The other churches will be closed in honor of the occasion and services
will be held in the new church morning, afternoon and evening. Rev. Jewett, N. McDonald
and Rev. F.B. Ward of Maros, Rev. Albert Schwartz of Clinton, Rev. E.M. Smith of Decatur
and Rev. O.W. Lawrence of Decatur will take part in the exercises. The dedicatory sermon
will be preached in the morning by Rev. W.H. Harding, the pastor of the church. The
communion address in the afternoon will be delivered by Rev. O.W. Lawrence of Decatur
and there will also be adresses at this service by other ministers. The evening sermon
will be preached by the pastor.
Song, No. 381 (all standing), Benediction
EVENING - 7 O'CLOCK
Songs, 430, 190, 205
Prayer, Chant by choir
Special song by choir
Sermon by the pastor, W.H. Harding
Invitation song, No. 231
The new church presents most strikingly the contrast between the old church
architecture and the new. The old church was built primarily and soley as a place in which
a congregation might listen to preaching. It consisted of a single, large, box-like
auditorium furnished with pews and a pulpit. The Sunday school was not considered, now
were the Christian Endeavor society, the ladies' Aid society and various other societies
which go to make up the modern church.
PLACE FOR EACH
The new church building houses under one roof the facilities for all of these
various interests. There is a place for everything - woman's societies, Sunday schools,
library, dining room, social rooms, kitchen, etc. The new church lends itself to altogether
more pleasing architectureal lines and it is built with altogether more regard for beauty
and permanence. The modern village church is as handsome architecturally as beautifully
decorated and as complete in every detail as the metropolitan church. It is not as large,
that is the only difference. The new Christian church in Maroa is not surpased by any in this
part of the state in beauty and completeness.
SECOND IN COUNTY
The inception of the new Christian church began with the partorate of the present
pastor, Rev. W.H.Harding, three years ago. Mr. Harding has been a successful church builder.
He has built four churches during his life as a pastor and this is the second handsome church
which he has built in Macon county. The beautiful Christian church in Blue Mound, costing some
$15,000 was built while he had charge there as pastor. He therefore brings to the task of
building a new church a large amount of skill and experience, and not only the ability which
leads a congregation to work together for the common purpose of a new building but the special
knowledge of building construction which helps the congregation to get what they ought to have
and at the right price. And this new church impresses one as furnishing a great deal for the
The building committee who have charge of the erection of the new church consist
of J.B. Soutenborough, D.N. Gray, A.B. Shaw, J.H. Stoutenborough, Samuel Potter, Silas Schenck
and Rev. W.H. Harding. Samuel Potter died since the work was commenced.
PLANS AND WORK
The actual construciton of the church has occupied less than a year. The plans
were made by Architect George H. Miller of Bloomington, and the contract was let to F. L. Kraul
of Danville. The work of excavating for the new building was commenced in June, 1910. The
corner stone was laid Sept. 3, 1910 and the dedicatory services are to be held March 19, 1911.
At its dedication the bujilding will be complete in every detail and will have cost, exclusive
of the ground, about $20,000.
The site of the new building is one of the most attractive that could have been
found in Maroa. It is located at the corner of East Main and Locust streets on the main street
of the city and about three blocks from the business center. It occupies the old site of the
Presbyterian church and fronts the public school buildings on Locust street. There are two
facades, the principal one facing on Main street. The grounds include ample room far a parsonage.
The residence located just south of the church site and which was included in the purchase is
now used as a parsonage.
The material used in the construction of the building is a large brown glazed brick
manufactured in Brazil, Ind. which with the trimmings of light Bedford stone makes a most
pleasing exterior color scheme.
ROOMS AND FINISH
The main auditorium is a beautiful and imposing room 44 by 44 feet in size and
with a domed ceiling. It is finished in quarter-sawed white oak in golen oak color, the pews
and woodwork of the room being in perfect harmony. The decorative tone of the walls is brown
with green base and gilt high-lights. The colors of the art glass windows harmonize beautifully
with the general decorative scheme.
The pulpit is located at the southwest corner of the room and in such a position
that the speaker may command a view of the Sunday school room as well as the main auditorium
when the two rooms are thrown together. At the speakers right is the choir loft, occupying a
recess, and with capacity for thirty people. Just behind the pulpit and screened from it by a
curtain when not in use is the baptistry. The pool is lead lined with two flights of steps
leading down into it, one from each of the robing rooms. The total seating capacity of the
auditorium, exclusive of the choir lost, is 375 people.
A room of especial interest is the ladies' parlor at the south side of the Sunday
school room. This is a room 14 by 22 feet and is to be used for all sorts of social purposes
and it may be used for a class room during Sunday school. It is a beautiful, sunny room, and
is to be furnished with an independent heating arrangement so that it may be used when the main
church is not heated. A choir room located between the choir gallery and the southeast entrance
completes the list of apartments on the main floor.
There are four entrances to the church, three public entrances, the main one of
which is in the middle of the north side and which leads directly to the main auditorium, the
Sunday school room and to the basement. The other public entrances are at the northeast
corners. There is a grade entrance at the rear opening upon back stairways leading to the
main floor and the basement floor.
The basement is divided into two principal rooms, which correspond in size to
the principal divisions of the main floor. Both these rooms are well lighted and well
ventilated. One of them, that under the main auditorium is to be used as a social room and
will also be used as a dining room. It adjoins the kitchen which is furnished with ranges,
china closets, serving tables, et. The remaining space of the basement is occupied by the
coal room and boiler room and other utility rooms.
HISTORY OF CHURCH
The Maroa Christian church was organized on May 4, 1862, at the home of Dr.
J.W. Thayer. There were twenty-four charter member whose names were as follows: Joseph
Clough, Mrs. Joseph Clough, John H. Clough, Daniel Potter, Mrs. Hannah Potter, Oliver Harlan,
A.J. Metlan, James Rose, Mrs. Hellen Rose, A.J. Tandy, Mrs. Sarah Tandy, J.W. Thayer, Mrs.
Caroline Thayer, Miss Mary Williams, Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong, A.D. Wysong, M.M. Thomas,
Mrs. Thomas, Thomas Hedger, Mrs. Jane Hedger, Miss Amy Hedger, Miss Hariet Hedger, Mrs. Ann
Williams and Barton W. Campbell.
The church was organzied by Rev. A.N. Page, an evangelist. The first officers
of the church were: Elders J.S. Clough and M.M. Thomas. Deasons: O.J. Harlan and Samuel
Potter, J.W. Thayer, clerk. The first pastor of the church was Rev. John W. Tyler, the
father of Mrs. Sue Odor of this city and Rev. B.B. Tyler of Denver. Since that time more
than 1000 members have been added to the church.
For the first six or seven years the church services were held in the school
house. In 1868 steps were taken to erect a building. In June of that year a building
committee was appointed, consisting of Samuel Potter, John B. Carey, G.W. Conover, B.W.
Campbell, and T.B. Campbell. The task of erecting a building was actively taken up and the
building was completed in 1869. At the time it was completed and for many years thereafter
it was one of the handsomest churches in this section of the country. It is for that matter
still a good looking building, although it is far from meeting the requirements of the modern
church. It consists of nothing mmore than a large auditorium with no Sunday school room, no
class room, none of the modern appurtenances that are considered essential to the complex
work of a church today. But the church grew and prospered in that old building and it has
remained the home of the congregation for forty-two years.