FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
OF WOODBURY HEIGHTS
"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."
-- Romans 15:4
Our church continues to thrive 118 years later
How does a small-town church come into being and, not only survive, but thrive, for more than 118 years? The answer is revealed mightily when one reads our church historical accounts.
Several businessmen had the vision to establish a community and deemed it necessary to organize a local church. The women of the time made the church an extension of their homes. The children and young people contributed their joy and exuberance. This church kept alive the Christian values during the early days of the community.
Generations later, our church continues to preach the Bible, promote missions and encourage Christian fellowship. Hard work, dedication, inspired leadership and the blessings of God always ensure a vital church.
IN THE BEGINNING and TO BE CONTINUED, with GOD’S GRACE are the titles of the two large Narthex cabinet displays. Each contains pieces of our history. The center section contains a plain white church and a glass cross, given to us by the estate of Bob Peterson. The framed poem reminds us all that God has a plan for our lives and our service.
Our small church has had many ordinary disciples throughout its 118-year history. The current display features evidence of the extraordinary work done by John and Henrietta Mayhew as well as our other founders and those loving members who worked industriously and gave freely of their resources and assets to build and expand the church properties and its mission.
Below the cabinets is a framed collage of our 100th Anniversary celebration and another with pictures of our past choir leaders and organists.
Few remember our organist from years ago, Mrs. Helen Stewart or Reverend Enslin or Mrs. Mayhew. Others are pictured, members past and present who added to the vitality of our church.
Looking through our historical artifacts, we can read the names and the accomplishments of our members. Each is awe-inspiring! Because God lives, more names and contributions are added constantly. This is our history; these are our stories; You are our future!
Narthex display shows the people and the principles that have helped our church survive for more than a century.
Photos by Janet Koehler
'Jesus Loves Me' always brings smiles to our faces
Smiles abound whenever we hear our children raise their voices to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” Chances are good that this was one of your earliest lessons in Christian theology! It remains one of the most popular Sunday School songs ever written. In fact, it was the theme song for the Sunday School Movement in the 1860s.
Anna Bartlett Warner (1877-1915) was one of two Presbyterian sisters who taught a Bible class for the young men attending West Point. Both of them were successful authors of popular, sentimentalized stories of Christian piety.
Susan Warner knew of a child who was terminally ill and came to her sister requesting that she write a song to encourage the boy. The lyrics had originally been published in 1862 in one of Anna Warner’s first novels, “Say and Seal.”
William B. Bradbury added two verses and a refrain when he composed the music that we still sing today.