A Brief History of the Gardner Church
The Gardner Seventh-day Adventist Church initially organized in 1950 in a small church on Chestnut Street in Gardner. At that time there were 30 members total, with about 20 active. The church operated there for more than 44 years, growing to about 85 members and representing 21 families.
In the summer of 1993, the church began thinking about a new building, given the limited capacity of the Chestnut St. location. Land was purchased on the Westminster line in Gardner on Colony Road, and construction began in 1994 and attained completion in November 1995. The project was erected by utilizing the talents of its church member volunteers. The membership immediately grew to about 200 members on the books, consisting mostly of transfers from other churches.
Our new church building is located on the outskirts of Gardner in a picturesque rural location. The Wachusett Hills Christian School, formerly known as Blueberry Academy, was integrated into the construction phase of the building, incorporating space for two classrooms and support rooms for the future needs of the school and church. Blueberry Academy operated in temporary quarters at the Seventh-day Adventist Camp Winnekeag in Ashburnham for two plus years until the new building was ready. At that time, the name of the school was changed, given its new location under the shadows of Mt. Wachusett, and it has been operating continually ever since. In 2017, we added Kindergarten classes to the 1-8th grades and increased our teachers by one, and the school has been blessed with continuing success over the years.
The Gardner Church had been running evangelistic series every few years with minimal attendance from the community. In the summer of 2012, consideration was given to running another one, but during the ensuing discussions it was recognized that, given our rural location and the lack of public transportation, we had absolutely no identity within the City of Gardner.
With the intent of rectifying our non-recognition status, a plan of action was developed to establish a community center in a small rented facility in the downtown area of the city called The People’s Place Community Center. Utilizing that venue, various topics are presented that our community surveys have indicated resonate with the local residents, and the facility is also made available to other community service organizations for outreach activities. Since the grand opening in February 2013, it has achieved a well established identity within the community. Our church has whole heartedly supported this effort within the church budget, additional assistance having been provided by the generous contribution of grant funds from the Southern New England Conference, the NAD of the General Conference and the Henry Heywood Hospital Health Center.
About Seventh-day Adventists
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a mainstream Protestant church with approximately 19 million members worldwide, including more than one million members in North America. The Seventh-day Adventist Church seeks to enhance quality of life for people everywhere and to let people know that Jesus is coming again soon.
Adventists believe a Trinity of three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—make up one God. They made salvation possible when Jesus, the Son, came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem and lived a sinless life in accordance with the Father's will. When Jesus was crucified for the sins of the people of the world and arose from the dead on the third day, victory was won for everyone.
When He returned to heaven following the resurrection, Jesus left the Holy Spirit to serve as our Comforter and Counselor. He promised to return to earth a second time to complete His plan of salvation and take His people to heaven. Adventists are among the believers who look forward to that day.
Adventists believe that God is concerned with the quality of human life, and that everything—the way we live, eat, speak, think, treat each other, and care for the world around us—is part of His plan. Our families, our children, our jobs, our talents, our money, and our time are all important to Him.