Sunday, November 18, 2018

They Haven't Said Anything to Wilberforce In Almost Two Hours?

On July 9, 1854, the Reverend William H. Goode preached the very first Methodist Episcopal sermon at Kibbee cabin just north of what would become Baldwin City. Three years later, at what would then become the Barricklow cabin, on April 17, a convention of ministers voted to establish Baker University in the town of Palmyra which would later be absorbed into Baldwin City.

Methodist sermons were originally conducted at the cabin north of town until the college building was completed in 1858. For the next ten or so years, church services were held on the third floor of what would become the Old Castle. By 1868, however, the need for a new church would be needed thus the building of Baker University's second building commenced. The Old Stone Church was constructed in 1868 and dedicated in 1870.

The Old Stone Church was built by George Miller and members of the community. It was replaced in 1884 with Centenary Hall. The Stone Church would later become Stone Hall and then Pulliam Hall and house Baker's School of Journalism and Broadcasting.

Centenary Hall was built in 1884, also by George Miller, to house classrooms, an auditorium, and church for Baker University since the Science Building (Parmenter Hall) was at capacity. Centenary Hall was built right next to Parmenter and served the University until it fell out of disuse and repair was razed in 1965. Centenary Hall stopped being the Methodist Church in 1904 when an actual church building was built.

The beautiful stone and brick church building was dedicated on February 14, 1904 and was built to serve Baldwin City for decades to come. The bricks were from Coffeyville, the giant circular stained glass window was a gift from the Southeastern Conference and the woodwork was all done in fine white oak. The dedication ceremony was heralded by Reverend Don S. Colt. Sadly, the church was struck by lightning in 1930 and burned to the ground. Services returned to Centenary Hall until the present church building was completed in 1932.

Over Maple Leaf this year, I was able to go inside and wander to get pictures of this subtely beautiful church.

A couple observations: First, Erie (I'm assuming Pennsylvania) is only an hour and 40 minutes from Cleveland. In the grand scheme of road tripping, that's not bad at all. Second, this is pretty good. An hour and a half or so is just long enough that you are tired of sitting and driving so having to turn around and drive all the way would put anyone in a murderous rage. Third, that's a good looking barn in the background--clearly a well-maintained farm on the Stoltzfus Family Farm (founded 1817) in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country--I don't know what it's doing here in Erie County but whatever. Fourth, I hope this isn't the start of a week long storyline where they are celebrating Thanksgiving with Mother Gargle. I don't know if I can handle that.

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