Little Snippets of History

Short articles written by or under the guidance of our church historian, Wanda Glover.

The Organ

You see it and hear the beautiful music, which flows from its pipes as Juanita DeHeart, or Grace Thomas, skillfully manipulate the keys. As with so much of the many facets of our church, the grand organ has its own story.
The Ladies Aid Society played (no pun intended) a major part in its purchase and installation. It was bought and installed in 1930 at the cost of $9,000. Today, a replacement of our organ would run about $99,000. In 1930 it cost $400.00 to install. At the time of installation, the church paid $2,500 with the balance to be paid at the rate of $100 per month. Not an easy chore at that time –THEN — the depression hit. Interest ran $1,315.41. With the ladies running a cafeteria at our church for the Centennial High School and downtown business men, the payments were made with the final payment being made May 29, 1937. HALLELUJAH!!
Our pipe organ produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. It has multiple ranks of pipes of differing timbre; pitch and loudness that Juanita can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops. The pipes we see are for show, the working pipes are located out of sight behind them. The organ has several keyboards (called manuals) played by the hands, and a pedalboard played by the feet, each of which has its own group of stops.

Each Sunday, as we are treated to the beautiful music of the organ, we have the talent of the organist and the tenacity of the 1930’s First Methodist Episcopal Church members to thank. The lines are fallen unto us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage.

— By Wanda Glover, Church Historian; Photos by Soeren Walls


The Stained Glass

In our church we have four sets of stained glass windows. I suggest you take a few minutes to see, study and appreciate these beautiful works of art. Each tells its’ own story.

Located in the back of the sanctuary, high on the east wall (balcony level), is our largest stained-glass window. Its five panels representing the five wounds of Christ. We haven’t been able to learn any more of its history. If you have knowledge or information about it please let me know.

On the ground floor, just beneath the large stained-glass window, are the “Trinity” windows, the Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit. These windows were given to the church by Harry Amick and family in 1952. Harry and Emma Amick were the first couple married in the church after it wascompleted in 1923. The detailed description, which is too long to include here, will be found on the wall beside the windows.

As you ascend the stairs, heading up to Booth Hall, you will see three beautiful panels of stained glass. One panel depicts a cross while the other two depict Iris flowers. The artistic glass- work was created by former member, John Schmidt, in memory of his loving wife, Leota, who loved flowers. The flower symbolism associated with the iris is, faith, cherished friendship, promise in love, and wisdom. Irises were used in Mary’s Garden, the blade-shaped foliage denotes the sorrows which ‘pierced her heart.’

The room, which is presently designated as Bethel Chapel, was originally known as the “Tea Room” for many years. Later it became the “Youth Room” and is now the “Bethel Chapel” named in honor of Bethel Church and its members. It was dedicated, in their memory, after Bethel merged with First United Methodist Church. The chapel is graced by two large, wonderful stained glass windows on the north wall.

Scott Grant, a young member of our congregation, was an acolyte for six years. He earned his Boy Scout “God and Country” merit badge by working in the church. He died as a result of an accident in 1987. You will observe in the first window two doves appear as a young acolyte lights the worship candles.

The second window picks up the theme of light and translates the star of service to the cross of promise as Scott ascends into heaven.
Our church is fortunate to have such beautiful and treasured works of art. We hope you enjoy their beauty.

— By Wanda Glover, Church Historian; Photos by Soeren Walls

Sign for the Times

The sign on the Education wing at the church was donated in stages.

Wording on the educational building (Methodist Church) donated in memory of Mrs Brimmer’s mother, Emily Carr.

The addition of First United above the original wording was  donated in memory of Thelma Brimmer.

The need for the new sign was caused in 1968 by the joining of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church.