Our Beginnings

On October 20, 1979, two hundred twenty-six (226) Click Here to See the Charter Members charter members signed in and officially became the Centerville Seventh-day Adventist Church.  At first it was part of a district that included Far Hills and the North Dayton Company, however, it was later was designated as its own district.

Through winter cold and summer heat, sitting on hard metal folding chairs, the members gathered in the SVA gym, always hoping and planning for their own church building.
On December 30, 1980, the church purchased twelve acres of land on Social Row Road near Route 48 as an investment.  This seemed to be the first real evidence of progress.  However, too many issues were foreseen for a church in that location.  Property on Mendle Road and U.S. 48 was considered, but the members came to the conclusion that parking and getting in and out of property would be too challenging.  Soon members were looking at a proposal to buy a church in Centerville proper.  Again, tape measures and sharp pencils were put to use and, again, the members were not satisfied with the location.
In the spring of 1981, Pastor Fisher accepted a call to the Ohio Conference, and Pastor Gerard Seton and his family arrived in August to minster to a membership that had grown to 312.

The years between 1981 and 1983 were a time of both hopefulness and discouragement.  The dedicated, faithful church members continued week after week to set up chairs and take down chairs; set up Sabbath School rooms and put everything away.  Members brought lap throws to keep warm, fans to keep cool, and pillows to soften the chairs.  And still the membership grew to three hundred thirty-three (333) by the weekend of dedication.  They were nearing four years in the school’s gymnasium and frustrations were running high; the church had no location, no building, no contractor, and some felt too little money. Tensions began to build when it was apparent no property was available at the time.  It was decided to officially call the new congregation the Centerville SDA Church and the feeling was strong that the church should not locate on or near the school and should maintain its own identity.

But, God was not about to abandon this fledging group.  New committees were formed, new leadership came into play, and a new vision began to focus.  Property not available before was now on the market.  Members focused on the Spring Valley Road location.  This property so impressed the congregation that at a Church Business Meeting, despite four options to choose from, the West Spring Valley Road location received an overwhelming majority vote.  The Business Meeting closed with a unanimous consensus to proceed with the purchase of the eight+ acres.  To help finance this second purchase, members agreed to sell the first property.