Old and New Church Pictures
Dedication of the beautiful new Methodist Church will take place on Sunday. It will be a great event for members of the local church. Invitations have been extended to all the churches of northern Indiana and many visitors are expected. Arrangements have been made to accommodate a great crowd. The seating capacity of the main auditorium and the Sunday school auditorium is estimated at 1,750, and it is expected that all seats will be filled.
The program for the day has been well arranged. The Sunday school will meet in the basement of the church, but no attempt will be made to study the lessons. The Sunday school will be dismissed early in order to give the members an opportunity to find seats in the church auditorium, and become settled comfortably before the services start. An excellent musical program has been announced. It will be the first use of the fine new $4,000 pipe organ. The dedicatory sermon will be made by Bishop W. F. McDowell.
The completion and dedication of the new church marks a new era in the progress of Methodism in Warsaw. The accompanying pictures show this progress. The old brick church, erected in 1868 at a cost of $22, 919.75, was at that time considered one of the finest in northern Indiana. When it was torn down to make way for the new church, it was inadequate in size and was lacking in the conveniences needed for a modern church plant. The new structure, just completed at a total cost of approximately $60,000, is as complete a church plant as can be found in this section of the state. It is beautiful in appearance, stable and convenient. This question naturally suggests itself; how long will it meet the requirements of the Warsaw congregation? How many years will it be before the steps of progress demand its destruction to make way for a still bigger and better building?
A beautiful souvenir program, prepared by J. C. Schade with the assistance of many of the older members of the church, contains an interesting history of the Warsaw Methodist church.
Rev. Richard Hargrave preached the first sermon in Warsaw in a tamarack pole cabin, nearly eighty years ago. The cabin was built by Matthew D. Springer and was located on the site now occupied by the residence owned by Mrs. Lulu Stouffer, southeast corner of Center and Hickory streets.
The first quarterly conference met at Warsaw on the 26th day of January 1839.
Rev. George Beswick was presiding elder and Rev. Thomas P. Owen missionary in charge. This conference embraced all of Kosciusko county.
The society met in fifteen private homes within the boundaries of the county and such meetings were subject to the usual hardships surrounding the early settlers.
The salary of the minister was fixed by law of the church-single men receiving $100 and married men $200 per annum.
During the year 1844, under the leadership of Rev. Nelson Green, the Warsaw Methodists commenced the erection of their first church building. The lot was donated by James Stinson and has been occupied by the Methodists ever since. The building was not completed until 1848. During the year 1867-68 this building was removed to make room for a new brick church and was taken to a lot near the Big Four railroad. The building is now known as the Big Four elevator and is occupied by Kinsey Bros. A picture of this will be found on another page of this paper.
The first Sunday school was held in 1844 with an enrollment of 40 scholars and six teachers. The school now has an enrollment of over 800 pupils, with 72 teachers and officers.
In the year 1867, under the leadership of Rev. Thomas Comstock construction work was begun on a new brick church building which, when completed in the spring of 1868, was considered one of the finest buildings in northern Indiana. This building was erected at a cost of the $22,919.75, having a large basement and a large auditorium said to seat about 700. The building committee was composed of the following members: J. A. Funk, John Evers, A. B. Ball, Peter Marvin, William Boydston, Dr. S. C. Sapp, Benjamin Richhart.
The following pastors served in this building: Abijah Marine, 1868-70; Thomas Staples, 1871; Jacob Colclasure, 1872-73; F. J. Simpson, 1874-76; W. S. Birch, 1877-79; R. N. McKaig, 1880-82; Samuel Godfrey, 1882; A. E. Mahin, 1883-85; J. K. Waltz, 1886-87; C. W. Lynch, 1888; D. C. Wolpert, 1889-90; S. Light, 1891; J. A Beatty, 1896-98; C. King, 1899; F. M. Stone, 1900-02; D. H. Guild, 1902-07; S. Powell, 1908; A. G. Neal, 1909-15.
During forty-seven years of continuous service the congregation prospered and the membership of the church has grown from 380 to 1,500.
The Sunday school has grown from an enrollment of 400 to an up-to-day modern Sunday school with an enrollment of over 800. During the year 1914 the school adopted the graded system of lessons and it is the aim of the officers to have the gradation work completed within a short time.
The last days in the old church witnessed a wonderful revival service in which over 100 new members were enrolled on the books of the church.
