Located in Montgomery County, Maryland, The Silver Spring Church of God serves an international and culturally diverse community, of whom all are welcome to worship and serve our Lord Jesus Christ! U.S. military personnel form a large part of our congregation, which gives us a special sense of the urgency of our times and an appreciation for our freedom fighters.
Founded in 1959 under State Overseer Ray Hughes’ watch, 2009 marked our fiftieth year. Early pastors included H.B. Sizemore (1963-1965), Norman Hamby (1965), and David Searce (1966-1969). Pastor Grady Waters served from 1974-1981, with the congregation averaging about forty-five in attendance. Under his apostolic ministry, the current parsonage was built, Sugar Plumb Day Care was in operation, and The Voice of Living Waters Gospel Favorites was broadcast on WINX radio. Revivals, homecomings, and ministry to the military community were important to church life. Evangelist Baber and Apostle T.L. Lowery are remembered for their powerful meetings.
Pastor Albert Pickerall succeeded Pastor Waters in 1981. Known for hospitality, Pastor Pickerall opened the parsonage for informal gatherings where the gifts of the Holy Spirit were in operation. Sunday services were marked by long times of tarrying at the altars in order to hear from God. Consistently the Holy Spirit spoke that God has great and mighty plans for The Silver Spring Church of God. Revival meetings were frequent, including such men of God as Charles Crissey, Timothy Shawyer, Joe Rowe, Glen Morris, Edward Gray and Robert Clagg. Beginning during Pastor Pickerall’s tenure, and continuing until 1992, the church shared its facilities with the Iglesia de Dios (Hispanic) shepherded by Pastor Melendez who was succeeded by Pastor Morla. Another highlight of this period were the monthly services at The Carriage Hill Nursing Home (now The Woodside Center), which have continued uninterruptedly to the present.
Pastor Pickerall was assigned to Hagerstown Dual Highway in 1988, followed by interim Pastor Vernon Oates. Pastor William R. Kilby (a U.S. Army Viet Nam veteran) and his family arrived on June 12, 1989 and have been faithfully serving ever since. The year 2009 marked their twentieth year of unbroken ministry at Silver Spring.
Starting in 1989 with a congregation down to ten members, Pastor Kilby worked tirelessly in both the spiritual and temporal areas of ministry. Today averaging about fifty in attendance, the church has had peak times of one hundred to one hundred twenty in attendance. Shortly after his arrival, Pastor Kilby initiated a community witnessing campaign, with he and his wife and members literally knocking on neighborhood doors. This netted souls who are still with us, and one couple in particular, Brother Kennedy McLeod and his wife Karlene, are now serving as Youth Pastors. Early spiritual highlights included powerful revivals with Reverend Paul Clawson and International Evangelist Jacqueline Smith.
In 1994 a small group of Haitian brothers and sisters under Pastor Joseph Berluche joined us. Called L’Église de Dieu de Silver Spring (Anderson, IN), they have since grown to about 120 members and continue to meet at Silver Spring for Sunday evening services in the Creole and French languages. The year 1994 also marked the beginning of a food for the hungry program, initiated by Sister Millie Ryan and administered continuously ever since by Councilman Ron Hanan.
An era of property improvement began in 1996 with paving of the parking lot and the installation of new signage. In 1997 a major renovation plan to “rebuild our place of worship to enhance church growth and better community relationship” was spearheaded by Sister Ana Marshall, wife of Desert Storm U.S. Army veteran and Councilman, Brother Edgar Marshall. In 2000 the old pews were replaced with moveable cushioned chairs.
Ministerial training, ministry to our youth and young adults, and World Missions are of great importance. Ministers set forth include Estrelda Alexander (C.E. 1991), Vicki Walker (Exhorter 1999), Rose Kilby (Exhorter 1999) and Ross Lewchuk (Music Minister 2004). Current C.E. Director and Associate Pastor LaJuana Caldwell is working to improve our Youth and Young Adult ministry. World Missions projects supported have included La Première Église de Dieu des Gonaïves, Emma’s Kids (Zambia), and Yves Bazile (France). As of 2012 our mission efforts are focused on The Little Angels of the Broken Wings orphanage project in Camp Louise, Haiti, under the administration of the project founder, Bro. Joseph Pierre.
Since 2000, the Lord has greatly blessed our music ministry through the diligence of Evangelist Tina Greene, Youth Choir Director Charmain Rucker, and gospel musician Brother William Johnson. In 2008 our choirs ministered at The Williamsport-Gateway Camp Meeting. In 2012, Evangelist Tina Greene and the church choir ministered at The Baltimore Camp Meeting.
With thanks to God and His Son, and walking in the Pentecostal power of the Holy Spirit, The Silver Spring Church of God will continue to fulfill the prophecies of great things spoken over her by proclaiming and living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ!