to celebrate 100 years
plans event in October
(September 2007) An important part of the
Saluda Township is turning 100 this year. Paynesville Christian Church
will have its 100th anniversary celebration, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 7, or after services end.
by Amy Casebier
Christian Church in
Saluda Township has played a
prominent role in the development
of the community and its history.
The non-denominational church and its members have played
key roles in both the community and its history.
The church was founded in 1907. Walter Orville Stephen Cliffe led a
meeting starting Sept. 15, 1907, to organize a church. By Oct. 11 of
the same year, 35 people were named as founding disciples of the church.
Cliffe went on to become a nationally known evangelist.
John C. Maddex, one of the first deacons elected in the church, was
also involved in a famous historical event. Maddex served as a soldier
in the 54th Indiana during the Civil War. Wounded in battle, he was
sent to the Confederate Cahawba Prison in Alabama.
After the end of the war, Maddex was one of the passengers aboard the
Sultana steamboat, making his way back north. When the extremely overcrowded
boat exploded in the Mississippi River due to a leaky steam boiler,
Maddex was among the survivors. He was one of three deacons elected
as a result of Cliffes four-week meeting.
Paynesville Christian Church also had a deep well on its property. The
pump that brought the sweet-tasting water to the surface was free to
the surrounding community. Many people from the Saluda Township area
used the pump all the time, much to the chagrin of churchgoers on Sundays.
The congregation was instrumental in getting a water line into the community
in the 1970s.
The church building itself was built in the gothic revival style. The
yellow pine floors slope gently down to the pulpit, with the original
light oak pews that are still used in services today. Topping the room
are tin ceiling tiles with an acanthus leaf design.
The building is the most beautiful building in Saluda Township,
Janice Hard Stanley said. Stanley is the church historian.
The program will include songs and speakers, along with visiting former
ministers and members. A CD with photographs of the church will be shown
throughout the celebration. A booklet of the written history of Paynesville
Christian Church will be handed out to visitors, and dinner will take
place later in the day.
Its about getting together with friends past and present,
For more information, call Janice Stanley
at the church at (812) 889-2726.
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