In August, the Rev. Herring of Montclair, New Jersey came to Roselle and canvassed the town to ascertain the number of persons interested in organizing a church of the Methodist denomination. Heard A. M. E. Church, originally known as Allen Chapel, was organized in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Isaiah Wood, 1015 Oak Street, Roselle, by Presiding Elder J. Francis Vanderhorst and the Rev. Herring. The organizational meeting was attended by Garnett Brantley and Carrie Brantley, Annie Cook, Andrew Bond and Hester Bond, Cassy Manns, and the hosts, Isaiah and Anna Wood. The first elected officers were:
Trustee/Steward: Isaiah Wood
Stewardess: Annie Cook
Secretary: Cassy Manns
Treasurer: Carrie Brantley
Sunday School Superintendent: Garnett Brantley
The first Sunday School was held in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Isaiah Wood. Among the first pupils were Jeanette Bond Smith, Helen Bond Cargill, Gertrude Spencer Smith, Laura Spencer Simmons, Willie and Thomas Manns, Algie and Haywood Wood and Cecelia Mae Barlowe Burpee.
In November, the Rev. Herring secured the basement at 1130 Chandler Avenue and, on the fourth Sunday, opened the first service there with six members.
The Rev. Parson succeeded the Rev. Herring as pastor. During the Rev. Parsonís pastorate the church was moved from 1130 Chandler Avenue to Trimmerís Hall, located at First Avenue and Chestnut Street.
In June, the Rev. Isaac Kirkland succeeded the Rev. Parson as pastor. With a treasury balance of $200 and the need for a parsonage, 711 Spruce Street was purchased and served as both church and parsonage.
February 16, 1924
HEARD A. M. E. CHURCH IS INCORPORATED
The five trustees elected are: Isaac Kirkland, Francis J. Hyman,
Cassie Mann, Jessie Foster and Anna Wood
In the Spring of 1924, under the dynamic leadership of Rev. Kirkland, a lot at 306-308 East Eighth Avenue, on which Heard now stands, was purchased. $850 was paid to the builder under contract. $500 of the $850 was contributed by the Rt. Rev. William H. Heard who was deeply moved by the interest and cooperation of the members of Allen. Bishop Heardís generous gift prompted the members to change the churchís name from Allen Chapel to Heard A. M. E. Church. Bishop Heard was consecrated in 1908 as the 35th Bishop of the A. M. E. Church.
After Rev. Kirklandís pastorate, the following ministers served at Heard: Rev. S. E. Plowden, Rev. M. M. Ward, Rev. H. T. King, Rev. B. W. Highgate, Rev. Paul Singleton, Rev. J. O. Vick, and Rev. Simeon T. Johnson.
On October 13th, Rev. Rev. Robert H. Smith filled the unexpired term of the Rev. Simeon T. Johnson, who was inducted to serve as chaplain in the United States Army. The Rev. Smith immediately reorganized some of the Churchís boards and stimulated others, starting a spiritual and financial program unequaled in Heardís history to date.
In February, a parsonage was purchased at 306 East Eighth Avenue.
On November 14th, the mortgage on the first church located at 310 East Eighth Avenue was burned.
On April 17th, Ronald Hayes, often called the "greatest tenor ever born in America," was presented at Abraham Clark High School by Heard membership.
In January, the Heliotrope Flower Club was organized by Gertrude Smith. Jessie Foster-Knight was its first president.
Renovations and remodeling work was done on the church.
The church was dedicated and a mortgage was burned, in the same ceremony, on the fourth Sunday in February.
Through the intervention and interest of Rev. Smith in the communityís housing shortage for Negroes, and with the help of Mr. Phillip Levy, the builder, twenty new homes were built on East Eighth Avenue and Oak Street and were purchased by Black families.
Construction was started on the second church at the current location.
On November 30, the Rev. R. H. Smith was honored with a testimonial dinner at the church.
On April 23rd, a mortgage burning service for the second church built at the current location was presided over by the Rt. Rev. D. Ward Nichols, Presiding Bishop.
In June, the Rev. Jenifer St. Julian Brown succeeded the Rev. R. H. Smith as pastor. During Rev. Brownís pastorate, Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman College at Daytona Beach, Florida, was presented at Abraham Clark High School to a building capacity audience.
The parsonage was decorated and completely refurbished.
On January 5th, the Rev. Brown passed away after an illness.
