In 1945, a prayer group evolved in the home of Sister Lenora Hicks. This small family was eager to get Christian work started in Trenton.
In 1949, Sister Christine Gage, who is the sister of Sis. Hicks, contacted the Church of God Headquarters located in Anderson, Indiana, regarding a nearby church and/or minister who would be able to assist in their endeavors. The Church of God Headquarters responded with the name Reverend Ratzlaff, who attended theological seminary at Princeton University. Rev. Ratzlaff readily agreed to come and lend his services to this small flock.
At approximately the same time, the Lord directed Sis. Hicks and Sis. Gage to a building located at 725 N. Clinton Avenue. The down payment on the building in the amount of $100.00 was made by Sis. Georgia Lenton, mother of Sis. Hicks and Sis. Gage, thereby establishing 725 North Clinton Avenue, as the new home of the church named the East Trenton Church of God.
In 1950, Rev Leroy Hickman was contacted by the New Jersey Ministerial Conference to serve as pastor of the East Trenton Church of God. He accepted the call to pastor and remained with the congregation for three years. Additional ministers who served the congregation were Rev. Golf, who was called to the foreign mission field and Rev. Collins from Plainfield, New Jersey.
In the latter part of 1954, the Lord directed Rev. Samuel Key and his wife Sis. Lila Key to the East Trenton Church of God. Although the church was unable to afford a salary for Rev. Key for approximately five years, he accepted the pastoral assignment. Under Pastor Key’s leadership, the church outgrew their facilities and began their search for a new edifice.
On Easter Sunday morning in March 1977, Pastor Samuel Key led fifty-two men, women and children from the old building down North Clinton Avenue to State Street, over to Stockton Street and up the hill to our newly purchased church building on the corner of Mercer and Market Streets, located in the Mill Hill Historic District. It was the late Mayor Arthur J. Holland who asked Pastor Key if he would consider naming the church based on its location, thus Mill Hill Church of God became the new name of our new home. Shortly after moving into the new building, renovation was started. After many years of using other facilities for baptism, Rev. Key saw the need for the installation of a baptism pool; which was one of the first projects completed. A Building Fund Campaign, through our Church of God Headquarters in Anderson, Indiana, was conducted and the congregation burned the mortgage of the building in three years. In the year 1984, the Lord called Pastor Samuel Key from labor to rest and the church began their search for a new leader.
In April 1982, Rev. Floyd D. Ruffin became the third pastor of the Mill Hill Church of God. Under his leadership, the church grew and several ministries were instituted for the enhancement of the Kingdom, namely the introduction of Praise Dance as a ministry; Praise & Worship Teams to lead the congregation in worship; the renovation of the sanctuary continued with the installment of central air conditioning; an audio sound room; tape ministry; new windows; painting of the building, carpeting, etc. A Homeless Ministry began with cooked meals prepared for the homeless, along with ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ. After the serving of hot meals was discontinued, the Homeless Ministry gave bags of food and other items to those in need. This was done on a weekly basis. Also, Rev. Floyd D. Ruffin instituted a pension for the late Rev. Samuel Key’s widow to give honor to their labor in the gospel for thirty years.
In September 1999, Rev. James P. Key became the fourth pastor of the Mill Hill Church of God. Under his leadership, the Homeless Ministry continued because Rev. Key had a heart for this ministry and spent many hours, days and nights meeting the needs of the homeless and disadvantaged. Also, the women’s ministry, now known as the Women of Purpose Ministry, was instituted. Rev. Key also contributed to the beautifying of the sanctuary by having the pews covered and carpeting installed. In the year 2002, the Lord called Pastor James P. Key from labor to rest.
In July 2003, Rev. Leon S. Alexander Jr., became the fifth pastor of the Mill Hill Church of God. Under his present leadership, through the grace of God, the church continues to move forward, having established the following:
-Board of Elders; -Board of Mothers (seasoned saints); -Renovation of the basement. After completed renovations the basement was renamed the James P. Key
Fellowship Hall in honor of the late Pastor James P. Key;
-The creation of a computer-program system for financial tracking (programming done by Pastor Alexander
- One of the most significant and profound changes -- on Resurrection Sunday morning on April 8, 2007,
Pastor Leon S. Alexander Jr., announced the official name change of the Mill Hill Church of God to Life
Abundant Church of God. The new name ordained by God identifies the church with a biblical
proclamation rather than a geographical location. ---- “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and
to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
It is this scripture that is the foundation for our new name;
- On October 21, 2007, for the first time in the history of the church and ordained by God for the
advancement of the Kingdom, Pastor Alexander named Rev. Lois Alexander as Co-pastor of the Life
Abundant Church of God.
Today we are blessed to be able to continue the work of ministry in our church home at 167 Mercer Street, Trenton New Jersey, which started with such humble beginnings. From 1945 to this time, God gave life to this body of believers to establish us as a church. And with this life, we shall continue to proclaim holiness, not only as a religion but as a lifestyle, and let the world know that Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly! We pray that this life changing name based on the Word of God would not be just a symbol of transition but of transformation; a transformation which will affect the lives of the present and future members of the Life Abundant Church of God!
To God be the glory for the things He has done, is doing and will do!