Sunday School Addition
Discussion for building an addition to the church for Sunday School purposes was first held
on January 8, 1950. The congregation voted for either (1) excavating for a basement, (2)
an addition to the rear of the church, or (3) no improvement. The vote was in favor of an
addition. The April 22, 1950, meeting decided to add a 36 feet by 24 feet addition to the
north end of the sanctuary and to install an oil heater and wall-to-wall carpeting. The total
cost of the addition was $5,600, and all but $3,000 was paid by the time of the combination
Hundredth Anniversary and Dedication Service in October of 1950. An article in the
Lewistown Sentinel in September of 1950 stated, "Stately Samuel's Union Church that
stands alone on a little knoll just inside the boundaries of the eastern extremities of Mifflin
County will be the scene of a two-fold celebration next week. Congregations of the church
will observe the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the church and dedication of the new
addition at the rear of the church building to be used by the church school. The addition
measures approximately 36 by 24 feet. The room has its own heating system oil fired, flush
with the floor space heaters, a portion of which is located to the rear of the building.
Windowpanes are of amber glass and additional light is furnished by six fluorescent lights.
The floor is carpeted. The room will be used as the educational department for tiny tots and
younger children of the Sunday School." Canopies over the two doorways to the addition
were placed in 1959 and early 1960, and stands were made for the altar vases on either
side of the altar. Samuel's United Church Of Christ
On January 7, 1962, a Unifying Service was held for the purpose of uniting the Lutheran and
Reformed congregations into the Samuel's United Church of Christ congregation. From that
time forward, Pastor Elden E. Ehrhart began holding services every Sunday in Samuel's
church, and in order to have his three services on alternate Sundays, he rotated them at
8:45 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11:15 a.m. The first service of Communion as a united denomination
was held on January 28, 1962.
The New Basement
On February 5, 1962, contractor Richard Marker was accepted to build a basement under the
church for $27,800.00. Plans called for folding doors to be included in order to make
individual classrooms, for a sink to be installed, and for a shuffleboard game to be included
in the tile floor. After several Building Committee and Church Counsel meetings, the original
plans to install oil heat were changed to install electric heat instead.
Work began on March 15, 1962, and on March 18 it was decided to purchase a cornerstone
and place inside it a Bible, a current newspaper, a silver dollar, and the names of the pastor,
the Church Counsel, and the building committee. At the same time the basement was being
built, a 90' well was drilled by Milton Romig, a deacon of the church, and insulation was
installed by the men of the church in the ceiling of the sanctuary and in the floor of the rear
addition. The entire cost of the basement and renovations was $38,641.97. On February 16
a meeting was held to discuss ways of raising money for the project. It was decided that each
member be contacted by a member of the Church Counsel to see how much he or she would
give or pledge. It was also decided that a special offering would be taken each Sunday in
Sunday School, and that the loose offering in the worship service would be used. From
February 1 to July 30 of that year, $9,000 was raised toward the project. Dedication services
were held September 4, 5, 6, and 9. Headlines in the local newspaper, The Plain Dealer, on
August 30, 1962, read, "SAMUEL'S FIRST CHURCH IN AREA TO BE HEATED BY
• In September 1962, 50 chairs and a chair conveyer were purchased, and in the interior of
the sanctuary and Sunday school addition were painted at a cost of $810.00.
• In 1963, extra hymnals from St. John's church were given to Samuel's for use during the
worship service. In the same year, the first recorded Easter Sunrise Service was held in the
cemetery Easter Sunday, April 14.
• In 1964, the January 15 meeting of the Church Counsel resulted in the decision to permit
fellowship meals in the church basement, with the stipulation that at no time will meals be
served for money-making purposes. In the summer of 1964, more than 100 attended the
Sunday school family picnic at Kishacoquillas Park in Lewistown.
• In 1982, the January 4 Church Counsel discussed the request to purchase a tape system
for $1,000 with money from the memorial fund. The tape system was installed later. On
June 7, the minutes of the Counsel meeting noted that lightning struck and hit the water
pump and cost the church $594.12 to repair.
