A cornerstone of the Milford Church of God congregation for decades, Reverend W.E. will be celebrating his 100th birthday with close friends and family on Thursday, October 17. In honor of a man that has touched countless lives in his community through God, the Regional Bishop of the Milford Church of God will be the guest speaker at a special ceremony for Tull on Sunday, October 13.
Pastor Tull was instrumental in starting Milford Church of God in1945 as he built the congregation from the ground up. According to his daughter Ruth Sneller, the church began with very small roots that included 31 individuals, 12 of which were part of the Peterman family. Holding services in several locations around Milford including the Fire Hall, the Milford Church of God made their first payment on their current location, at 500 N Walnut Street, in 1951. Two years later the first service was held on May 17, 1953.
“When we began to build the church the entire community pitched in,” commented Ruth Sneller, Reverend Tull’s daughter. “It really was a community-wide effort.”During this time Pastor Tull was also called into service as the Chaplin of the Dover Senate, Milford Memorial Hospital and the Sussex Correctional Institution.
In 1964 Tull left the church as he was called to help young men and women at Lee University, in Cleveland, Tennessee. After sixteen years of service, he returned to the Milford Church of God expecting to retire at the church that he helped to begin. Later referring to his own ‘retirement’ as being more like being recycled, Pastor Tull filled in when he was needed to lead the church. His daughter Ruth states that helping people through God was his calling and returning only to sit idle was not something anyone expected.
“He felt the need to help people and lead them to the Lord,” commented Ruth. “At the age of ninety-nine he still loves going to church every Sunday and enjoys meeting people and praying for them.”
According to Ruth, her father is the oldest living minister of The Church of God in the United States. In an effort to encourage and support the next generation of ministers, the Milford Church of God is currently raising funds for a scholarship in Reverend Tull’s name. Between the funds raised last week during a motorcycle fundraiser and special offerings given on Sundays, the church has been able to raise and give $3,000 towards the scholarship in September alone. The church gave an offering of $1,000 this past Summer when the scholarship fund was first announced, for a total of $4,000 to date.
Current Pastor Andrew Steven welcomes the community to help celebrate Reverend Tull at the Milford Church of God on Sunday, October 13 as Tull is presented a special proclamation from the International Executive Committee of the Church of God.