So many times in our lives we have a “Gem” that we do not recognize enough and say, “thank you” to our God. In this Thanksgiving time (everyday should be) but in my story I come forward to share what our Church Community Building has meant to me and my family.
I awoke to this “Gem” in our community the night I arrived home from the recent Halloween Party. Rev. Pritchett and his committee had gone to lots of work to provide fun for 26 youths in attendance. All of the material was provided to each one to decorate a pumpkin, also 4 sugar cookies were decorated by each one. Lots of “finger licking good” going on. Decorations for the room were furnished by the D.J. Graham family. Parents and Grandparents enjoyed the hayrack ride with the youth. The men oversaw the firepit for roasting hot dogs, marshmallows and Smores.
When I sat down to have my sandwich last Sunday I looked around Fellowship Hall witnessing family and friends and with many hugs homoring lifetime Percival resident Isal Bohlen with a Memorial Service. How many of those gatherings have we witnessed in past years. There has been a community church to provide services to worship God, Sunday School, receptions, weddings, Boy Scouts, 4-H clubs, funerals, voting and dinners. At one time high school plays were put on-on the stage.
I will never forget the one night of our Christmas party and a blizzard was brewing. We could not get our car out of the garage. You know what? The party was held and Santa made it from Nebraska City. Imagine at one time there were 3 churches in Percival. Rev. F.M. Sisson a pastor in 1927 believed in the need for a community building and a fund drive was started and became a reality. The on section of the building (dining room and Sunday School room) was the original Methodist Church built in 1888. The Sanctuary was constructed from the Congregational Church built in 1896. The Baptist Church built in 1876 was dismantled and used for a parsonage which is Violet Berry’s home now. The home of the Don Shipley’s was also built with material from the Baptist Church.
In the year 2000 a celebration was held of the Tri Federation of these churches, history proves this is very historical. Our programs read “Faithfulness Sustains the Generations.” In recent years a wonderful display on walls in glass cases was prepared by Lynn Handy. In picture we could view history of Percival and especially our men and women who served in the armed forces. This “Gem” was a top priority to keep safe with the approaching flood and after returning home. May each one of us show our gratitude to the volunteers and congregation who worked so hard to help us feel we were “going home!”
Mary Lou Sherwood