Author: AJ Langston

Come Celebrate!

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Come celebrate with us Saturday April 1st, 2017, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.  We are having an Old Time Gathering.  (that’s 1800’s language for Festival) Lots of games for young and old. Come test your skills and compete to beat your neighbor. Win tickets to win a prize.  We will have hay rides, a real ol’ time cake walk.  Free popcorn and cotton candy, not to mention lemonade.  Listen to the real live bag pipe concert right in our court yard. Come and check  it out.

Categories: Newsletter

The Thompson Family

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thompsonIf you are a “new kid” on the block, you might not know who the Rev. Henry Thompson was.  The church was organized April 10, 1892, and was served with whoever might be in the area, who could conduct a worship service., until Reverend  Henry Thompson came along.  He was our first full time pastor at P.P.C., serving the church from September 1893 to September 1897.

Coming to Arizona from the Presbytery of St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was licensed to preach which he did for about one year.   

Upon arriving in Arizona, he traveled over 10,000 miles on horseback or horse and buggy serving two to five “preaching stations”.  His desert travel was fifteen to eighty five miles between Sundays.

In September of 1897, the Reverend Thompson left Peoria and entered Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.  His “girl friend”, Mary Alice Mann left Peoria to marry Henry on September 12, 1900.  They returned to Peoria in 1911 with five children, four boys and one daughter.

In my last article, I wrote about Wilbur, who made his home in Peoria.  He was   the youngest of the boys and our favorite, because we knew he was a great worker here at P.P.C.  In later years, Dan, the oldest of the five, transferred his membership along with his wife’s from Phoenix First Church to Peoria.  Dan was a civil engineer.  Brother Ben worked for the Department of Interior and Webb became a Doctor.  Their sister, Doris did not live in the area and I do not have any information on her. 

Wilbur and his wife Zona, had three daughters who were all active in P.P.C.  The oldest one is Sandra who married our minister’s son, Bill Marquardt in the late 1940’s.  Sandra, living in Scottsdale, is my contact person and my correction agent for my Thompson stories.  The second daughter is Anita, living in California.  The youngest daughter is Sharon who lives in west Phoenix.  It has been maybe close to forty years since I have seen any of the three girls.  They were all active in the church family in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.

One of our stained glass windows is dedicated to the Thompson family.  As we look at the Thompson window, we think back of the days without electricity, running water, and an outhouse.  So, let’s appreciate what the early Thompsons went through, so we may enjoy our Peoria church, as it stands today. 

Categories: Newsletter

HART Pantry News

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HART PANTRY is off to an amazing start for 2017. In order to grow the number of at-risk teens we are able to help we needed to expand both our donor base as well as our Title 1 school base. We have been able to do both. Willowbrook Methodist Church in Sun City has been so interested in our mission that they sent us 1/2 of their Christmas offering. That amount came to over $ 7800.00. That began the building of our treasury for an expanded program. The State of Arizona granted our request to be approved for the Arizona Tax Credit for 2016. We have had several people donate to us on that program. Just those 2 additions would have made a fantastic start. Our GOD however continues to bless us with new volunteers from Peoria Presbyterian Church: Marge Vowles and Cheryl Whitman. The beginning of February the grant application with the Peoria Diamond Club was awarded to HART PANTRY. Our President Patty Henningsen and husband Mike will attend the first ball game on February to receive the check. We have applied for the City of Peoria General fund Not-for-Profit grant and that is under consideration. All of this now means we have set our financial house in order and can proceed.   To that end we have extended a proposal to Glendale School District and Dysart School District to aid their at-risk high school students.   As of this month Dysart representatives have met with Carol Spiegelhoff and Ruth and are working out their needs from HART PANTRY. That means that the weekend food bags and snack/supper bags and other services will find their way to more at-risk teens. We are awaiting word from Glendale.

Spirit of Hope Methodist is joining our long list of churches helping HART kiddos. They had a SUPER BOWL “PUT YOUR FOOD DONATION ON YOUR TEAM” event. I picked up a car load of single serve, shelf stable items. Thank You.