When it was found that the old church building was not large enough to accommodate every department of the work it was decided to erect a new building and the quarterly conference appointed a building committee with instructions to negotiate for the erection of a new building.
In order that the work of the church might go on during the erection of the new church building a tabernacle was erected on the lots owned by Flint Bash on West Center Street. The men of the church built this building in less than a week's time. The material cost in the neighborhood of $900.
The building committee is composed of the following members: A. G. Neal, chairman; L. C. Wann, secretary; Eugene Alleman, treasurer; Mrs. J. Fred Beyer, Mrs. C. W. Thomas, Joseph S. Baker, Geroge W. McCarter, and F. E. Bowser.
Work on the new church progressed rapidly and the cornerstone was laid on Sunday May 16, Bishop W. F. McDowell, presiding. The building was designed under the supervision of W. E. N. Hunter, of Detroit, and the contract was let to James I. Barnes, of Logansport, Ind., and was erected under the supervision of Fred E. Tucker. It is a fully equipped modern church plant, beginning at the basement with a dining hall that will comfortably seat between four and five hundred. The basement also provides a gymnasium and a fully equipped kitchen, shower bath and cloak rooms.
The main auditorium is directly under the great dome flanked on three sides with comfortable balconies. The seating capacity of the auditorium, including balconies, is estimated at 700. A giant pipe organ is installed in the main auditorium immediately behind the pulpit which is located on the north side, and was built and constructed by the Moller Organ Co., of Hagerstown, Md. large folding doors connect the main auditorium with the Groves Sunday school auditorium which is on the east side. With these doors thrown open a large audience can be comfortably seated within sight and hearing of the speaker. The building has five entrances, the main one being on Market street.
The program for dedication day follows:
Organ Prelude - Mrs. George Anglin
Call to Worship-Congregation standing.
Hymn No. 78- "Holy, Holy, Holy."
The Apostles Creed-Congregation
Morning Prayer-Rev. E. L. Seamans.
Scripture Lesson-Rev. J. M. Haines.
Hymn No. 661-"Come, O Thou God of Grace."
Scripture Lesson, Hebrews 10-Rev. A. J. Carey.
Solo "How Lovely are Thy Dwellings" Mrs. Merlin Funk
Sermon Bishop W. F. McDowell
Offertory Mrs. George Anglin
Responsive Reading, Psalm 122 Dr. R. J. Wade
Presentation of church by trustees.
Benediction- Rev. J. S. Cain
Postlude Mrs. Anglin
Afternoon Fraternal Service 2 O'clock
Musical Numbers-Palestine Orchestra
Organ Prelude-Miss Nellie Haines
Hymn No. 420 Congregation
Hymn No. 180 Congregation
Address-Rev. R. L. Seamans
Fraternal Greetings-Visiting ministers
Solo-Mrs. Porter Brown
Offertory Miss Haines
Hymn No. 2-Congregation
Organ Postlude-Miss Haines
Evening Service 7:30 O'clock
Organ Prelude-Mrs. C. E. Irvin
Hymn No. 57-Congregation
Hymn No. 656-Congregation
Solo-Mrs. E. B. Funk
Sermon-Dr. R. J. Wade
Hymn No. 663-Congregation
In connection with the services for dedication day, Rev. Neal announces that the entire Sunday school will meet in the basement auditorium at 9 o'clock and there will be opening exercises and reports only. No classes will meet in the church rooms. All the upper rooms will be only for the church service at 10:15 a.m.
Seats will be reserved for elderly people if the pastor is notified. Privileges of the dining room and other privileges to those who wish to bring dinners.
An interesting program has been arranged for the week following dedication. It is as follows:
Monday evening-Men's banquet. Music by North Indiana Conference Quartette.
Tuesday evening-"Woman's Work in the Church" Rev. C. C. Travis, Fort Wayne
Wednesday evening- Organ recital by Miss Alice R. Deal, Chicago
Thursday evening-Mid-week devotional service. Sermon by Dr. C. B. Mitchell, Chicago
Friday evening-Young People's service. Sermon by Dr. L. M. Edwards, Mishawaka
Sunday-Morning sermon by Dr. Robb Zaring, Chicago; afternoon talk by Miss Julia Robinson, Chicago; evening sermon by Dr. George R. Grose, president DePauw University.
Warsaw Daily Times Saturday January 15, 1916
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