Saturday, August 26, 2006
Celebrating 150 Years
This fall, the congregation I serve as pastor will be 150 years old. It's a momentous occasion for our little fellowship.
Founded in the fall of 1856 by a pioneer family, the Church has changed a lot over the years. The founding family, the Hahns, built a log cabin-style building on their land for worship, because there were no other Churches in the area of Peoria, Indiana. Preachers of several different denominations and styles have been there, including Miami Indian preachers.
It wasn't until the 1910's that they finally settled on a small Methodist denomination. This group became part of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1939 and the United Methodist Church in 1968. The Church became an independent community Church again in 1997.
The building was remodeled in 1914 with stained glass windows added among other things. In 1962, the federal government began the Mississinewa Reservoir project. The 60-ton structure was dragged across a corn field to it's present site, about 1/4 mi. from the original. New pews, pulpit and communion rail were added, but the basic Church looked very much the same. In 1978, a steeple was put on. In 2005, a nursery and upstair restroom were added.
More important than the building is the people of the congregation. It is a unique and amazing group. Some families have ties to the original founding congregation. Others are newer but feel right at home. There are some who are life-long Peorians and others who are former Brethren, Catholics, Episcopalians, Quakers, Methodists, Baptists and more.
Jesus Christ said, "By this shall al men know you are my disciples: that ye have love, one to another." This is certainly true of Peoria Church. We love each other, which means all sorts of things. Of course we worship and pray together, but we also laugh together, cry together, disagree with each other, help each other - all of it because we love each other.
If you are reading this blog, you are welcome to attend any of the Sesquicentennial Events scheduled for Sept. 10. Here is the schedule:
9:00 - Worship
10:15 - Old Fashioned Hymn Sing
11:30 - Hog Roast - Free for everyone!
1:00-3:00 - Old-time Games and Recreation
3:00 - Children's Puppeteer program
4:00 - Gospel Concert - "4 For Him"
5:00 Cutting the 150th Birthday Cake
Thanks for your support and prayers for Peoria Church.