Author: AJ Langston

The Three C’s

No Comments

For years, Arizona has been known as the state of  five “C”s.  They are Cotton, Citrus, Cattle, Copper and Climate.

In my last article, I wrote about how the Christy family kept our church buildings clean, including the shine on the now covered up hardwood floor.  Years ago, P.P.C. should have had a slogan, “A CHURCH WITH THREE C’s”.  The CHRISTY CLEANING CREW.  I wrote about how the whole family of eight would spend evenings after school or Saturdays to clean P.P.C.  Roy was Director of Maintenance for Dysart Schools and Barbara was a teacher.  P.P.C. was the next stop on the way home from Dysart, about ten miles west of Peoria.  Probably the six children wanted to hear, “When school is our, come straight home.”  But, they had no choice as they were passengers and mom or dad was behind the wheel.

I visited Barbara in a Hospice Care Center and I saw two people beside Barbara, who I knew.  Sue Dalaly from P.P.C. was ath here bedside and the other was Barbara’s daughter, Carol Cronne.  As I visited with Barbara, she knew who I was and what I said, but was silent, only smiling and nodding her head.  Carol helped with the conversation.

Carl has retired after thirty years as a Special Needs Teacher’s Assistant with the Phoenix Union School District6.  This was hard for me to swallow, because when I think of the six Christy children, (six C’s), I think of them as Jr. or Sr. High youth in our church as the had originally arrived from Ohio in a Rambler station wagon some forty five years ago.

In my Harwood Floor article, I wrote how the whole family was involved in keeping our building spotless.  Carol and I discussed the days of maintenance at P.P.C.  Each child was given a cleaning duty.  In between jobs or if the parents were in a different room, the kids would play hide and seek in the fellowship hall.  Think about it, there is not a good hiding spot in the fellowship hall, unless under a table and you are sure to be found quickly.  The closets are “Fibber McGee” closets.  For you young ones, years ago, before TV, there was a radio program, Fibber McGee and Molly.  When they opened the closet it sounded like a wall came tumbling down.  Carol share with me, that she had a bad leg joint that would pop, so when it was her time to hide, the others would listen for the pop and just follow the popping noise and she was caught.

On my recent visit with Barbara, her silence was nothing new to me.  She held down a back pew and was quiet except to speak to you.  She never bad mouthed anyone or caused any waves in a meeting discussion.  She was a good Deacon, a good P.P.C. member, a good wife, and mother.  Carol told me that with her father, Roy’s job at Dysart School, he had to at times, fly to Wisconsin or the east coast to pick up a new Blue Bird school bus and drive it home to Dysart School.  Barbara would go with Roy for the ride and maybe to help keep Roy awake.  The last is my thought about it…because when I drove for Peoria on a long trip, if there weren’t any noisy kids on the bus, I would get sleepy).  That was a long drive, but Barbara had plenty of leg room and room to roam up and down in the aisle, unless the “driver” would say, “Sit down back there”, as we had to tell our students while in motion.

On this note, I was the driver for my twin daughter’s volleyball game and their coach yelled at them and pulled them out of the game.  Dad did not take that very lightly.  On the way home, the coach was constantly up and down the aisle.  I decided I had not done a brake check on the trip, so I had better do it.  It so happened, the coach was up walking in the aisle and if you are familiar with the air brakes, they brake fast and hard.  You should know the rest of the story.  The coach went flying, but did not say a thing.

If you have any memories of the C.C.C. or the eight C Christy Family, please write it or tell me. Ken Johnson.

Categories: Newsletter

The Best Sermons are Lived Not Preached

No Comments


Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class.  When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”

  • Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug.   When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
  • Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying.  And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
  • Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
  • Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed.  About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
  • Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics,  I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
  • Today, a boy in a wheelchair  saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the  way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
  • Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant.  When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today.  If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”  It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
  • Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy.  Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.

 The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Categories: Newsletter

Church Directory Update

No Comments


As you are aware, we are in the process of updating our current directory.  Please take a few minutes to verify your name and personal information is in it.  Note any changes that should be made.  If your information is in the directory and you want it or any part removed, please make a note of this.  If your information is not in the directory and you would like it to be, please make a note of this as well.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Katrina Guy.


Categories: Newsletter

The early days

No Comments

Peoria Presbyterian Church The early days

In December 1882 three men organized the Arizona Canal Company.  The canal was extended in 1885 bringing water to the Peoria area.  A group of settlers from Peoria, Illinois arrived between 1886 and 1889 among these was the Mann family.  Mrs. Jennie Mann had lived an active Christian life before coming to Peoria, found a lack of any religious services.  She searched her small community to gather its children into her home, and thus formed the nucleus for the First Presbyterian Church Sunday School.  As interest grew, young people and adults were soon attending the classes ably taught by Mrs. Jennie Mann and Mrs. Kate Creath.  As settlers continued to settle on nearby and surrounding land the predominate faith seemed to be Presbyterian.  In 1891 Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Lively, Mrs. Jennie Mann and Mrs. Binney sent a petition to the Presbytery requesting the organization of a Presbyterian Church in Peoria.  On April 10, 1892 the First Presbyterian Church of Peoria came into being.

Mr. W. J. Lively became the ruling Elder and Mr. H.G. Mann and Mr. James Allison were installed as Trustees.  As nearly as can be ascertained the following were Charter members;  Mrs. Jennie Mann, Mrs. Allison, Mr. Jasper Lively, Mrs. James McMillan, Mrs. Binney, Mrs. Emily Lively, Mr. John Creath, Sr., Miss Mary McMillan and Miss. Agnes McMillan.  Visiting ministers were common place until September 1893 when Henry A. Thompson was installed as the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Peoria.  Mr. Thompson not only preached at Peoria but also Casa Grande, Arizola, Gila Bend, Wickenburg, and Congress Junction.  It was common place for this parson to have a six-shooter strapped to his hip as he rode or drove from one parish to another as this was still the “wild” west at that time.

On January 4, 1899, DeLoss and Frances Brown deeded Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Block 33 to the Peoria Presbyterian Church for the consideration of one dollar.  After meeting in the public school building for seven years the church members were overjoyed with property to build a church home on.  In the spring of 1899 construction began.  The church walls were fifteen feet high of red brick supporting a steep, gabled roof, with a bell tower.  Mr. Howard Bartlett secured the twelve beautiful pointed, stained glass windows.  The sanctuary was 24’ X 36’ and lighted by kerosene lamps hung from brackets attached to the window casings.  Near the close of 1899 the church was completed.  On January 4, 1900, the Rev. J.W. Quay became pastor of seventeen members.  At a public service on Sunday, February 4, 1900 members met to formally dedicate the church.

More to come in later issues.  Larry Cary, Elder

Categories: Newsletter