David Boone returned to his boyhood church in a new capacity on Sunday.
At a church ceremony attended by friends, family, co-workers and local political dignitaries, the detective and local Policemen’s Benevolent Association president was installed as senior pastor at , where he’s been preaching since November.
As a teenager, Boone assisted with the youth program and even preached his first sermon at the Broadway Baptist Church in Paterson before it merged with Van Riper Ellis Memorial Church to become what is now Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church (VREBBC) on River Road.
The church had been without a senior pastor for over two years before welcoming Boone, who had most recently served as bi-vocational co-pastor of the Preakness Baptist Church in Wayne.
Boone, who had been attending VREBBC since his semi-retirement from Preakness Baptist in December 2010, said he was first approached about preaching there in November and later asked whether he’d consider coming on as senior pastor.
“My ties to Broadway Baptist Church and especially the fact that my sister officer, , made the ultimate sacrifice on this property in 2003, drew me to the church in a very special way,” said Boone, referring to the 18-year Fair Lawn police veteran who was killed in the line of duty on April 17, 2003, following a vehicle pursuit that started in Clifton and ended on the VREBBC lawn.
After interviewing with the Pastoral Search Committee, Board of Deacons, Trustees and Board of Christian Education, Boone was recommended to the full membership of the church.
He shared his vision for the church with its members and friends at an April 14 question and answer supper, preached the next morning and was voted in as senior pastor following the service. He started officially on April 17, the anniversary of Collura’s death.
“I think that was the quickest I have ever taken over as Pastor of a church, but what a meaningful day this will always be for me,” said Boone, who expressed his desire to serve the residents of Fair Lawn and surrounding communities in special and creative ways.
“We hope to reach out to young and old alike,” he said. “VREBBC is a very special church -- it is like family!”
VREBBC is the seventh church across five states where Boone, a third generation American Baptist Pastor, has served.
After completing his seminary work at Eastern Seminary in Philadelphia, Boone , where he served as both administrative assistant to the commanders of the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in Savannah, Ga. and as the battalion’s chaplain.
“Three days after I got to my unit Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and that was it, we rocked and rolled,” Boone said. “My unit began deploying soldiers immediately because of the nature of our job and ultimately I ended up there for Desert Shield and Desert Storm.”
Boone returned to New Jersey in 1993, shortly after finishing his military service, and became the bi-vocational pastor of the First Baptist Community Church in Parsippany, where he remained for the next 12 years.
About nine months after taking over at First Baptist, Boone was sworn in as a Fair Lawn police officer, where he’s worked full-time ever since. For the past 10 years, Detective Boone has been the president of the Fair Lawn PBA and for the past six years, he’s run the department’s Juvenile Bureau.
Since joining the force, Boone has served as chaplain for the Board of Directors for End DWI in Bergen County, the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute, the Fair Lawn Police Department, , and ( and ).
Boone, who has two teenage sons with his wife Cheryl, said he plans to continue leading VREBBC full-time after he retires from the police department in 2015.
“My passion is preaching, reaching and helping others in many ways, many places, and wherever the Lord leads me,” he said.