Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Church Buildings

Whether they are big or small, elaborate or plain, a church building is such a beautiful place, but remember, it is just that…. a building. It is the “people” who are the church.
Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Lens’s focal length: 17.00 - 40.00 mm, Photo Focal length: 25.00 mm, Aperture: 8.0, Exposure time: 1/160 s, ISO: 100  All rights reserved - Copyright © Lucie Debelkova -
I myself am kind of partial to the simple little country churches! Mindy

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



I received this in  my email and thought it was maybe time to show
another  view of what can happen when our weather gets out of whack. Looking
at all the water that is covering our ground and filling our homes gives
more than pause for thought. But how would we handle clouds that are
coming towards us filled with hurricane fury?   From Colossians 2:6 And
now just as you trusted Christ to save you trust him, too, for each days
problems; live in vital union with him.

Joan T.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Hey, it’s so nice to see that we have 9 followers now!  Please sign up to be a follower if you enjoy reading our blog. It is encouraging to know that others are enjoying the events and happenings of our church! We encourage you to leave comments! If you would like to send articles or photos just email them to

Percy, the Percival Church Sheep has a little tidbit for you today……..


“Nothing lasts forever, not even your troubles!”

Wooly Hugs,


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Percival Trip

Saturday morning August 20th at 9 sharp several members of the Percival Community Church made the trip to Percival, IA to undertake “Clean up day.” While we were fully aware we could not get everything that had found its way into the community by way of the Missouri River it soon became apparent that even logs, limbs, pop cans and all sorts of waste could be picked up. Joining us later were Dave and Beth Lueth and their daughter along with Elizabeth Hartnett and her son. Oh, yes, don’t forget the Sidney Police department who were just checking to make sure we weren’t looters.

We did manage to uncover a couple of snakes who were not anymore pleased to see us than we were to find them lurking under hiding places. Never the less we continued until we had managed a pretty good pile of unwanted items left to dry out and be burned later. We stopped at the Post Office to check out the newest resident and found ‘garden spider’ to be fully fed and content at his new residence.

Driving through the streets later it was apparent that even that little bit of debris that we could get to and remove made a difference as once again it started to become the little town where people lived and cared about their community. While the trash we picked up made a difference the clean up overall will be a huge undertaking so until then we will know that God has us in his care and we will cast all our care upon him; for he careth for us. Joan T.

Click on photos to enlarge.

The work crew….left front three, Lynn Handy, Phyllis Layman and Penny Warren. Back row left, Scott Sumpter, Pastor Blaine, Jim Layman, Jerry Birkby, JoAnn Birkby, Barb Handy and Paul Bennett.


Dave Lueth and the deputy sheriff checking us out.


Beth Lueth and daughter.


Mule slough near Percival.


Rapids heading towards West ditch.


Water rushing towards stop sign on Hwy 2.


Businesses on Hwy 2 waiting for better days!


Water, water everywhere still at Hwy 2.


Better picture of Hwy 2 intersection.


Exit northbound Hwy 2 showing damage to road way.


What was once a beautiful bean field on Tiemeyer’s.


West ditch on new Missouri River.




Sunday, August 21, 2011

Do You Recognize?

We received an inquiry about a cookbook that is very old. They were wondering if someone in the church could help them put a date on it.  It has a copper cover and just says cook book on the front. Some of the members who contributed to it are Mrs. Edgar Haselwood,  Gertrude Handy, Mrs. Rose Coster, and there is some advertising for a Hummel store. Click on the images to enlarge. If anyone has any information on this book please send us an email-



Thank You!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Message of a Song

It was wonderful to see and talk to Rosemary on Sunday and I was glad she was there to play for us...I only wish we could have gotten her up to play their beautiful pipe organ, but I know that will never happen!  I don't know if anyone else noticed the song she played during Blaine's ever so long morning prayer?  (just joking Blaine!)  she played one of my favorite hymns, of course I have many favorites, they seem to fade as the sun does and then something happens in my life and they seem to burst forth in my ever wondering mind for me to sing for days, and sometimes weeks.  anyways, she played, "Spirit of God descend upon my heart"  it's a very old hymn and one of the verses that always speaks to me is:  Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh; teach me the struggles of the soul to bear; to check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh; teach me the patience of unanswered prayer. 

  I can't help but that think that God spoke to her that morning.  How many times do we sing a song or hear a song and never really pay attention to the words?  I urge all of you to really read what you are singing come next Sunday.  I bet you would be surprised to find a verse or phrase in a song that speaks for whatever you may be going thru at that time.

Thanks be to God!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lynn Handy’s History

 My name is Lynn Handy and I’m 75 years old. I have belonged to the Percival Community Church for all my years. I’ve been asked to write about the rich history of our community and of our church.

