The Work Begins
In 1950, Elder Palmieri, pastor of the Italian church in New Orleans, stated that the members had been conducting an evangelistic effort through a branch Sabbath school at Slidell, about 25 miles from New Orleans. This branch Sabbath school was being conducted each Sabbath afternoon (Sanders, 1950).
Slidell Church Organized in 1972
Years later, there were individuals living in Slidell who had wanted to have a church in that city for a long time. These individuals, in connection with the district pastor, James Herman, led out in the formation of the Slidell Seventh-day Adventist church (Herman, 1972). In December 1971, a small group of believers met with Elder James Herman of the Hammond district to elect officers for Sabbath school and church positions. By January 29, 1972, the Slidell members had rented the First Assembly of God church on Nellie Drive, in which to meet. About twenty people attended each week. The Slidell church was organized on March 25, 1972, with twenty-one charter members (Oster, 1997). The organization took place at the First Baptist church on Robert Street and the first baptism for the newly organized church, Douglas Estey, was performed that day (Herman, 1972). Some of the charter members who joined by letter of transfer were Sam and Connie Danese; Mavis Dean; Ted, Nancy, and Dallas Estey; Glynn and Camille Griffin; Lyle, Barbara and Bernard Lawrence; Linda McElvania; Alma Miller; Lonnie and Scott Tarver; Bobby, Evelyn, and Steven Teal; Loretta Smith; and Frances Van Gorder (History, 2017).
A larger building was needed and on April 1, 1972, Sabbath services were moved to the First Church of God on Gause Boulevard. This was the temporary home of the Slidell church for the next four years. In September 1972, Elders Cline Johnson and James Herman conducted a two-week evangelistic meeting in an air dome at the Northside Shopping Center, baptizing fifteen new members. By January 1973, the church members were able to purchase a parcel of land on Highway 190 West and paid off the loan in six months. Work began on the land in January 1976, with much clearing and many loads of fill dirt to prepare the building site for a church and a school. Two portable buildings were purchased in May from the Louisiana public school system. These were to be used until funds became available to build permanent structures. At the same time, the Mandeville church purchased a third portable building, and all three buildings were placed on the Slidell property. By August, one building was ready to accommodate a school with fourteen students and Susan Hallett as the teacher. On October 23, 1976, with a membership of sixty-eight, the Sabbath services were moved to the second portable building on the church property. By the next school year, the school had grown enough to need two of the portable buildings so the Mandeville church gave permission for Slidell to use their building as a sanctuary (History, 2017).
Setting up the Portable Buildings
Setting up the airatorium
A New Church in 1979
On July 4, 1978, forms were laid in preparation for pouring the slab for the new church. By September construction began and each Sunday a group of willing workers met to work on the construction. In March 1979, Glenn Payne, the conference builder, came to help with the construction and on Sabbath, November 24, 1979, the first church service was held in the newly completed sanctuary. The education wing was roughed in to be finished as funds became available (History, 2017). In February 1980, the Slidell church held evangelistic meetings. Each of the ninety-eight members of the church had been working for several months before the meetings. Some were actively engaged in community welfare services while others were busy with Five-Day Stop Smoking Clinics and work on the church sanctuary. Still others were working with the youth and their Pathfinder activities. Following the evangelistic meetings, they held a Revelation Seminar (Van Gorder, 1980). The members continued participating in many activities and the membership grew to 148. They also started a Debt-Free campaign and had paid off their mortgage just in time to dedicate their church on March 21, 1997, and celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the church. By 2016, the church membership had grown to 243 (History, 2017).
A New Church Sign in 2004
By 2004, the church sign had been repaired so many times it was falling apart. After four years of fundraising and saving, the church finally purchased a beautiful, lighted sign that was placed in front of the church (Teal, 2004).
(2017, Mar. 25). Slidell Seventh-day Adventist Church History. Unpublished article provided by Bobby J. Teal, Sr.
Herman Jr., James K. (1972, May 13). Southwestern Union Record, p. 7.
Oster, Jerry. (1997, Jun. 1). Ibid., p. 16.
Sanders, F. O. (1950, Aug. 16). Ibid., p. 2.
Teal, Evelyn. (2004, Dec. 1). Ibid., p. 8.
Van Gorder, Frances. (1978, Nov. 16). Ibid., p. 16F.
Ibid. (1980, Apr. 7). p. 12G.