The Rev. Mrs. Alexzina W. Brown assumed the pastorate to complete the unexpired term of her husband, the late Rev. Jenifer St. Julian Brown.
The Rev. L. J. Midgette succeeded the Rev. Alexzina W. Brown as pastor. During his pastorate an organ, piano and baptismal fount were purchased.
The Rev. Theodore Kelsey succeeded the Rev. L. J. Midgette as pastor. During Rev. Kelseyís pastorate, a building fund was started.
Rosa Parks, who inspired the successful boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama transit system, visited and spoke at Heard while a guest of lifelong friend, Jettie Randolph, then a member of the churchís Pastorís Aide Club.
The Rev. Leon Gipson succeeded the Rev. Theodore Kelsey as pastor. Under Rev. Gipsonís leadership, attendance to Sunday School was so tremendously increased that the parsonage, next door to the church, had to be utilized for classes. A Vacation Bible School was organized, along with a yearly observance of a Youth Day, featuring a youth as the speaker.
On September 12th, Malvin R. Goode, ABC News Correspondent, was the keynote speaker at a dinner to benefit the churchís building fund at Town and Campus Restaurant, Elizabeth.
The Rev. Theodore R. Goyins began his pastorate at Heard succeeding the Rev. Leon Gipson. From the beginning of his pastorate, Rev. Goyins worked tirelessly and successfully to achieve the many goals reached during his administration. His courage and loyalty, understanding, initiative and vision, and sense of humor inspired the Heard family to a higher standard. He gave to the membership the benefit of his many attributes with untiring devotion. In a pursuit to provide essential services to both, the young and the old, he led the membership to establish outreach programs heralded throughout Union County.
The need for a parsonage was pressing and, without interrupting the Building Fund, $10,000 was raised. Within 60 days, the parsonage at 30 Normandy Place was purchased for $75,000, completely furnished and decorated before Christmas.
Rev. Goyins and church officers initiated a drive to build a new church and decided to add to the $50,000 balance in the Building Fund. The drive was started with a pledge of $1,000 by Rev. Goyins, followed by Stewards, Trustees and members, in amounts from $100 to $1,000.
In January, ground was broken for the construction of a new church. During February, the amount in the Building Fund was doubled. Church members pledged pews, windows, pulpit furniture and other necessary furnishings.
On April 29th, "Music for a Sunday Afternoon," a concert to benefit the churchís Building Fund, was presented in St. Joseph, the Carpenter Church under sponsorship of St. Josephís Parish Council. Proceeds of $800 were presented to the church.
By May, over $110,000 had been added to the churchís Building Fund through pledges and support from the membership, bringing the Building Fund to approximately $160,000.
In June, construction on the church was nearing completion.
On September 9th, dedication services for the new church were held, celebrating over $500,000 spent to the Glory of God! Rev. Goyins, president of the Interfaith Council, arranged for an Interfaith Union Dedication Service that was presided over by the Rt. Rev. E. L. Hickman, Presiding Bishop.
On September 14th, His Excellency Frederick H. Talbot, Ambassador to the Republic of Guyana, was keynote speaker at the 52nd Anniversary and Dedication Celebration at the Coachman Inn.
The Ladiesí Guild was organized under the Rev. Goyins.
On September 10th, the Pastorís Aide Club was re-organized.
On November 13th, the Rt. Rev. Richard A. Hildebrand presided over dedication rites of the parsonage, 30 Normandy Place, Roselle.
In August, 12 church members established the South Carolina Club and were organized by Rev. Goyins.
On November 18th, a testimonial banquet, honoring Rev. Goyins, was held at the Town and Campus, Union. The Rt. Rev. D. Ward Nichols, Presiding Bishop, was the keynote speaker.
On December 1st, the church mortgage was burned at a service presided over by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen Hildebrand, Presiding Bishop.
On March 7th, the Heard A. M. E. Federal Credit Union was chartered.
On December 9th, the parsonage, at 30 Normandy Place, was destroyed by fire. In less than two weeks, a fund-raising drive was launched and construction was started within six weeks.
On February 28th, the membership hosted a Parsonage Renewal Banquet, in tribute to Rev. and Mrs. Goyins, at the Town and Campus Restaurant in Union. 650 people attended to hear keynote speaker, Benjamin Hooks, Executive Director of the NAACP, at his first appearance in Union County. Approximately $13,000 was raised for the reconstruction of the parsonage destroyed by fire.
