Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church
Sunday, June 16, 2019

Memories and History of Fifth Avenue - 1939

In April 1889 our Church was incorporated and acquired the title to the lot on which the present building stands, for $1500.00.  During 1889 mortgages totaling $3000.00 were made, evidently to pay the cost of the church building.  The corner stone was laid on September 10, 1889, and the 1st building was dedicated on Feb. 16, 1890.
In 1905 the cost of bulletins and church literature was borne by the sale of advertising space in the church bulletin.
In Feb. of 1913 the church acquired the lot directly north of the church and used the land to build a parsonage.
There was apparently no mortgage indebtedness from 1918-1924.
The new parsonage was built in 1920 for the A.R. Harvey's who had 6 children.  No minister since that time has had that many children.
There was during this early time a Sunday  School class for the young people.  The young men went to the Baracas and the young ladies went to the Philatheas.  Their main concern was the study of the Bible, but they must have had other interests because 6 marriages resulted from the classes.  These included the Mumford's , Hall, Rayburn, Garrett, Sherman, and another Garrett.  The plays that were jointly sponsored by the Baracas and the Philatheas brought Lloyd and Wylma Mumford together.
During these years money was raised by many dedicated men and women, through such things as quilting bees, dinners, bake sales, etc., much as we do today.  Things were difficult then, though, as the ladies had to bring their own dishes, pots, cooking utensils, and silver to dinners, and the dining room had dirt floors.
The hot air furnace was 6-8 feet wide, but totally inadequate and undependable.  One Sunday Jessie Thompson was teaching a class of 51 1st & 2nd graders in the basement.  Mr. Morrow, the janitor at the time, stuck his head in the door and told her, "If the furnace blows up, don't worry 'cause it'll be mostly noise."
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Josephine Decker
The sanctuary was remodeled in 1918 and Mr. Decker did most of the work himself.  He was Josephine Decker's father.  Josephine played the organ in those days.  Mr. Decker also played the violin.  One Sunday (Easter) he was to play a violin solo.  Unbeknownst to him one of the boys in their rooming house, Homer Johnson, put bacon rind on his bowstring.  Needless to say, the congregation missed hearing his solo that Easter.  Mr. Decker accused every one of the boys except Homer.  It seems to have been forgotten whether or not he owned up.  Many of the Railway Postal Clerks roomed and boarded at the Decker's home and were actually treated as one of the family.
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Nellie Evans
 President - Ladies Aid
In those days the Ladies Aid (as it was known then) took on many projects to raise money for the church, and regular pledged $50.00 per month toward the church budget.  Pastor's salary in 1929 was $2000.00 a year.
The church facility was done over in 1924 to the tune of $9000.00.  This present building was dedicated in 1925 on Easter Sunday.  A new boiler was purchased in 1928, finally!
During the depression years, the church, like everyone else, had rough times.  At one especially bad time, the church had a $300.00 debt with the bank with Mrs. Ira Graham took upon herself.  She baked cookies, canned chickens, sewed, made candy, and anything else she could do to pay off the debt.  Her name goes down along with Thompson, Cummins, Telfer, Decker, Morrow, Prouty, Hall, etc., and etc., for these were all hard working people who were interested in the growth of a church--this church.
Income for the church was low in this time, but so were expenditures.  Expenditures such as 12 loads of dirt at 50¢ a load, to fill the church lot, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in 1930.  A Mr. Currier was authorized to repair and paint the wall in an east room of the basement for $5.00.  The pastor's salary in 1933 was $1307.00 and in 1938 $1600.00.