During the month of June, our 50th anniversary celebration will reflect on the final stages of the merger of the St. Paul’s and St. John’s church buildings to become Faith UCC.
With excavation for the fellowship hall completed in June of 1961, work continued on blending the buildings and by the spring of 1962 most of the work was completed. Several different committees worked on the project; some worked on decorating, others on the kitchen layout, some studied options for Sunday School classroom design, while others checked on tables and chairs.
On May 13, 1962, sixteen items were placed in the cornerstone and after the service that morning, the mason, Alfred Stauss, sealed the box into the wall. This box is located near the side entrance door and if you look closely, you can even see which cement block contains the cornerstone box.
The following Sunday, Faith United Church of Christ was dedicated. Rev. Paul Kuehle, President of the South Wisconsin Synod officiated at the 10:30 AM services. The sermon was preached by Rev. Louis Boeker, a former pastor who served the two congregations for 18 years. Following worship, everyone enjoyed a meal prepared by the Ladies Aide. In the evening, Rev. Roger Petersen, who also served the two congregations for five years, came from Holland, Indiana to preach at the 8:00 PM service which also featured a choir program. Prior to this service there was an open house from 7:00 – 8:00 PM and after the service, refreshments were served. Rev. Ralph Maschmeier, the current pastor at that time, was the liturgist. The mason, the excavator, and our sister church, Peace in Jackson, along with their ladies aide group each sent floral tributes for the dedication.
The two buildings were now joined to form one L-shaped structure which increased the size of the sanctuary, provided additional church school space, a new dining (fellowship) hall, a rebuilt kitchen and new restrooms. The entire project, including moving the building, cost about $30,000. Franklin Schmidt served as the building fund treasurer. Over $7,000 was contributed during the building project, $8,500 was secured from the sale of the parsonage at the St. Paul’s site, $3,000 was already in the building fund for St. Paul’s, and $11,000 was borrowed from the Richfield bank.
Although we are not sure of the date, sometime in the mid 60’s, the congregation was able to burn the mortgage for the money borrowed to complete this building merger. At the annual meeting in 1967, a motion was made to appoint a committee to begin looking at renovating the interior of the church. More details on this stage of the building changes will be coming later in our anniversary celebration.
During the next months, various organizations or events within our congregation will be featured starting with Vacation Bible School during the month of July, the Youth Group in August, and Sunday School in September.