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First Presbyterian Church honors 175th anniversary

Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

The 175th Anniversary celebratory service at First Presbyterian Church was held Sunday, Oct. 13, with over 200 in attendance.

Two former pastors, Rev. Robert Thom and Rev. Ed Wicklien were in attendance as was our moderator, Helen Logan.

On a beautiful autumn day, the celebration began with a reception starting at 9:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall.

Guests signed a register and members placed their names on leaves in a mural painted by Susan Swarnes and Sheri Grote.

Cups and wind chimes depicting the anniversary were offered for sale.  Members received memory journals containing a history of the church and everyone in attendance received a commemorative bookmark.

The service began with a procession of the choir into the sanctuary led by Chris Apps playing “Highland Cathedral” on the bagpipes.  Soloists, Dave Cerven and Karen Allen led the introit in “Behold Our God.”  The Word was presented by Chris Gamm, representing “the Past,” Joe Siefkas, “the Future,” and Judy King, “the Present.”

John Parcell was the featured trumpeter on  “From Living Stones” sang by the choir.

The women’s chorus sang “Joyful, Joyful,” with Shannon Walker as soloist.  The children’s chorus joined the choir for  “God Is Here.”

At the conclusion of the service, Chris Apps, on bagpipes, led the congregation outside to the fellowship hall for a wonderful meal catered by Keith and Karen Kieffer.

The Bowling Green congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, was organized in 1838 by Rev. James W. Campbell. We are currently part of the Presbyterian Church USA.  The original church house was in the Old Brick Church built in 1845.  In 1890 a new church was built on the present site.

The pipe organ in the sanctuary was added in 1914.  The Ergonian Classroom was added in 1922.  The Ergonians were an active ladies class from 1922-2006.  Their name is from the Greek word ergon meaning “to work.” The building experienced fire damage in 1931.  The stained glass windows in the sanctuary, depicting symbols of Christianity, were added in 1972.  The ramp into the church and the outdoor bulletin board were installed in 1983.  In 1990, the groundbreaking and construction of the fellowship hall began; followed with the dedication in 1991.  The addition of the Prayer Garden was in 2006.  In 2008, we replaced our steeple and added a new electronic carillon bell system.  Our congregation remains grateful for our past, diligent in the present and hopeful for the future.