For some reason or other I have been having a little trouble sleeping of late so I am writing this from memory at one o’clock in the morning in my mother-in-law’s house. She is 101 years old and in the local health care center. Her house has been standing empty for several years so when my wife and I were forced off the Percival bottom we moved in here for temporary quarters figuring to renovate it while we wait to see when (or if) we can move back into our own home.

In 1846 Lester and Elvira Platt left Oberlin, Ohio and traveled down the Ohio River and then up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to St. Joseph, Missouri. There they rented a wagon and continued up along the Missouri to a large beautiful bend in the river in what is now Fremont, County, Iowa.

Elvira had attended Oberlin College and it is said she held a degree in Horticulture, making her one of the first college educated women in America. Oberlin College was somewhat unique for the time in that it admitted women as students and also members of all races.

Lester and Elvira had been employed by the government to help the Pawnee Indians become farmers.

They built their first log cabin on a sand knoll west of present day Percival and then continued on up river to an area near present day Bellevue, Nebraska to be with the Indians. When they got there they found that the Sioux had raided the Pawnee camp after the men had left on their annual buffalo hunt and many of the Pawnee women and children had been killed or carried off.

Lester and Elvira brought 8 or 9 of the Indian children back to their cabin near the big bend in the River to spend the winter and in the coming year several other pioneers came in from Oberlin. Also a Dr. Blandchard and his wife and daughter who had been working with the Kaw Indians south of Kansas City arrived about this time. The area soon came to be known as Civil Bend.

The settlers from Oberlin where Congregationalist and Dr. Blandchard and his family were Baptists, but they soon got together and formed the Union Church and a community building was built to serve as church and school.

George Gastin, a brother of Elvira Platt, had come to Civil Bend with a vision of building a college on the banks of the Missouri but after a couple of floods he and his family and some of the original group moved to Tabor in the hills North and East of Civil Bend and formed Tabor College. Floods have always played a prominent role in the history of the area.

The Union Church had two very strict by-laws when formed. One was against the consumption of alcohol and the other was anti-slavery.

The settlers of Civil Bend soon became very active in the Underground Railroad and there are many stories about this which tie in with the Todd House in Tabor and John Brown’s cave in Nebraska City, well known stations on the Underground Railroad.

But then two things happened that ended the Union Church. There were two black families living in Civil Bend, attending the Union Church and sending their children to school in the common building. Then one night the church/school building was burned by what was believed to be a pro-slavery mob from Nebraska City. The Lambert sawmill was also burned at the same time. No members of the mob were ever apprehended.

Secondly, about this same time three men left Civil Bend and joined the California Gold Rush and while they were gone one of the wives left behind became pregnant by Dr. Blanchard. Apparently he owned up to the fact and soon after that he was removed from the church. As can be imagined this caused a considerable rift in the church and the Union Church soon ceased to be.

Shortly after a Congregational Church was founded and then a Baptist Church under Dr. Blandchard. Finally a Methodist Church came on the scene.

In 1868 the railroad came down the bottom and most of the people of Civil Bend moved to the new town of Percival. Sometime around 1900 all three churches built new buildings in the town of Percival. Percival had about 300 people at that time and it proved to be very hard to support three churches with three separate buildings, so in 1920 the three churches were federated. This was the first triple federation in America.

And the first pastor of the new Percival Federated Church was a woman. Really quite amazing for the time.

You have to admit it was quite a stretch from Congregation to Baptist to Federated. I like to say it only took about 60 years to heal the wounds of the 1850’s and to forgive the various transgressions.

Somewhere along the line the “Federated” was dropped from our name and we are now known as the Percival Community Church. Even the three buildings have been merged into one and it is used as a community building as well as for a church though I think everyone thinks of it primarily as a Church.

Probably our worst flood came in 1881, but we were hit again in 1941-42 and especially hard in 1952. 1993 was also a bad year, but if the Corp of Engineers is right the flood of 2011 will dwarf everything before. They estimate 8 to 10 feet of water in Percival and if that is correct the water will come half way up on our stained glass windows. And it may be in there for a month or more.

But we want to keep our church and we’re, at this time, still awaiting God’s decision.

“Not our will, but Thine, O Lord.”

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Welcome to Percival

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Pastor Blaine on church steps.

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North church yard showing water left along with debris.

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Church basement showing mold and seep water.

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Across the street from the church.

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 Shirley Lawton’s house.

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Road heading out of Percival from Shirley’s.

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Elizabeth Hartnett’s home.

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Barn spider  in new home at the Percival Post Office.

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Sunset at a beautiful lake near Percival….not really, it’s looking west toward the Handy residence but if it weren’t for all the dead fish, logs, and other stuff covering the Interstate it would have been a gorgeous site!

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Thank you Joan T. for sharing these photos with us.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Recent Photos

 Here are some pictures taken by Joan T.

Click on photos to enlarge.

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 Up next will be some more photos as Pastor Blaine and a couple of members  made it to the church and a few places around town.