Lehigh Acres SDA Church

Open Hearts, Open Arms, Open Hands

The Lehigh S.D.A. church originated by the efforts of a small group of members from various locations in the North Eastern United States. In 1995 they formed a building committee for the purpose of establishing a church in Lehigh Acres. The group was led by Elders Sydney Parris and Joseph Allen and a building lot was found and purchased for the sum of $40,407.00.
The group then sought the assistance of Pastor Marvin Williams of the Fort Myers S.D.A. church which is situated at Ortiz Ave. and Colonial Blvd.  Pastor Williams then made recommendations on their behalf to the Florida Conference of Seventh -day Adventists and they were adopted as a church Company.
The Company which then consisted of the following persons: Sydney Parris, Joseph Allen, Grace Allen, Irene Parris, Estlyn Smith and her young sons Andy and Miguel, Beverly and Grace Hacket, George and Sheila Williams, Leslie and Gem Whonder, Gladys Smith, May Mc.Fee, Louise Pearce-Taylor, Vivian Durfee, Ivel Mansoh, Leila Parker and her grand -daughters Tiana and Mercedes, Gloria Hurni, Zatilda Johnson and Elder John Williams and his wife Ismaye. At first these met for worship at the homes of Pastor Egerton Carnegie, Sydney and Irene  Parris, Joe and Grace Allen alternately.  Ultimately they secured the kindness of the members of the Christ United Methodist Church to worship in the small chapel (adjacent to the main church ) on Sabbaths.
It was there that Dr. and Mrs. Simon Witter visited one Sabbath in July of the year 2000. On that day they became so impressed by the Holy Spirit and manner of worship that they pledged financial personal support for the Company  to which they remained faithful until the present time.
In that same month Dr. Silburn Reid who had recently retired from being Field Secretary of the Inter American Division of S.D.A. came to visit and before leaving that Sabbath volunteered to shepherd the group. His offer was joyously accepted by the members, and the Conference agreed on the recommendation of Pastor Marvin Williams. Sorrowfully and painfully for the group Dr. Reid deceased in December of that same year 2000.
Pastor Rueben Middleton who had begun worshipping with us a few weeks earlier was asked to fill the position. He continued to serve as pastor of the fledgling church until subsequently the Conference requested the service of Dr. Newton Hoilette who had recently retired from being Vice President for Student Affairs at Andrews University in Michigan.  Dr. Hoilette being an Educator and committed pastor with a passion second to none for the building and development of young and adult people for the Kingdom of God has been the pastor of the Lehigh Congregation since September of 2003. The Lord has blessed his ministry tremendously as reflected in the growth of the church through the Holy Spirit from 40 to 400 members.