Early memories of Peoria Presbyterian

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I wrote in my last article about the founding of our church. Fellowship Hall was built about 1964, before that time the church kitchen was the south half of the back room leading to the restrooms. A wall divided the room with the north half for the pastor’s study and the south half for the kitchen. Worship was in the now north portion of the sanctuary. A curtain closed the worship center from the south portion which served as room for several Sunday School classes on Sunday and the fellowship “hall” once a month for potluck suppers. The tiny kitchen served us well as that was all we had. Any dishes or pans to be cleaned after supper were done in the sink where the men’s restroom door is today. Water was heated on the stove. There was no refrigerator for the potlucks, there was not any leftovers as we cleaned up the good food. For tables there were several wood folding tables that were stored on the edge of a cabinet on the east wall. Not much water was used in the sink and it drained out on the lawn as there were no sewers yet and the outhouse cesspool was not close.

For a program for the evening sometimes there was a traveling missionary that gave a talk. When we arrived at church we could tell if a stranger was in our midst because of a strange old car out front. We knew who owned every car. Or we would get a mission film and would run it on our 16 mil projector.

One supper, a new family came with a covered dish…I do not know why but hardly any food was taken from their dish. My mom worked in the cleanup and I saw the kitchen ladies taking food out of the new people’s dish so they would think that their food was well liked.

On Sunday for worship, I was about ten and the ONLY male in church. Several of the men were farmers and maybe they had irrigation or were just playing hooky. When it came time for the offering, I was asked to handle the offering plates. At that time, I do not remember any time that a lady helped take up offering. Boy, I was about ten feet tall getting to collect the money.

My next article will be “You Presbyterians are Parking Wrong on Madison Street, the Peoria Police Chief”

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