Reverend R. A. Chase 1896-1900


"The first year we had a big revival meeting...enlarged the membership...congregation was beyond capacity of the building...many lined up along the wall."  In 1897,  "we bought back corner lot (where our church now stands).  It was sold after the parsonage was built because of financial difficulties.  New church dedicated in 1899, debt free.  Value of property was $15,000.00."

from information found in the church vault by J. S. Martin, historian:

The Ark Window on the south wall of the Sanctuary is a memorial to Rev. R. A. Chase, who was pastor of our church 1896-1900.  When he came, the church stood on the corner of 5th and Main (north side).  A revival increased the membership so that the evening crowds had standing room only.

In 1892 the lots at 8th and Main were purchased for $2,600.  In April 1893 a contract was let to erect a parsonage for $1,895.  From then on the church was hard pressed for finances.  There was danger of losing the parsonage and lot thru foreclosure, so to save it, the trustees authorized the sale of the corner lot to D. E. Gobson for $1,300.  This satisfied the mortgage, but left the congregation without a location for a new church.  Agitation to buy it back grew, but this brought a division in the Board.

Rev. Chase has written: "it was after a hectic board meeting which broke up with despair in the heart of the pastor, that the project was shelved.  Peter Loy was at the parsonage door at 5 the next morning to say he had not slept well and if $200 would help to buy back the church lot, I could have it at once.  Did I nab that $200!  and did I cross the alley to James Taggart and tell him before breakfast, and pick up the next $200.

The money was raised and in Nov. 1897 the lot was repurchased, for $1,400.  A year later Mr. B. G. Woodford reported an offer of $6,500 for the old church at 5th and Main, and in Jan. 1899 the deal was closed and construction started on the new church.  It was dedicated Sept. 17, 1899.

Rev. Chase moved on in 1900 and the church grew so that in 1906 the parsonage was moved to 1008 Greenwood and the church was enlarged to its present size.  The Ark memorial window was placed in honor of Rev. R. A. Chase.  The symbol is fitting, for like the ark, the church tossed on troubled waters before it found a resting place at 8th and Main.

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