Morenci Methodist members observe 175th anniversary 2011.06.29

Written by David Green.

methodist.ring_itOne hundred and seventy-five peals of the church bell were heard Sunday morning at Morenci United Methodist when worshippers met to celebrate the church’s 175th anniversary.

Historical displays, an ice cream social and other events marked the weekend observance of the church that started in a log school house in 1836.

The Bean Creek Mission met two miles north of Morenci on Simon Wilson’s property, and a few years later baptisms were held in Silver Creek.

The first Union Sunday School was organized in Morenci in 1850 and a year later land was purchased where the church now stands for construction of small wood frame church.

Due to overcrowding, the decision was made in 1910 to construct the building now in use, at a cost of $20,000. That was in 1914, and the following year a pipe organ was installed that remained in use until 1974 when it was replaced by an electronic organ.

During its 175 years, the church has been served by 64 pastors. Some stayed only months, and others for many years.  One pastor was blind, one played the marimba, the son of one fell out of the upstairs parsonage window and broke his arm, and one helped start the Morenci Sportsman Club, which first met at the church.

Many people have added to the rich heritage passed down to the present congregation and  some of the names of the those early members still sound familiar, such as Wilson, Atwood, Wakefield, Osgood, Holt, Shapley, Reed, Cawley, Baldwin, Barker, Ranger, Salisbury, Coomer and Smalley.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
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    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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