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Yvonne Marshall talks of Columbia UMC history

By Linda Waggener

On a recent summer morning, Yvonne Marshall and I visited on her back porch, talking about the Coronavirus Pandemic which caused a 10-week first-in-history closure of Columbia United Methodist Church through the spring of 2020.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear mandated that all congregations, including churches, be halted in March and members who had access scrambled to make use of social media to keep in touch. Yvonne said she has an iPad and tries to log on to Sunday Facebook sermons. She looked off into the green fields behind her home, thinking out loud, and said she doesn't always get it to work, it's just not the same. So true.

Prior to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic there were two Sunday services - Traditional high church met at 9amCT followed by Sunday School at 10. Afterward, at 11am, the Contemporary (or *Rock 'n Roll service as one older member called it) began.

The church has reopened with great care, after thorough cleaning, and about half the members have begun to attend the combined Sunday morning service at 10am, wearing masks and sitting at distances in the pews to help avoid spreading germs.

However, members like us of a certain age attend on the Internet. And we continue to distance, as in visiting on the back porch instead of in the house, which is also recommended to help curb the virus that primarily spreads on the air we share.

Pastor Rob Hoffman and his wife Traci continue to serve both online and in the building. Concerning the future of Columbia United Methodist, Pastor Rob believes strongly in church/community involvement and works to advocate small group communications for our "changing culture" - even before and beyond the Pandemic.

Yvonne can remember physical structural changes. Prior to the current brick structure, the original wood church which sat in the same place as the brick today, 202 Burkesville Street.

That's where she and her husband Charles were married. It's where she has been a lead soprano in the church choir ever since she transferred from the Baptist church after her marriage.

She remembers sharing the choir with many friends and singing with a young man who would later become a Kentucky Senator, Jody Richards, when he and his brother Jim were members with his mom Mary. Jody and Jim both live in Bowling Green now.

She said she gave her name when asked to serve as church historian but has no official duties. She laughs and says she was probably asked because she was the oldest member present at the time. She knows there's a printed history available and believes her copy may be with her daughter. We decided to save searching for that on a future visit. For this quiet morning, we just wanted to begin to think about the very special people and the very special services the church has been central to in her memory.

Yvonne and Charles raised their three children in the church, Mikki, Jerry, and Kim. She taught third and fourth grade Sunday School classes for many years until she became pregnant with her youngest and at that time Thelma Phelps took her place.

She remembers being active in the United Methodist Women and was proud of the men's group, both strong organizations, and she was proud of the Acolyte program which she felt was very good for children.

Some of the family names she recalls have included:

Abel, Akin, Allender, Baize, Baker, Ballou, Barnes, Beard, Brian, Brock, Burton, Chafin, Cheatham, Clifford, Coleman, Cook, Collins, Coomer, Corbin, Critz, Davis, Fudge, Furkin, Flowers, Gaskin, Gilpin, Glasgow, Goodson, Grant, Hale, Hancock, Harvey, Henry, Heskamp, Hutchison, Janes, Jones, Keen, Keltner, Kolbenschlag, Lowe, Loy, Luckey, Marshall, McQuade, Melson, McQueary, Miller, Moss, Murrell, Overstreet, Parnell, Pelly, Perkins, Phipps, Quinn, Richards, Rose, Rowe, Roy, Royce, Scott, Sexton, Shearer, Shelley, Sneed, Spinks, Staten, Stephens, Stotts, Strange, Taylor, VanArsdale, Vickous, Waggener, Watts, Walker, Weddle, Wilhelm, Williams, Willis, and Woody.

Many pastors who have served Columbia United Methodist Church are pictured in the long hallway of history in the church. Drawings of the original church can also be found in the hallway.

These are but a few of many memories she has of those who have attended and served during the years of the Columbia United Methodist Church.

*For the sake of full transparency, the older member who called the Contemporary service the Rock 'n Roll service never attended either one.

This story was posted on 2020-09-09 07:41:59
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Yvonne Marshall likes going to church in person

2020-09-09 - Adair County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener,
Church is better in person according to Yvonne Marshall who tried hard to attend on the Internet but finds it's just not the same. Her Columbia United Methodist Church has reopened with great care, after thorough cleanings, and about half the members have begun to attend the combined Sunday morning service at 10am, wearing masks and sitting at distances in the pews, to help avoid spreading the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Services are offered on both Internet/Facebook and in the house. Everyone is welcome at both services.

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Drawing of former Columbia UMC

2020-09-09 - Adair County, KY - Photo from church collectioin.
The old Columbia United Methodist Church is a memory, framed and hung in the back hallway with other historical information and photos.

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