Our Pastor, Eddie L. Durham, Sr., is a native of Louisiana, the youngest son in a family of three sons. His father, Rev. Albert Eddie Durham, was a Baptist pastor for more than 60 years. His mother, Annie, was very active in the church, serving as First Lady and Church Mother.
After graduating with honors from Southern University, Pastor Durham taught high school English and Drama before being asked to join Shell Chemical Company as a chemical plant start-up technician and trainer. Approximately four months after accepting the position with Shell Chemical, God directed Pastor Durham to accept a fellowship to Princeton Seminary and he obeyed. Pastor Durham had been called to ministry during his sophomore year at Southern University and was already active in ministry.
Pastor Durham's first tenure as Pastor of Saints' Memorial Community Church occurred when the Church's Founding Pastor, Rev. Dr. Norman H. Davis, was called to Glory. The congregation immediately asked Rev. Durham, who was serving as Assistant Pastor under Rev. Davis, to become Interim Pastor and called him as Pastor some nine months later. After four years, Pastor Durham left the pastorate to serve in another career field.
In June 1994, Saints' Memorial again called upon Rev. Durham and asked him to serve as Interim Pastor. Saints' Memorial was at a very important crossroad, needing the vision and leadership of this spirit-filled leader. The Holy Spirit led him to respond affirmatively. Approximately six months later, he accepted the pastorate on a permanent basis.
One of the tasks to which Pastor Durham turned his attention was extinguishing the mortgage of the church. After much prayer, he put forth a plan, "Saints' Memorial 2000," that allowed the congregation to save thousands and thousands of dollars in interest payments while paying off our mortgage years early. As of November 2000, our congregation became debt-free, thanks to God's blessings and our Pastor's leadership.
In addition to his religious gifts, Pastor Durham has also been privileged to serve as an executive-level civil servant. On December 31, 1998, he retired from the position Chief of Staff to the New Jersey Secretary of State. Being a computer buff and entrepreneur, Pastor Durham has owned several businesses. He also served as Adjunct Professor of Business at Burlington County Community College.
Pastor Durham is especially thankful to God for having been blessed with his beautiful, wonderful wife, Sarah, who serves as his Executive Assistant. He is buoyed by and gives thanks to God for family, friends, and the members of Saints' Memorial who are fellow laborers in the vineyard. Pastor Durham credits them with being strategic partners in whatever success he has achieved.
Pastor Durham is an avid reader and student. Though he has been blessed to study at a number of prestigious institutions of higher learning and has earned several degrees, both secular and theological, he prefers to simply say, "I have been bountifully blessed by the Master above."
One of the Pastor's favorite Bible quotes is found in Luke 12:48 "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required...." It is this quote that serves as the driving force for him to constantly seek to improve the effectiveness of the ministry to which God has called him.