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These Storied Walls

Post World War II Growth

Organized activities began in the spring of 1947. Bill Workman, writing for The Daily Independent, related that the recreational center had been used practically every night during the summer. With the support of the Men's Brotherhood, Miss Pearl Fink had scheduled activity times for junior boys and girls, intermediates, and the young people. Mrs. Ruth Measmer, intermediate counselor, and Miss Kathleen Stewart, young people's leader, worked closely with Miss Fink. In addition to the play area and kitchen within the structure, the church grounds were lighted for horseshoes, croquet, deck tennis, archery and badminton. Indoors, games like shuffleboard, table tennis, checkers, darts, and miniature billiards were played; the games were donated by the young people and intermediates, who sold Christmas cards to raise money for them.

The enthusiasm generated by the building program spread into all areas of church life. The Board of Stewards instructed Reverend W. B. Davis to get prices on a "colored window" for the back of the church. In 1947, with the church's physical plant in good order, the young people began a movement toward obtaining an organ. C. W. Murph spearheaded an effort to purchase choir robes, and fundraising was completed by August 1948. There was such general excitement over the newly-robed choir that the Board voted to have H. J. Goodman appoint a committee to canvass church members for the organ fund. C. W. Murph quickly raised $990.00 for the organ fund. By March 1949, a Hammond Organ and Maas Chimes had been installed and dedication was planned for later in the Spring. Meanwhile, Rev. C. O. Kennerly had succeeded Rev. Davis. He expressed his gratitude for the warmth of his welcome to a newly painted and furnished parsonage. By the time of the First Quarterly Conference on February 27, 1949, he reported that he had visited the homes of all the members of the church and knew most of their names!

Mt. Olivet UMC-1950s The growing church needed more space. At the August 1949 regular meeting of the Board, a Findings Committee consisting of Mr. W. L. Harris, Mr. Homer Fink, and the Superintendent of each department, was appointed to look into the needs of the church building. The Committee presented the needs of the church to Mr. Marvin Helms, an architect, who prepared plans for adding the necessary space and remodeling the present sanctuary. A building Committee of C. J. Scott, Earl Fink, Hough J. Goodman, Dr. A. E. Barnhardt, Homer A. Fink, was appointed. On Sunday, 26 August 1951, the plans for the proposed education building and remodeled sanctuary were presented to the congregation by C. J. Scott, as Chairman of the Building Committee. A vote was taken by secret ballot after a full discussion of the plans and their costs; the secretary, Hazel Lackey, recorded that 116 voted for the building plans - with only one vote against the proposal. With winter coming on, plans were made to begin the building program in the spring of 1952. A Finance Committee for the building Program was named at the September meeting: C. W. Murph, Rickard Rodgers, E. R. Lackey, H. A. Scott, and John Penninger. Building and remodeling began in May 1952, and the congregation met in Winecoff School for classes and worship.

By the December 1952 Quarterly Conference the work was complete. Rev. Kennerly reported that in spite of the commitment demanded by the building program, the work of the church had gone forward. The Young People and Adults met separately on Sunday evenings for fellowship and Bible Study, with good attendance. The three circles were supporting nine Mission Specials in Korea, Japan, China, Africa, and India, in addition to their local work. The Methodist Men sponsored the Boy Scouts and Cub packs; the Ada Dayvault Circle sponsored the Brownie Troop. Attendance at Sunday School was slowly increasing, and the two-week Bible School was very successful.

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