Rossville Methodists Look to the Future

Dublin Core


Rossville Methodists Look to the Future


by Dorothy N. Hoobler
The members of the Rossville United Methodist Church are excited and enthusiastic about its future. They have targeted September 1991 for ground-breaking ceremonies for a new sanctuary with a fellowship hall and eight church school classrooms.

It didn't just happen. A building fund was established ten years ago. Surveys were taken in 1987 and 1989, to determine the needs of the congregation. And now, there's a "We're really going to build!" optimism.

Building a church in 1991 isn't as simple as it was when the present edifice was built and dedicated over a century ago. There are definite, detailed, procedures which must be followed, including having the plans approved by the local congregation and the United Methodist Conference.

At the November 1989 church charge conference, a committee was appointed and authorized to make recommendations as to what action should be taken. The building committee met — again and again. At a memorable March 1991 meeting, they presented two proposals: 1) Build a new addition to the present sanctuary, which would include a fellowship hall and classrooms; 2) Raze the present building and start all over.

By a vote of 56-12, the membership approved the committee's recommendation. Plans call for a sanctuary to seat 165, a fellowship hall, eight classrooms, a pastor's study, a church office, and a choir room.

There were so many things to consider, so many decisions to make. Much appreciation should be given to the building committee for a job well done. Newly-retired Dean Page was named chairman, Bill Larson, vice- chairman, and Linda Gentry, secretary. Other members are Bob Macha, Ed Claycamp, Greg Warden, Scott Kelsey, Barbara Akin, and Jim Hays.

Because the present site is centrally located in town, it was recommended that the new church should be built on the same site. Then came the very important job of selecting an architect, construction company, contractors, etc. After visiting twelve or four-teen churches (all the way from South Dakota to Colby, Kansas), the committee selected the Zion Church Building Company of Zion, Ill..

Page explained that this company builds only churches. They draw the plans according to the congregation's specifications; let the contract; furnish the pews, furniture, and floor covering; and send a building supervisor who stays on the job until the building is completed. He also makes regular progress reports to the committee.

A general contractor, preferably local, will be hired by the Zion Company. However, local volunteers can share their labor skills and various talents. This will decrease the construction costs.

The building plans are now ready for congregational approval, and the financial plans must also satisfy the United Methodist Church conference committee.

The trustees will be meeting very soon to make a complete inventory of church property, and to decide just how and when to dispose of what will not be needed in the new structure. Some furniture, the church bell and, of course, the stained glass windows will be used in the new church. The present pews will be sold. For acoustical reasons, the Zion Company prefers to use its own pews which are padded back and front

It is hoped the site can be cleared in July or early August. Plans have already been made for regular Sunday morning worship service. The U.S.D. #321 school board has approved the church's use of the Rossville High School building. The Presbyterian Church, a neighbor just across the street, has graciously offered use of its sanctuary for special events like weddings or funerals. Some joint worship services may also be held.

There's always the question of finances. Page estimated that approximately 65% of the cost is already on hand or pledged. A special fund-raising pledge drive is planned. Page is hopeful that 85% to 90% will be available (or maybe even the entire cost!) by the time the building is completed.

The blueprints show a beautiful brick building with a tall spire and all those lovely, old, stained glass windows. The main entrance will be from Pearl Street, as it is now.

There will be no basement with steep steps to climb. The elevation will be one-foot above the present floor, safe from any of Cross Creek's worst floods. With the adjoining fellowship hall, kitchen, and classroom area, the total of 7,830 square feet will double the present square footage.
It's all handicapped accessible, of course, and with a more than adequate parking area. (City code requires one stall for every three persons.) There will be movable walls in two classrooms, and the narthex and choir room can also serve as overflow areas. Presently, there are 225 members and, on an average, Sunday morning attendance of 100.

The building and finance committees have already been working (and probably worrying a little, too) for over 18 months. A need for a special events committee is being discussed to plan for a poignant homecoming and "farewell to the old church" service. They'd also plan the eagerly anticipated ground-breaking ceremony and for future events. There's talk of a memory book with the church history included.

"Everyone is excited," Page said. The members of the Rossville United Methodist Church do indeed have exciting days ahead as they build a new sanctuary on the familiar site. May it, too, continue to serve the congregation — and the community — for at least another 110 years, or more.


St. Marys Star, St. Marys, Kansas


Rossville Community Library


May 14, 1991


This work is copyrighted; the copyright holder has granted permission for this item to be used by the Rossville Community Library. This permission does not extend to third parties.


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