I did some more research on the First Christian Church of Cameron over the past few days. I got as much as I could from the newspapers.com collection of the Cameron Herald through 1985.
Mostly what I found out was that the church went through a LOT of ministers. Of course, I was looking at an eight-year span, so that should not be a surprise. My favorite one’s name was Harsh Brown. The newspaper kindly explained that Harsh is a “family name.”
The current building replaced a wood one in 1935, under the direction of Rev. Grove, who also doubled the church membership during the 5 years he led the congregation. Here’s the cool part: The whole thing cost $6,000!
I learned that the church used a nearby house as Sunday School rooms for a time, starting in 1959. I wonder if it was the house next door? The article from the Herald on October 26, 1959 said it was on Gillis St., but the next-door Rossen house faced College Ave. Maybe someone will remember that. There was a house on Gillis next-door to the Rossen house, so that could have been it, too.
I also learned that the carport where we park our cars was added in 1969. I wonder if the one that’s there is the original? I wonder so much about this building!
But, the best thing I found, by far, was an actual photograph of what the church looked like in the 1980s. This picture was in a 1983 edition of the Herald. You can see they had not yet added the brick sign, and had only one cross in front. Also notably missing is the steeple. It looks more Art Deco without the steeple on it. I think our renovation may be bringing it back to its past! I’ll be sure to pass this picture on to our architect!
One more thing you can easily spot is the Rossen House, still happily sitting behind the church. The big wall of the industrial building next door was already there, though. I think you can see a little bit of the Gillis House in the far back. I wish I could see if the basement windows were there at this point or not. I’m still hoping we can find other photos in the museum in the town when Melanie at the Chamber of Commerce and I take a field trip over there. We may learn even more.