WGBC 1941

An educational building was erected and dedicated on June 17, 1923.  It was not until 1938, that the church moved forward to build the present sanctuary which was dedicated February 2, 1941.

The church raised the final $10,000 in 20 months to enable the building of the new sanctuary.  Early in the fall of 1938, Dr. Reader called the Board of Finance to what he called the unit plan: 100 units of $100: each payable $5 per month for twenty months.  The church adopted the giving plan and was very successful, receiving more than the requisite amount being subscribed.

Mr. Charles L. Thurston served as the architect.  At the dedication, the Amoma Class, under the direction of Mrs. Sam Smart, presented the church with the Mothers’ Memorial Pipe Organ.  Later, the Amoma Class gave the beautiful chimes and amplification system, so that the organ chimes and records could be broadcast through the church belfry.

Ground was broken for the present sanctuary in an impressive Masonic ceremony on July 21, 1940.  Pastor Dr. Reader turned the first dirt with a shovel presented by Mr. and Mrs. A. Z. Blakeley.  That shovel is now displayed in the church foyer.  The cornerstone was laid on September 7, 1940, with a Masonic ceremony led by Grand Master Dr. Harold Reader.   The cornerstone was a gift of Fremont Galbraith Elliott[1], whose father, John F. Elliott, donated the stone for the original 1923 cornerstone.  The 1923 cornerstone has been resealed and placed in the foyer of the present sanctuary.

The new edifice was patterned after the old parish churches of England in general style and arrangement.  Gothic architecture predominates and the roof is the oak open truss beams with exposed rafters.  Oak was also used for the doors, the chancel furnishings and the pews.  Leaded art glass for the windows is of imported material from England, Germany and Belgium.  Windows of this type and fineness of workmanship were impossible to obtain in this country following World War I.  The leaded tracery Gothic window facing Summit is the largest of the group and depicts the Resurrection.

The sanctuary lighting is hexagonal lantern type lights designed by the architect Charles L. Thurston and built to his order.

[1] b. 1898

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