On December 7, 2014 Riviera United Church of Christ celebrated its 125th Anniversary. This remarkable journey began in December 1889 as First Congregational Church of Melbourne, located at the corner of US 1 and Strawbridge Ave. in Melbourne. With a slight detour to a temporary facility, we moved to our current location in Palm Bay in 2003. Along with our beautiful new building we adopted a new name: Riviera United Church of Christ. Throughout those 125 years, this church has been committed to following God’s word and the teachings of Jesus., in doing so it has devoted itself to social action and community service. What began before the turn of the 19th century has continued today. This church continues to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and opens its doors to anyone who wishes to enter. Music has been an integral part of the worship service. From the pipe organ in the early years, the “sing alongs” in the 1950’s, to the blend of Contemporary and Traditional music we enjoy today, music is a important part of our spiritual lives. Just as it was when this church was founded, our fellowship times with each other and within the community help us to remain the friendly, loving church it has been for 125 years. As this church celebrates its 125th anniversary we continue to be a vibrant, loving community of faith that is anticipating growing within Palm Bay for many years to come.
Here are some pictures from our 125th celebration
RUCC Council votes “Pastor Emeritus” status for Rev. Allan
On June 22, 2014, the Church Council of the Riviera United Church of Christ voted unanimously to confer the title of Pastor Emeritus on the Reverend James Allan in honor of his exceptional service to this congregation.
Reverend Allan may have thought retiring from the Army in 1972 would allow more time on the golf course. But God had other plans for this retired Army Chaplain. This congregation, which at the time was known as the United Church of Christ, Congregational, and was located in Melbourne, Florida, was going through some difficult times, and there was dissension among the membership. Their pastor at the time resigned his pastorate in early 1972. Sunday needs were met for much of the year, but program and spiritual guidance fell to the lay leadership until Jim Allan was called to provide full-time ministerial service beginning in January of 1973. Reverend Allan has said that he saw his job as putting the church together again, getting the members to work together. And he did just that. The membership came together, and by the time Reverend Allan retired his position in 1977 there was stability within the congregation once again. Reverend Allan has remained an active member of this congregation for over 40 years and has occasionally served as a supply pastor during that time.
According to the United Church of Christ website, “the term ‘Pastor Emeritus’ is used by a local church of the United Church of Christ to honor a person whose lengthy ministry in that local church has been one of distinguished service. The designation recognizes an individual’s retirement from that particular local church and from active ordained ministry.”
The honor of the title of Pastor Emeritus was conferred upon the Reverend James Allan during the worship service on Sunday, June 29, 2014.
Ninety years of age or more … and still active members at RUCC
The Riviera United Church of Christ exists to experience and share Christ’s unconditional love. No where is this more obvious than in a group of our members who have reached a major milestone in their lives – becoming nonagenarians. (Nonagenarians are those persons who are between 90 and 99 years of age.) We are blessed to have ten such members in our congregation. On Sunday – June 29, 2014 RUCC attempted to gather our nonagenarians for a photo for our upcoming Church Directory. We honor them and thank them for their continuing dedication and guidance to RUCC.
Our nonagenarians, as pictured are: (standing) Carol Robinson, Ginny Mack, Beth Aufderheide, Paula Siler, Opal Houghton, (seated) James Allan, Louise Richards, (missing) Chet Dragon, Grace and John Fuller