Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church had its humble beginning in 1920 when 8 members of Asbury United Methodist Church, began worship service in a home located in the 900 block of Arctic Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey; because they were unable to attend service due to the long distance and lack of transportation. They were known as Atlantic City Mission with the first pastor being the Reverend Robert Price.
Due to the growth of its members, the church relocated twice in the early months of 1923. First to Lipscom’s Hall located at Delaware and Baltic Avenues, then to 817 Baltic Avenue (our first traditional church) under the pastorate of Reverend George Brooks. While at this location, the congregation was introduced to Bishop John Hamilton one of the most influential figures in the Methodist Episcopal church. Bishop Hamilton provided valuable guidance and ecumenical leadership to the church. To show their appreciation the church changed their name to Hamilton Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church; later to be renamed Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church by our Southern New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In 1927 Mildred Bowers Waters founded two organizations within the church:
- Hamilton Memorial Epworth League. The purpose of the league was the promotion of intelligent and vital piety among the young people of the church. To encourage and cultivate Christ-centered character in young adults (aged 18 to 35) around the world through community building, missions, and spiritual growth.
- Hamilton Memorial Methodist Church Nurse’s Unit. Under the Methodist Health System brand, the ministry was based on a commitment to the health and well-being of the community. To bring healthcare to those in greatest need with compassion and dignity.
Our church found its final home when we purchased land located at 605-611 Arctic Avenue. The church and cross on the tower at our new sanctuary were dedicated on August 11, 1940 under the pastorate of Reverend John Parker.
In 1941 Justina Brathwaite became the first Exhorter of Hamilton Methodist Episcopal Church. In December 1959 she was honored by the Women’s Society of Christian Service of Hamilton Memorial Methodist Church for her many years of service and role as Spiritual Life Leader at the church. She devoted her entire lifetime to the service of our Lord and in her memory the church (lead by Shirley Childress) established the Justina Brathwaite Scholarship Fund in June 1980 to further the education of youth.
December 9, 1956 marked the dedication of the Community Center of Hamilton Memorial Methodist Church for the Development of Mind, Body, Fellowship and Soul. Reverend Hooker D. Davis, Pastor of Hamilton Memorial invited the people of the uptown section of the city to make full use of the new facility, located in the rear of the church building.
Through the years we have had numerous pastors, all who have played an important role in the traditions and growth of the church and the community. They paved the way and are still a part of our church today. Our present pastor, Reverend Clifford L. Still, Sr., who came to us in July 2015 is carrying on in their footsteps as a community advocate, leader, teacher, mentor and shepherd of the flock at Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church.