On December 9th, a dedication service for the completely restored and refurnished parsonage, at a cost of $126,000, was held. the Rt. Rev. Richard A. Hildebrand presided over dedication rites.
On March 19th, the Heard A. M. E. Church Food Store was established.
On September 9th, a Pastorís Appreciation Banquet for Rev. and Mrs. Goyins was hosted by the membership at Scottís Manor, Orange. The keynote speaker was Georgia State Senator Julian Bond.
A warehouse at 1927 E. Runyan Street, Newark was donated to Rev. Goyins by Edgar Eisler.
On June 9th, the Heard membership sponsored a testimonial banquet honoring Rev. and Mrs. Goyins at the Town and Campus Restaurant, Union. The keynote speaker was Ernest G. Green, president of a minority-owned consulting firm in Washington, D. C. and, as one of the "Little Rock Nine," was the first Black to be graduated from Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Male Chorus was organized under the directorship of Marie Ayers Wilson.
On June 7th, the Rt. Rev. Frank C. Cummings, Presiding Bishop, was the keynote speaker at a testimonial banquet honoring the Rev. and Mrs. Goyins at the Coachman Inn Restaurant in Cranford, hosted by church members.
Heard, along with combined contributions from the County of Union and individuals, purchased a van.
The Heard Scholarship Committee presented its first book award.
On September 23rd, the Rev. Jerry M. Guess, associate pastor at Heard, led dedication ceremonies for a three-unit townhouse constructed at 805/809 Spruce Street, Roselleís first affordable housing. Dedication rites were performed by the Rt. Rev. Frank C. Cummings, Presiding Bishop. Elder Charles Martin and Roselleís Mayor Sam J. Colucci took part in the rites.
On November 2nd, the Urban League of Union County, in recognition of Heardís impact on the quality of life of citizens in the community, presented the church with a Community Service Award.
On June 10th, the Rev. Jerry M. Guess, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the NAACP and Heard associate pastor, was the keynote speaker at an appreciation banquet honoring Rev. and Mrs. Goyins at the Town and Campus, Union.
Renovations were made to provide an office for the churchís credit union and a computer was purchased to maintain church records.
The Heard A. M. E. Federal Credit Unionís files were converted from manual to a computerized record keeping system.
On March 21st, an Open House Celebration of Heard Food Storeís 10th anniversary was held.
In April, a federal grant was received for the churchís Commission on Aids to provide food and nutritional supplements and referral services to HIV/AIDS affected residents in the Union County area.
On May 7th, the churchís holdings were added to with the purchase of a one-family house, 811 Spruce Street, Roselle, for $75,000 cash.
From September 3rd thru 6th, Heard sponsored its first carnival at Sylvester Land Field in Roselle.
In February, the Community Food Bank entered a firearms exchange program and, because of its involvement in community outreach, Heard was selected as a receiving location and was the most successful site in Union Countyís first handgun exchange program.
On May 6th, the membership hosted a Seventieth Anniversary Banquet, celebrating 70 years since the church was chartered, at the Pines Manor in Edison. The Rt. Rev. Philip R. Cousin was the keynote speaker.
On May 26th, the Menís Fellowship was formed.
February - Mary Pershay, Lillie Walls and Lucy Williams, solicited by Merck Pharmaceutical Co. to instruct their chefs in the art of the preparation of southern cuisine, consulted with their dining service, planned dishes and oversaw preparation of foods served at Merckís White Horse Station facility during Black History Month; thus the birth of "The Heard Caterers."
June 28th - July 4th, Heard sponsored a carnival at Land Memorial Field in Roselle.
On March 16th, at Noon, a Dedication Service, presided over by the Rt. Rev. Philip R. Cousin, Presiding Bishop, was held to celebrate a $500,000 addition to the church. The enlargement and renovation consisted of a new air-conditioning/heating system; extensive enlargement of the dining hall; addition of five rooms directly above the extension that includes three classrooms, a conference room and a fully-outfitted computer lab; a stairwell in the rear of the extension leading to a hallway separating the rear of the sanctuary and classrooms; and a ramp for the handicapped.
The Estate of Oliver E. Young, Jr., Roselle Public School Administrator, bequeathed $3,000 to the church.
On May 29th, political activist and comedian Dick Gregory performed at Heard at a dinner sponsored by the Roselle/Linden/Rahway Committee to Elect Cecil Banks to Congressional 10th District.
The entire exterior of the church was surrounded in brick and new outside lighting was installed.
