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JIM: The Nazarene Church buildings, 1947-1948

When 1947 fire burned the sanctuary first built for a United Brethren church, the Columbia Church of the Nazarene temporarily met in the chapel of Lindsey Wilson College. The devastating fire occurred shortly after the furnace had been fired up for the Sunday morning services.

By JIM

The Nazarene Church buildings, 1947-1948

As stated in Nicole Legg's note yesterday (Old Church Bell guards another piece of Nazarene history), the original Nazarene Church building was the one erected in the 1914-15 by the United Brethren in Christ and was located at what currently is 308 Jamestown Street.


In late 1914, the then-proposed structure was described in the News as "a frame 31 x 42, with recess pulpit, 16 x 28 room on North side for Sunday School and also 30 x 42 basement" with an anticipated cost was $3,000. It was dedicated in mid-October, 1915, but in 1919 it was sold to T.G. Rasner for $800, that amount being the balance of the mortgage. The building was acquired by the Columbia Church of the Nazarene about five years later.

The October 1, 1947 edition of the News devoted but two short paragraphs to the Nazarene Church fire, stating it occurred on Sunday morning (September 28th) and that it "completely destroyed the interior" of the frame structure. The article also stated that

"The building became ignited from the furnace just after a fire had been built shortly before the Sunday School hours...[and] the damage was extensive..." The pastor, Rev. Robert Altman, was quoted as saying the loss was "only partially covered by insurance."

Two weeks later, the paper reported that a contract had been let to Scott Brothers to replace the old building, the new one to "be erected upon the site of the old one on Jamestown Street," constructed of brick, and finished with stucco. Rev. Altman expressed the hope the new edifice would be ready for use by February, 1948. Another front page article informed readers that for the time being, the Nazarene Church services would be held in the chapel of Lindsey Wilson College with Sunday School at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11.

No more news about the church or the new building appeared (at least not on the front page of the News) until the April 7, 1948, edition, in which Rev. Altman announced that "opening services in the new church building recently completed in Jamestown Street, will be held on Sunday, April 11..." (No followup of the dedication appeared in subsequent issues of the News.)


This story was posted on 2012-05-28 01:44:46
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