A long-time minister at Huntington Station, who raised dozens of children from a difficult background, was called the village Mother Teresa and made history on Monday when authorities renamed the street after her.
Pastor Agnes Hiller was a pastor in the mountains. Chad A. Lupinatch, the town director of Huntington, said he died in the Cavalry Holy Church in 2006 at the age of 102 until 1994 and was honored for Black History Month.
“Since 1653, this street is the first in Huntington’s history to be named after an African-American,” Lupinatch cheered at the church. About 50 people, including four generations who were part of Hiller’s extended family, filled the pew.
Lupinatch joked that Hiller was sending “holy water” and the street renaming ceremony was pushed in by the rain.
He told collectors Monday that Hiller’s heart was compassionate, adding that the nearly 50 children Hiller took were “homeless, abandoned abuse, orphans.”
“Her greatest teaching was love,” he said. According to Lupinatch, Hiller (also known as Huntington’s Mother Hiller and Mother Teresa) has organized a street ministry to combat substance abuse and has a church program to address hunger, teenage pregnancies, and needy families. Led.
Following the ceremony at the church, Huntington Station officials went out, counted down from 10, and then announced the newly fixed “Dr. Agnes Hiller Way” road sign. Near the church, E. Located on the corner of 10th St and New York Avenue.
Hiller was in the original location of Huntington in 1932 and was one of the first members of the parish when he was the first female minister of the church.
Harlem’s Hiller’s daughter, Rene Sykes, 83, said her family’s open door policy was designed for “colorful” upbringing.
“Our door wasn’t locked,” Sykes said. “Through them, people of all kinds came. Some were by word of mouth, some by social welfare agencies, but there was no payment, but the mother didn’t seem to notice it.”
Sykes has been added. “I was endlessly interested in people. Some became relatives, some became members of the Church, some just came and went …. she gave it from the bottom of my heart. It was natural for us. “
After her comment, Sykes told Newsday that her mother was mentally attending the ceremony, “in my heart she will be pleased. She loved Huntington.”
Rev. Bernadette Watkins of the Huntington Outreach Department said he had been working for Hiller for decades and that Hiller called her a “silly daughter.”
Watkins, 74, said he had tried for years with town supervisors to name the street after Hiller. She said it finally happened, “it felt like a million dollars.”
Watkins became friends with Hiller when he joined the congregation around 1970, and Hiller’s teachings paved the way for her own career, she said.
She called Hiller “a dynamic woman of fate, and the greatest teacher of love I know.”
In 2018, Watkins said he was hospitalized for four months after surgical complications.
“The only thing I could think of was,’I couldn’t die until I named the street after Mother Hiller,'” she said. “If I haven’t achieved anything else in my life, I’m very happy, I’m very happy, God has guided me through this achievement.”
Rev. Agnes Hiller, the first African-American to have a street named after her in Huntington, was previously honored by the town.
— In 1987 she was praised for her dedication to the community.
— Town officials declared her 100th birthday in 2004.
— Townboard decided to rename Hiller’s road in September 2019, and the ceremony was postponed until Monday due to a pandemic.