• In July 1984, the first church directory was made and the first church youth group was held
as it is presently running today.
• In 1985, the June 3 Counsel meeting decided that a library should be set up in the back
Sunday school room behind the choir area. In October, streetlights were installed to increase
the light in the parking lot at the cost of $1,134.15. On October 7, the congregation
unanimously voted to put a new roof on the church at a price of $5,975.00. At the same
meeting, a majority of the congregation voted to put a new ceiling in the sanctuary at a cost
• In 1987, the March 2 Counsel meeting decided to have a mailbox installed at the church.
On May 4, the decision was made to use silk flowers in the altar area when fresh flowers
were not available.
On August 14, 1987, the Counsel decided to make the middle room in the back Sunday
school area into the secretary's office. On September 5, the decision was made to install
mini-blinds in the sanctuary area at the cost of $1,170.00. On December 5, the
congregation voted to revise the church constitution to include a statement of faith and to
drop Samuel's Church's association with the U.C.C.
• In 1988, the decision was made at the December 5 Counsel meeting to purchase a new
copier for the church office at a cost of $2,448.00.
• In 1989, the February Counsel meeting decided to build a bathroom at the back of the
sanctuary from the unused space in the coatroom. It was also decided to build a closet for
the sound system and to finish the stage area with steps and a foyer. Each project was to be
completed only as the money came into the building fund, and all work was completed by the
end of October 1989.
• In 1990, the May 7, Counsel meeting voted to send Mike Donovan and Roy Hostler to
Paraguay on a missionary trip. In September, a new sound system was installed in the
sanctuary. Then, sometime between 4 p.m. and 8:05 a.m. on Saturday, December 8,
someone broke into the church office and glued both downstairs bathroom doors shut. The
incident was reported to the police.
• In 1991, sometime between 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18,
someone again broke into the church office and sound room, this time stealing the
typewriter, the copier, and most of the sound equipment. A police officer took fingerprints
and noted that all the doors were locked when the items were taken.
• In October 1992, Sam Yoder agreed to sell a piece of his land to the church. Later in
October and November of 1993, the men of the church built a pavilion on the new property.
The New Addition
On March 25, 1995, an ice-cream social was held in order to discuss ways to improve the
ministries of the church. One of pressing needs discussed called for more classrooms for
Sunday school and V.B.S. meetings. Several suggestions were made, one being to build an
addition on the east side of the church sanctuary and basement. On April 17, 1995, the
Church Counsel directed that a building committee be formed to draw up plans for a church
addition, and on December 10, 1995, the committee presented its proposal at a
congregational meeting. The plan called for adding a 64-foot by 18-foot addition to the east
side of both the sanctuary and basement levels of the church. Folding partitions on each
level would allow for up to eight additional Sunday school rooms to be created, and a chair
lift would make the basement accessible to the handicapped. Following the presentation,
the congregation's vote on the plan passed.
In March 1996, the R. A. Marker Construction Company began work on the new addition.
At the same time, the men of the church lowered the bell tower and bell and made several
needed repairs. By June of 1996, the new addition was open and in use for Sunday School
and V.B.S. In September 1997, the ceiling tiles in the downstairs Sunday school rooms of
the new addition were installed by the men of the church, and in October 1997, carpeting
was installed in the Nursery Room of the new addition.
In March 1997, the men of the church removed the fence and trees surrounding the east
side of the cemetery to make room for an expanded parking lot. The new lot greatly helped
to ease the growing parking problem, and in May, new trees were planted along the front.
On December 7, the congregation met and voted to officially change the name of the church
from Samuel's U.C.C. Church to the original name of Samuel's Church.
In April of 1998, the Counsel approved the motion to have a church website be created by
In November of 1998, the Counsel approved the purchase of a sound system for the church
basement, which the men of the church later installed.
Our History Continued
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