We wish to thank PPC for their continuing support through the Deacons, the weekly filled food tub and monetary donations from the congregation. We have folks in our church who find the best sales on food and clothing. Thanks Lisa Hein, Dick, Carol and Lois. It takes a lot of time to chase about for the best items at the best prices. Thanks to all in our home church for their care of HART PANTRY.

As we move forward in 2017 please think about volunteering for packing duty( we likely will need 2 teams), transporting the weekly bags, packing toiletries, etc. at home and we always need folks willing to refurbish the many bikes that our kids need.

I wanted to write of our success and expansion so that our friends at PPC can see where the Youth Pantry started in our Social Hall has reached. It all started with caring folks here.

Thank You,

Ruth Langford, HART PANTRY

Categories: Newsletter

Oil Painting

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First Presbyterian Church of Peoria

Established 1892 

Sanctuary completed and dedicated 1897  – 1898

oil paintingThis Oil Painting of our church was just recently discovered by the Glendale Arizona Historical Society, when going through some inventory.  They were kind enough to bring it to us, just this past month, in time for our 125th Anniversary.  It was painted by Mary Patrick in February of 1983.  Although the trees on each side of the steeple are no longer there, they were at that time, as a memorial to John, Bart Turner’s Grandfather and to Henry, Glen Burton’s Father.  John and Henry both served on Session and other various duties within the church.  They were both members from approximately the late 20’s, early 30’s until their deaths. 


Categories: Newsletter

Pancake Breakfast to Help At-Risk Teens

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The HART Pantry was featured in the Peoria District newsletter for Febuary.

Helping At-Risk Teens (HART) Pantry, a non-profit group of community volunteers, have provided high school students weekend snack bags, toiletry kits, clothing and, at times, bicycles to help them get to school. For four years, the HART Pantry has made it’s mission to provide for students who struggle with hunger and encourage them to stay in school. HART Pantry receives donations and volunteers from First Presbyterian Willowbrook Methodist, and Church of Palms in Sun City, from First Presbyterian of Peoria; Heritage Presbyterian of Glendale and West Valley Science of the Mind, Peoria/Sun City. At the of end of each week, students leave school with a snack bag that includes juice, crackers, snack bars, fruit, soups a n d m o r e . Monthly, students receive personal hygiene kits in travel sizes to fit in backpacks. Want to help those who help at-risk teens? The HART Pantry is holding an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast for $7 from 8 a.m-10 a.m, Saturday March 25, at Applebee’s, at 9330 W. Northern Ave. For more information, follow them on Facebook or email hartpantry@

Categories: Newsletter

Montlure Dates

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Montlure dates have been posted.


Montlure Presbyterian Church Camp is a ministry for all to find and grow their faith in Jesus Christ. Montlure’s primary objective is to provide a Christian camping ministry of the highest quality for children and youth in grades 4-12. Campers travel to camp by bus and sleep in cabins. Each camp is led by a strong Christian staff drawn from Presbyterian Churches across Arizona.

2017 Camp Dates

  • Senior High 1 6/19/17 – 6/24/17
  • Junior High 1 7/10/17 – 7/15/17
  • Junior High 2 6/12/17 – 6/17/17
  • Juniors 1 6/25/17 – 6/29/17


Categories: Christian Ed, Youth

PW Theater Date

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We are going to see “A Bag Full of Miracles” at the Sun City Players Community Theater

Located at 9749 N. 107th Ave, Sun City on Sunday, March 19th at 2:00 in the afternoon.

 It is a musical comedy about two senior ladies who run a bed and breakfast.  The cost is $10.  Please get your money to Pam Osgood by Sunday, February 12th.  This should be a fun day. 

We hope a lot of you can join us. 

Categories: Newsletter

Our first pastor’s family

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In a recent issue of the CHATTER, Larry Cary wrote an article about the early history of Peoria Presbyterian Church.  He did real well with his writing, for being the “new kid” on the block and with the material available to him about our history. 

What Larry does not have access to is, an article I have printed in the Glendale News weekly newspaper that was written by Alice (Mann) Thompson and published March 3, 1939.  I will share this article with anyone, but I did not realize Larry was writing articles about our history.  Later in the article, I will mention that Alice Mann married Henry Thompson, our first pastor. 