July 3rd - 7th, Heard sponsored a carnival at Land Memorial Field in Roselle.
In October, Heard added to its holdings with the acquisition of 801 Spruce Street, Roselle, for $70,000.
In October, computer instruction classes were begun, providing computer instruction to students at no charge.
On April 4th, Pastor Goyins was honored for twenty-five years of service by the Heard membership at a banquet held at the Pines Manor in Edison. The Rt. Rev. Philip R. Cousins was the keynote speaker.
In June, a second van is purchased for $25,103.
Heard is listed in the New Jersey HIV/AIDS Resource Guide compiled by the NJ Division of AIDS Prevention and Control.
On November 20th, Heard, with Rev. Goyins as the inspirational leader, was the featured place of worship in the Home News Tribune.
In January, a check for $1,431.67, representing a percentage of crop walk proceeds, was received from the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.
In August, ballots were mailed to church members that resulted in a 10:00 A.M. start time for worship service throughout the entire year.
On September 16th, an inaugural meeting of a New Jersey Auxiliary was held.
In November, the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of New Jersey announced that Rev. Goyins was selected to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
On December 31st, the churchís holdings are added to with the purchase of a one-family house at 813 Spruce Street for $65,200 cash.
On February 21st, Pastor Goyins installs the New Jersey Club as part of the church during the morning worship service.
On March 1st, Pastor Goyins embarks on a 12 day trip to the Holy Land as a guest of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of New Jersey.
On May 14th, the churchís holdings are added to with the purchase of a legal two-family house at 723 Van Buren Avenue, Linden, for $50,000. The house was used by the previous owner as a one-family dwelling.
On June 13th, the corridor in the rear of the sanctuary, from which classrooms may be entered, was named the J. Stanley Parker Educational Wing in appreciation and respect for J. Stanley Parker, who has served as church treasurer for more than thirty years.
On June 27th, Pastor Goyins installed Heardís Lay Organization during the morning worship service.
On August 25, the churchís holdings are added to with the purchase of a three-story building, including a store-front and two apartments, at 301 East Ninth Avenue, Roselle, for $90,000. The church is indebted to Pastor and Mrs. Goyins for $116,000, used to purchase this property and for necessary repairs. It should be noted that Heard currently holds real property, excluding the church, at a tax value of approximately $425,000.
On September 11, Pastor Goyins receives an "Unsung Hero" award from Morning Star Baptist Church, Newark, at the Sheraton Hotel, Woodbridge. Rev. Dr. Robert D. Woods, Sr. is the pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church.
On October 15th, Roselle Savings Bank Community Outreach and Support Program presented $1,000.00 to the Heard Food Store.
On October 15th and 16th, Heardís Christian Education held its first Annual Retreat at the Wyndham Hotel in Piscataway. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Earl Jefferson, Director of the Christian Education Department of the 1st District.
On February 14th, Pastor Goyins underwent very serious surgery. The church family prayed for his speeding recovery.
On May 19th, Heard A.M.E. Federal Credit Union hosted a buffet in celebration of its 20th anniversary.
In a letter dated July 29th, Trustee Stanley Parker resigned as church treasurer and trustee after serving for more than thirty years and is designated Treasurer Emeritus.
ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. credited $1,111.00 to Heardís account at the Community Food Bank in Hillside after choosing Heard Food Store as a partner in their Partners in Caring Program designed to fight hunger in the community.
In October, The Turman and Louise Smith Scholarship Fund was established to present a $500.00 scholarship, annually, to a Heard member presently in college.
On October 20th and 21st, the Christian Education Department held its second annual retreat.
$1,567.13 was received from the 2000 CROP WALK for the Hungry held on Good Friday.
On December 10th, the Rev. Dr. James Coaxum, III presided over a worship service to be held monthly on the second Sunday and specifically for youth, in the Fellowship Hall, after assuming the position of Youth Minister.
On December 10th, old hymnals were replaced in the pews by 250 new African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnals, Year 2000 printing, all purchased by donations from the membership.
On January 29th, Rev. Goyins led the opening prayer at a Session of the New Jersey General Assembly at the State house located in the Capitol Complex, Trenton, New Jersey. During the Session, Pastor Goyins was awarded a plaque in recognition of outstanding dedication and unstinting service in behalf of the community-at-large and the state through joint ceremonial resolution by Assemblymen Gerald Green, Robert Smith, Neil M. Cohen, Joseph H. Suliga and Senators John A. Lynch and Raymond J. Lesniak.
