Tag Archives: Tim Hart

Help and Hope for Morris County

In a testimony to community collaboration and an example of “going to the margins”, Garden Chapel opened their doors to leaders, law enforcement and local neighbors in Morris County, New Jersey for a special forum on opioids and addiction.

Local leaders join together with HOPE One, to bring hope and help to those struggling in New Jersey.

This free event held at Garden Chapel on Saturday, April 28 was, on the surface, a resourcing fair – raising awareness of the opiate epidemic, highlighting positive prevention strategies, and connecting people with local treatment and recovery services.  But for anyone who’s dealt with substance abuse and mental illness or knows someone who has, this event connected on a deeper, more critical level.

Data released by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office shows that drug overdose deaths in the state to be on a record-shattering pace in 2018.  Pastor Tim Hart knows all too well the effects of the drug crisis, having lost both his brother and best friend to the epidemic. “I have participated in way too many funerals for friends, parishioners and their children due to this crisis,” he says. “I have been to at least 12 funerals in 2017 and 2018, just from opiate, fentanyl, and heroin overdoses. I believe this is the devil’s imitation of the Holy Spirit, to steal, kill and destroy lives and families.”

Over the course of the day, thirty-four individuals received free training on administering Naxalone (Narcan), which could potentially save the life of someone overdosing on opioids.  Morris County’s HOPE ONE program was on site, offering access to services and treatment facilities to anyone in need.  The entire event was presented as a part of the countywide Stigma-Free Initiative, which aims to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders.  “To truly change the way society views individuals with substance abuse and mental illness disorders, we must change our language, attitude and be more compassionate,” said Dover (NJ) Mayor James P. Dodd. “Regardless of the spectrum, we all know or have people in our lives who face these challenges.”

Volunteers greet guests with information and assistance.

Friends and pastors at Garden Chapel did their part as hosts, running a children’s program and providing Spanish translation, and are already seeing results.  The event has assisted at least 10 people to take the first step and enter detox or rehab, some of whom have direct connections to Garden Chapel, and calls are still coming in.

“We can extend our hand out to someone in need, who can grab it and get the help he or she needs,” says Victory Gardens (NJ) Mayor David L. Holeman.  Undoubtedly the hands of Garden Chapel will continue to be among those extended.  “All that know me know how dear this topic is to my heart,” says Pastor Tim, “and my passion is to never stop fighting for the lives of those struggling with this addiction.  I will continue to cry out to GOD while putting my faith into action, by partnering with anyone and everyone to make a difference.”

Garden Chapel’s Pastor Tim Hart Receives Service Award

Tim Hart with his wife, Maria, and daughter, Melody.
Tim Hart with his wife, Maria, and daughter, Melody.

The Red Bandanna Service award is given to an individual or group who has shown initiative and dedication in support of children in need. In addition to his work as pastor at Garden Chapel (Dover, NJ), he also works at a local state university and spends his time mentoring youth in the community. He can be found playing basketball with them, just hanging out, even assisting them in finding treatment for addiction and walking with them through court proceedings. We are blessed to have Pastor Tim and Garden Chapel as a part of our Franconia family! Read more about Pastor Tim and the award he received here: http://www.nj.com/messenger-gazette/index.ssf/2016/09/red_bandanna_service_award_to_be_given_to_the_rev_timothy_hart.html .

Ministerial report (September 2013)

The Ministerial Committee met on September 4:

  • We took action to grant a specific license to Tim Hart to serve as pastor of revitalization for Garden Chapel.
  • We approved ordination for Emily Ralph from the Salford congregation who has been called to an associate pastor position at Sunnyside in Lancaster.
  • We granted a license toward ordination to Tami Good who is serving as minister of worship and music at Souderton.
  • Arnold Derstine and Mike Ford have resigned from the pastoral team at Franconia.
  • Blooming Glen has hired Mike Ford as youth pastor.
  • Frederick and Lakeview are seeking interim pastoral leadership.
  • Perkiomenville is seeking an associate pastor and Alpha and Taftsville congregations are looking for pastoral leadership.

Introducing Garden Chapel

Garden Chapel
Photo by Sean Anderson.

We are “The Garden Chapel” from Victory Gardens, New Jersey. We are a small, diverse, loving, and growing congregation located in Morris County, New Jersey. The borough of Victory Gardens was founded in 1941 by the federal government to house workers from a nearby munitions factory. It was named after the vegetable gardens people planted during World War II in response to food shortages. It is the smallest municipality in size (91 acres) and population (1,520) in Morris County, but the most densely populated.

During the Vietnam War young men were being drafted into the military services. Since serving in the military is completely contradictory to our beliefs, the Mennonite Church negotiated an “Alternative Service” arrangement with the government. This allowed conscientious objectors to serve our country in a manner consistent with our understanding of the Lord’s commands. Instead of going to war, these men served at Greystone State Psychiatric Hospital assisting patients in various capacities. Initially, the men formed a house church, but they saw that the community of Victory Gardens was not served by a single church. With the assistance of the Franconia Conference, they planted our church in 1971. To this day it remains the only church in the community. How truly wonderful it is that God would plant a peace church in a community founded for war!

We have been blessed with our new Pastor Tim Hart since last March. Tim grew up in the community and has attended our church since childhood. He is keenly aware of our strengths and our needs and has a dynamic vision for the future.

Our mission statement is “Loving God, Loving Our Neighbors, & Loving Each Other.” We try to live this out by our outreach to the community. We have an annual “Community Day” picnic were we reach out with food, fun, and fellowship with our neighbors. This year we distributed 105 book bags filled with school supplies to needy children. During the holidays we prepare and deliver meals to shut-ins and seniors. When we visit and fellowship with them we are reminded to “… remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

We are praying that God will enable us to develop a Hispanic Ministry and also help us to restore our summer youth program which in the past has shown God’s love to many young people. Please pray for us as we are praying for all of you.

Find Garden Chapel on the web: http://www.gardenchapelchurch.org/. Download the pdf:  Introducing Garden Chapel.