Maroa Christian Church, Maroa

Second Within a Month for That Town
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All Churches Join With Congregation

Published in The Decatur Review, Sunday, 19 Mar 1911

The new Christian church in Maroa will be dedicated today. This is the second new church to be dedicated in Maroa within a month and the dedicatory servides will be the order of the day.


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.

Photo of Pastor W.H. Harding.


The program of the exercises for the day is as follows:

MORNING - 10:45

  • Prelude
  • Coronation, No. 132
  • Invocation
  • Special song by choir.
  • Scripture reading, Eph. 4:1-16, Rev. J.N. McDonald
  • Prayer, Rev. F.B. Ward, Chant by choir (all standing)
  • Anthem
  • Sermon by the pastor, W.H. Harding
  • Song, No. 349
  • Report of building committee
  • Offering
  • Dedication by congregation (all standing)
  • Gloria
  • Doxology and Benediction at 12:20

  • Prelude
  • Song, No. 55
  • Scripture reading by Rev. Gallagher of Oreana
  • Prayer by Rev. E.M. Smith, of Decatur
  • Special song by choir
  • Addresses by Revs. J.N. McDonald and F.B. Ward, of Maroa
  • Solo by Miss M. Merker
  • Communion address by Rev. O.W. Lawrence of Decatur
  • Communion song
  • Communion
  • Offering
  • Song, No. 381 (all standing), Benediction


  • Songs, 430, 190, 205
  • Prayer, Chant by choir
  • Special song by choir
  • Scripture reading
  • Anthem
  • Offering
  • Sermon by the pastor, W.H. Harding
  • Invitation song, No. 231
  • Benediction


    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.


    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.


    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 investment.

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

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