Alice Mann came to Tempe, AZ on March 10, 1889 with her father Hiram C. and mother Jennie Mann.  They were glad to leave the cold Kansas winter weather.  Alice wrote that it was a real treat to see the trees in full leak and an Alfalfa a foot high in March when other parts of the Unit6edf States was covered with snow.  “On March 15th, we drove to our new home in Peoria.  Father Mann had purchased a team of gray horses and a new wagon for our transportation.”  Remember, this was in 1889. 

By this time, others had settled in Peoria.  “Once in a while, when we could secure a minister, we had church service and almost everyone came.  Our preacher brought his family.  Sometimes when their son was bad, his mother took him out and spanked him SOUNDLY.  We heard it from inside.”  I have never heard soundly, but I imagine the mother did not “spare the rod.”

I am not sure how long The Rev. Thompson served our Peoria church because the news article states he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and served a church for ten years.  Alice left Peoria in 1900 to marry Henry.  They returned to Peoria on December 12, 1911 with five children.  Let’s think about the trip for a minute.  They probably came by train because my guess is seven people in an old car in 1911 would not have all fit.  Someone would have had to just hang on.  I do not know for sure, but chances are there was no diner on the train, so it was up to the passengers to bring enough grub for the trip.  It was not an easy trip compared to today’s travel as we know it.  People learned to get along with what they had. 

The youngest of the five children was Wilbur.  Wilbur stayed in Peoria until his death in 1979.  Wilbur was an asset to Peoria Presbyterian.  His mother, Alice lived in her own home on Wilbur’s farm at 75th Ave and Olive Ave. until her death.   Alice did not drive, so Wilbur brought her to Sunday School and church every Sunday.  Wilbur served on Session, was Sunday School Superintendent and served wherever needed.  Away from P.P.C., he had a dairy on the farm and ran the meat department for a grocery store in Glendale.  One of Alice’s other sons, was a medical doctor.  Another one of her sons, was named Daniel.  Dan and his wife, Catherine joined P.P.C. by letter of transfer from Phoenix First Presbyterian.

Wilbur and his wife, Zona had three daughters.  I am in contact with the oldest one of the three, Sandra.  She is living in Scottsdale. 

  As we prepare for our 125th anniversary, let’s think back in time of what the early pioneers went through, especially the young lad who probably had a warm behind after a SOUNDLY whipping.

Ken Johnson

P.S. In a future article, you will learn about Wilbur’s brothers.  I did mention Dan, but that is all I said.  So, stay tuned for this and also Wilbur’s other

Categories: Newsletter

Story from Ken

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There were close to 50+ pupils in our Sunday School.   So, for the annual Christmas program (usually held in the evening), there were a lot of memory verses and  Bible skits for the evening.  The parents worked one on  one with the child to learn the Christmas poem or Bible  verse.  At home, the memory work was perfect as far as  the parent was concerned and it was going to be the best part of the program.  Now it is time for the recitation.  Dressed in their finest, up on the stage they went.  Mom and dad were so proud of their child. 

Once they were up there and had turned around, now facing the crowd, they thought, “Hey, where did all of these guys come from? 

It wasn’t like this at home.”. They started crying and ran to mommy.

At the end of the program, Santa jingled at the back door with a sack of treats for each child.  The Tang family had a grocery store up town and donated apples, nuts, and hard candy.  The Johnson family and other people donated oranges.  (A few nights before, several would gather at a home and set up an assembly line, each person doing their job.)   Times were rougher then, (maybe) and that was all some got for Christmas…that sack of goodies.

As Santa left to change in the church manse (located at the east end of the now fellowship hall), we kids would bolt out the front door and hurry to a window and try to peek in to see who the “fat” man was.

For days after the program, I liked to hide my sack from my brother and sister.  I wouldn’t eat any.  When theirs were gone, I would then bring mine out and eat in front of them. 

One time, I hid my chocolates so well, I forgot about them  Mom found them in my drawer much later, with worms from somewhere.  SO, DON’T HIDE YOUR CHOCOLATES!

Ken Johnson    

Categories: Newsletter