By Shirley Lindahl
Edited by Jerry Rutherford
Progress on the new building was slow at times but the construction was nearing completion when our country was suddenly thrust into World War II. Florence Gildow, choir director said, "We are beginning to feel the effect of the war and have already lost to the service one of our most faithful and talented members, Bob Pruitt."
During January of 1942 the Junior and Primary Sunday School classes moved into the new building even though their rooms were not yet equipped. The first church service was held on January 18. During that service and before the building was formally dedicated the congregation joined in prayer. "We here and now dedicate ourselves to the reverent use of it. We pray for the spirit of humility to possess our hearts and minds, so that we may know that this building was not erected only by human skill but also there has been the continuous evidence of the guidance and power of God."
Soon after moving into the church, Reverend Pruitt announced that he would hand in his resignation shortly after the dedication of the new building as he felt his work here had been accomplished.
The church council decided that Florence Gildow should be custodian of the pipe organ. Rules were set up for its use and a fee charged those qualified who wanted to practice on it. Ruth Wright was organist for the morning service and Roberta Pruitt for the evening service.
The new pipe organ was a treasured instrument of the church. It was a
Kimball two-manual organ given as a memorial gift by Helen Shinstrom,
her sister Estelle Roberts and her brother F. M. Roberts, in memory of
their parents, Francis and Abbie Roberts. The organ chimes were a memorial
gift of the Shinstrom children: Frank, Betty, Gail and Dick, to their
grandparents. A special dedication organ recital was presented by Lauren
B. Sykes on the evening of the dedication of the church. The congregation
joined in prayer:
"In loving recognition of those to whom this organ and chimes are given as memorial tribute, we now dedicate these instruments to the worship of God in their service of beautifying the total program of this church with a ministry of music of superior cultural and spiritual qualities."
Memorial gifts in addition to the organ included altar equipment, a gift of Mrs. Amy Smith in memory of O. S. Penney and the sanctuary furniture, a gift of Carrie Shumway in memory of her sisters, Emma, Mary and Elizabeth. The large 1888 edition alter Bible used today and belonged to Mary Shumway and had previously been given to the church by the Shumway family.
The six stained glass windows were all given as memorials. A. C. Estey gave one in memory of his wife Mae for her service as a Sunday School teacher for 22 years and as leader of the first Cub Scout Pack in America. Others honored by these gifts were Harry French, Mrs. Frank Curtis, Warren Norton Powell and David Burr Powell. The one honoring Harry French is now in the home of Verna Thormahlen.