On January 29th, a Handi-Lift chair was attached and installed on the front staircase for the purpose of allowing the handicapped and infirmed easy access to the sanctuary and lower level of the church. The chair was purchased for $11,880.00.
In May, The Rev. T. R. Goyins Foundations, Inc. was established as an outreach ministry of the church to foster educational improvement of the church and community. The Foundation hosted its first event, the 1st Annual Rev. T. R. Goyins Foundation Golf Classic on June 25th. The event was historical in that it was the first event hosted by a minority group at the Roselle Golf Club. As a direct result, the First Tee Program, founded by golf champion Tiger Woods to engage children in the sport, was sponsored and launched by Heard.
On June 30, a stainless steel, self-contained ice machine, including filter, was installed at a cost of $1,567.00. The largest amount contributed toward the cost, over $1,000.00, was through the efforts of the A. M. E. Caterers and the balance through donations by various auxiliaries and organizations of the church. The machine stores up to a daily capacity of eighty-nine pounds of ice.
In July, the Senior Usher Board made a gift to the church of a portable floor model propane gas fryer.
In July, a commercial type copier machine was purchased, mostly thru the efforts of the Heard Print Shop who contributed the largest share of the purchase price.
The Christian Education Department hosted the third annual Retreat from September 7th thru 9th at the Split Rock Resort in the Pocono Mountains.
In October, "Christian Martial Art" Karate Classes for women, men and children of all ages began on the churchís lower level. Also, a Tutoring Program for Basic Skills began.
On October 28th, the Heard Praise Liturgical Dancers make their debut during the T. R. Goyins Inspirational Ensembleís fifteenth anniversary celebration.
On November 2, United States Senators Jon Corzine and Frank Pallone were among attendees at Heard for a political rally for Assemblyman Gerald Green hosted by the Friends of Jerry Green.
In December, $1,000 was received from Roselle Savings Bank who designated Heard as the recipient of their Community Outreach and Support Program.
In December, the churchís side entrance was bricked and enclosed at a cost of $5,535.00.
On January 17th, the Heard membership welcomed NJ Governor, the Honorable James McGreevey, into the 10:00 A.M. worship service. Governor McGreevey had many kind words and must deserved praise for Pastor Goyins for the wisdom and support given to him during his bid for election. The governor was a guest at a buffet hosted by the Women of Heard following the worship service.
In January, Clark, Garwood and Union Shoprite Partners in Caring provided $6,000 in grants to the Heard account at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.
In January, Heard A. M. E. Federal Credit Union entered into a VISA Credit Card program.
In February, a video security system is installed with observation cameras in four locations.
On March 27th, the church ís holdings were added to with the purchase of 226 East Eighth Avenue, Roselle, at $180,000. The property is a two-family dwelling with three bedrooms on both floors. $310,000, borrowed from First Union Bank, was used to purchase this property and to reimburse Pastor and Mrs. Goyins $116,000 for monies loaned in August 1999.
On April 21st, the first session of Children’s Church was held, under the direction of the Christian Education Department, concurrently with the regular worship service. Children’s Church includes Bible stories, videos, coloring and singing.
On August 30th, the 2nd Annual Rev. T. R. Goyins Foundation Golf Classic was held at Rancocas Golf Club in Willingboro, NJ.
In August, the Women of Heard purchased a 5-well stainless steel electric hot food table and accessories and a 4-pan tabletop salad bar for the church.
The Christian Education Department hosted the 4th annual Retreat from October 11th thru October 13th at the Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort in the Pocono Mountains.
In October, $1,647.64 was received on behalf of the Roselle/Roselle Park 2002 CROP WALK for the Hungry held on Good Friday.
In November, the development of Heard's Web Site, including biographical information of Pastor Goyins and ministerial staff, the church's history, community services, auxiliary and club meetings, schedules, announcements, directions and other pertinent information in completed and the web site address WWW.HeardAME.ORG is announced.
Note: The history of Heard would not be complete without the names of Mr. Sinclair Fields, Mrs. Flossie Wactor Ruffin and Mr. James A. Jenkins, former Sunday School Superintendents; Mrs. Georgianna Parker, Treasurer for many years; Mrs. Wilhelmina Martin, Secretary of the Trustee Board for many years; Mrs. Belle Lester, first elected Church Clerk; and Mrs. Marie H. Wilmore, Clerk from 1947 until 1980.