St Paul’s History III: The Church before the Church Building

There Was a Church before a Church Building

Neva Harding’s history notes say that in the early 1890s a few Episcopalians put their heads together and said, “Let’s have a Church in Brookings.” We’ve been making this simple statement ever since.

Mrs. Lorrimer is given credit for writing a request to Bishop Hare. Hare sent Rev. McBride to look us over, and later the Bishop himself came, talked the matter over, and organized the Church.

Church before the ChurchBishop Hare held the first service July 29, 1893 in the G. A. R. Hall (photo), where meetings were held that summer. He held morning and evening services with baptisms and confirmations. He arranged to have Rev. McBride add Brookings to his list of missions for occasional services. There were 40 men and women and children.

Neva Harding writes, “So great was their zeal of these early Episcopalians that by November of the same year, 1893, they were able to hold service in the new church building, at a cost of $1,100, all paid for.” The new church building measured 20 feet by 40 feet. It was built on 7th Street, but later moved to the corner of 5th Street and 5th Avenue to be closer to downtown. Neva wrote, “They all worked like beavers to get the church furnished, including paper on the windows that looked like stained glass. Matt Wimsey bought a carpet on wholesale, and picked up an old organ from some defunct lodge, an organ that had to be pumped twice for every reluctant note produced.”

The photo shows the GAR building (Grand Army of the Republic, Civil War Soldiers) on 5th Street between Main Street and 3rd Avenue. The hall was later moved to the intersection of the railroad tracks and Medery Avenue to become the Odd Fellows Hall.

 

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