CLARKS GREEN — Clarks Green Assembly of God, 204 South Abington Road, is now Servant Church of the Abingtons.
The community is invited to a special service on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 10:30 a.m., followed by a free celebration with lunch, games and bounce houses for children, a scavenger hunt, giveaways and more from noon to 3 p.m. All activities are on the church property.
The 92-year-old church was organized in September of 1927 with 26 charter members. The first pastor was Rev. Charles Shuss. Originally known as The Pentecostal Church of Clarks Summit, it was incorporated in 1928. The church purchased its present property at 204 South Abington Road in 1970. After the historic home of Jeremiah Clark was moved, the church broke ground in August 1976 under Pastor Harold Imes. A dedication service in the new building occurred in 1977 and assumed the name Clarks Green Assembly of God. Over the years, the church has experienced many milestones and grown.
Mike Warner is pastor of worship and community at Servant Church.
“We are a focused creative arts church,” Warner shared. “The people we have in our church are extremely gifted.”
Signature ministries of the church are a drama ministry that includes an Easter production and living nativity, a music and worship ministry, children’s programs like Junior Bible Quiz, grief share and divorce care ministries. Warner shared that community events such as the annual trunk-or-treat, and child-care nights for Valentine’s Day and Christmas shopping are always free.
“Showing the love of Christ to the community is essential to communicating the message of Christ,” Warner said. “We want to do things just to bless others. ‘The greatest among you will be the servant of all’ is found in Matthew. It’s really that Scripture verse that underpins why we are doing what we are doing. We want Christ to be the greatest of all in our community. In order to have the right to speak into people’s lives, we really must serve them.”
In recent years, the church added a wing that houses a youth room and storage area for drama productions. A café was added in the lobby and a sports program is planned for the future.
“The name change to Servant Church is going to remind our church how to think of their role in the community. To me that is the greatest benefit of the name change,” Warner said. “A lot of churches affirm their theological preference and denomination with their name. But if we were going to stress one thing that we want people to identify us as, it’s serving. ...Not so our community would see us and glorify us as a church – we are just fallen people redeemed by the Lamb – but we want the community to see the serving hands of Jesus Christ.”
The church will still be an Assembly of God church and aligned doctrinally with the Assemblies of God denomination.
Dan Miller was called to be lead pastor in August 2014 as former pastor Glenn White retired. Miller and his wife Deb have three grown children and seven grandchildren. They reside in Newton Township. Previously a youth pastor at Clarks Green Assembly of God, Miller went on to be lead pastor at Back Mountain Harvest Assembly of God in Trucksville for more than 21 years. Miller said even though he was well established in Trucksville and had intended to retire there, God called him to Clarks Green.
“We want to add value to the community,” Miller said. “We don’t serve ourselves. We serve the community. We want to bring help and hope. Not just for our church members, but anyone in our community. I pastor an area, and the church just happens to be part of that area.”
Miller shared that the name change came about due to the need for a “reboot.”
“We’ve been in the community for almost a hundred years. It just needs to be freshened up. Also, we have changed. It’s a different church than it was years ago. We are more community-minded. Ministries have changed, our music has changed, the inside of our building has changed, our name has changed, but the message is the same. We won’t change the message, but we will change the way we do it. We are thankful for the past, it’s been a good past. But it’s time to be reborn and we are excited for the future.”
The pastors and board discussed the name change. They presented the idea to the congregation and asked for name suggestions. The church voted in approval of the name “Servant Church of the Abingtons” in 2016 but didn’t launch the name right away, as they waited to complete building updates and put core ministries in place.
“I didn’t want to launch it until we were a servant church,” Miller said. “The name doesn’t make us become servants. You’re either serving or you’re not. We have a church with a servant’s heart and we are ready.”