HISTORY OF SOUTH LOUISVILLE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH- October 2012
On March 17, 1968, this group of 54 members was organized into a “company” with its own church services and church program; and on May 18, it became an organized church with Elder Robert Kachenmeister as the appointed Pastor, and Clarence Jennette, Jr. as Head Elder. Because Elder Kachenmeister pastored both the Fourth Street and South Louisville churches, the new church held worship service at 9:30 a.m. and Sabbath School at 11:00.
Two years later the church purchased 23-l/2 acres of land on Old Third Street Road at Mitchell Lane. Led by Elder Roy Thurmon (who followed Elder Kachenmeister), the church members cleared off the heavy growth from this land; but it soon became evident that the property was not suitable. On November 18, 1976, under the leadership of Elder Don Howe, the group bought the 1.1 acre plot where the church now stands. In the fall of 1977, Elder Clarence Southard was sent to be the first full-time pastor for the young church, and they then proceeded with building plans.
An unusual zoning problem arose shortly thereafter. The front part of the property was zoned R-4 Residential, and the back portion was M-3 Heavy Industry. Brother Eugene Bryant, Building Committee Chairman, worked on this matter for many, many months before the zoning change was granted in April 1981.
In the meantime, Elder Lewis Brand became our pastor in February, 1980, and in the fall of that year the church sold the 23-l/2 acres on Old Third Street Road.
Ground breaking took place July 23, 1981, and soon Integral Structures started construction. The Conference-wide “Helping Hands’ group came together at the church on February 21, 1982, and helped frame up the inside of the building. Church members did a considerable amount of the work that day, and throughout the whole building program.
The day came in October when the carpet was laid and the pews went into place. Bob Bartles hung the overhead light fixtures which he had made, and Fred Herford promised that the organ he was building would be installed soon. The Opening Day program was held on Sabbath, October 16, 1982.
Elder Harold Butman came to the South Louisville church in December 1985. The church debt was paid off on March 30, 1987, and dedication services were held June 20, 1987.
In December 1990, Pastor Jim McConnell and his wife, Jan, began their ministry and stayed until April 1999. Membership was 264 at this time.
Pastor Al and Donna Matchim moved from Memphis to the South Louisville church to begin their ministry here in August of 1999 and left in January 2007. Under Pastor Al’s leadership, the Southside Louisville Hispanic Mission started, and he ordained David de la Cruz as head elder and leader of the group.
On March 2007, Pastor Phillip Sizemore started his ministry with the South Louisville church as his first assignment. His wife, Laura and kids, Marcus and Kaytlyn supported him with his ministry. It was during this time that we started to see an increase in attendance of our prayer meetings, and Praise the Lord, the attendance of the meetings continues to increase. The Sizemores were here through April 2009, for Pastor Phil was called by the Lord to be the new Outreach Coordinator of ARISE program in Florida.
Pastor Luis Ruiz had put-off his early retirement plan and started his ministry as our church pastor on July 2009. He also pastored the Spanish Mission that was founded during Pastor Al’s time. The Spanish Mission felt so blessed to have a Spanish-speaking pastor, and at this time, they began to grow in numbers. Pastor Ruiz’s ministry with our church lasted until August 2012, and while he’s in Florida now, the church still enjoys the company of his sweet wife, Maria, and lovely daughter, Elysha.
On October 6th, 2012, the church welcomed our new Church Pastor, Brian Hadley. Along with him, are his wife, Carly and two active little boys, Brandon and Jared.
**The first part of the history was written by Mary Charles Goode (now deceased). From the dedication then forward was contributed by one of our church clerks.