniversary

By Church Staff

      The South Florida community is cordially invited to attend the 107th Church Anniversary of the Historic Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 10 a.m.,  401 N.W. Seventh Terr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Rev. Willie J. Cook, Sr., M.Div., pastor.

     The Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church of Fort Lauderdale has a rich and glorious history as a proud member of the oldest pre-dominantly Black denomination in the United States. Founded in 1906, Mount Hermon is the oldest A.M. E. church and the second oldest Black church in the Fort Lauderdale area.

     With a humble beginning, Mount Hermon started as a small group of worshippers in the township of Fort Lauderdale who would gather on Sundays to hold religious services outdoors under a tree. A few of the worshippers from this group purchased property from the Dallas Land Company on April 25, 1906. The founders of this Zion named it “Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church.” They were led by the Reverends W. A. Woods and George Smith, Annie T. Reed, Mamie McGill and I.H. Williams.

     The first known edifice was secured at 309 N.W. Nugent (Third) Avenue, with the Reverend J.H. Haines as the first appointed pastor. Some of the early stewards of the church included Arthur Black, O.J. Clark, Mamie McGill, I.H. Williams, and S.J. Williams. Early trustees included T.S. Cobb, Tollie Primus, Mamie Sistrunk and Isaiah Snelling. Reverend L.A. Forbes served as pastor from 1918 to 1919. During the 1920’s, however, the Mount Hermon congregation would be duly served by a host of ministers including the Reverends A.W. Brown, G.W. Bonaparte, J. Benjamin Blacknell, Sr., Fred Hall Danes, W.R. Akery, M. Peter Chappell and D.A. Russell.

     In 1926, a violent storm destroyed the church on Third Avenue, forcing the congregation to relocate to their-property on Fourth Street.

     A temporary building was erected. In 1930, a permanent building and the construction of a parsonage were completed under the pastorate of Rev. D.A. Russell. An annex was added to the main sanctuary under the leadership of Reverend George Collins, who was later consecrated Bishop in the A.M.E. Church. Mount Hermon would continue to grow and thrive under the leadership of the Reverends A.A. Williams, D. Anderson, Frank Jones, W.A. Jenning, J.A. Robinson, M.T. Gaines and S.H. Hunter and Rev. R.L. Murrell.                     

     Bishop McKinley Young appointed the 31st pastor, The Reverend Willie J. Cook, Sr., to the historic Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church on Nov. 21, 2009.

     Cook is a spiritual, compassionate, and nurturing leader who exemplifies love, peace, and unity. He instituted the first I Love Mount Hermon Day, as part of our Founder’s Day and Black History Month celebration and our first HBCU Day recognizing our Historically Black Colleges & Universities. He also established the first Men of Valor Community Achievers Breakfast and enhanced the Rosa Park’s Day Celebration.

     Furthermore, as a means to share in the joy of Jesus, an ecumenical Feeding and Clothing Program was implemented. Additionally, a Wednesday noon day bible study was established and a full-time associate minister was appointed to serve as Christian Education Director, Rev. Edrena Brown.


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