Elder Gerald Schultz approached Elder Earl Canson with the idea of starting a Black Church in the Reno area. Elder Canson immediately thought of Harvey E. Williams, who was asked to start another church in this virgin field.
It was faith that made Harvey and Margie move out of their three bedroom home in Oakland to a one-bedroom home in Reno. A "Salt and Pepper" team was soon formed between Schultze and Williams. Schultze was fond of saying, "We give you the gospel in Black and White." Schultze was the "Pepper" and Williams was the "Salt" - strange as it seems.
That summer the Evangelistic Team of Canson, Schultze and Williams held an effort in the Reno Fairgrounds. Harvey was given the support of his wife, Margie, Eda Rowe, and L. D. and Mary Gordon.
The first baptismal candidate was Dorothy Follon (Fallen). At the end of the summer, the Bible Search Mission had been formed, and by January 1979 they were organized into a full-fledged church with Elder A.G. Strifling officiating.
The charter members were: Harvey and Margie Williams, Steve and Corine Steinburgger, Ken and Marsha Dupree, Forest and Sandy Allen, L. D. and Mary Gordon, Spencer and Thurman Scott, The Henderson family, Pete Handke, Sandy Morgan, Mama Day,
Louise Matlock, Jan Justine, Ted Brown, Dorothy Fallen, Ed Makowsky, Cecilia Bradbear (Badbear), Annabelle Bias, Chieng Sesvanna, Lawerence and Erma Craig, Brad and Julia Grooms, and Mr. and Mrs. David Rice.
After wandering in the rental wilderness, they found their Caanan at the location of 651 Field Street in Sparks.
February 3, 1979, they held their first Anniversary Celebration, with Elder Earl Canson the principle speaker: two weeks later Eda Rowe was instrumental in putting on the First Public Health Fair ever held in Reno, Nevada, and since
that time at least every three months someone in the city put on one.
Soon the cities of Sparks and Reno knew that "Little Church". Whenever someone was sick or in need, the hospital or police department called on the "Little Sparks Church" as it had been renamed with it's new location.
Each year Margie and the ladies of the church distributed food baskets to the needy. The church grew, adding to it a Tonganese Congregation and representation from other Ethnic Groups. It was truly a bouquet of roses as God ordained that churchs should be.
All of this and much more was done, and Harvey was still working as a lay minister. Elder Strifling proposed to the Conference the Harvey be ordained, and during the June 1982 Camp Meeting just before Harvey's birthday he was ordained, but Elder Strifling past before witnessing the event.
Harvey and Margie lead their congregation in giving Bible Studies and holding Revelation Seminars. The results being they increesed their membership and realized a need for a new church, because they had out grown their present building in less than 5 years.
They prayed about selling the church and buying other property. The Lord answered their prayers so fast they weren't ready for it and wondered "where can we go". They were told "Go To The Rock". He gave you this church and He can give you another one.
Elder William Webb, the Pastor of the Second Baptist Church offered them their beautiful edifice to worship in until they could get one.
A "Churches on Parade" musical was given in 1986 and netted an offering of $40,000.00 in one day. Other generous donors has given from $1.00 to $109,000.00.
they had their ground breaking ceremony for the New Sparks Seventh-day Adventist Church on July 19, 1987 at Rock and McCarren where you now sit.
The last 11 years the church members, Elders, Margie, and Pastor Williams have prayed, the Lord has opened the windows of heaven and poured out blessing after blessing.
Through it all and through the changes of five Conference Presidents, the church is thankful to all of them and also thankful for the kindness shown to them through the rental
of First church of the Nazarine, Bethel A.M.E. Church, Reno Junior Academy, Second Baptist Church, and a special thanks to Elder Charles Snyder for the consistent support, his financial
advice and spiritual encouragement he gave when things looked gloomiest.
We know that we also could not have accomplished this if it had not been for the faithful soldiers of God that have past on; such as Beulah Christensen, Lawerence and Erma Craig and many others.
So the "Little Church" that started with a "Spark" has grown into the flame of service and evangelism you see today. May God's Blessing continue to rest upon it.