of Creekside Church
and the former Elkhart City COB
AT ELKHART CITY
City Church as it appears today. The building was sold in
2001. Photo: Gary Arnold
In 1963 an educational
wing, including a church library, more classrooms, and three offices
for staff, was added to the church at a cost of $185,000. Dedication
of the wing was in November. In the early sixties the Boys' and
Girls' Clubs were begun and lasted many years.
A nursery school
for three and four year olds was organized in 1964 in the church.
Winifred Waltner was the first director with Ida Pressler and Sharon
Bailey as teachers.
D. Sink came in November of 1966 as full-time pastor, replacing
Charles DuMond. In 1972 Eleanor Painter resigned as Christian Education
Director; this position was filled by volunteers from the congregation
through 1976. In 1973 Church Community Services, after renting parsonage
number two for five years, purchased it from the church for $1.00.
In 1974 the Women's Fellowship was disbanded as an evening activity.
resigned as pastor in October 1975. E. Stanley
Smith was called as full-time pastor in February 1976; Ruth
Anna Hoff was called to be the full-time Director of Christian
Education in December 1976. The church mortgage was burned in 1976.
Ida Pressler became Preschool Director in 1976 and served until
1991. During these years the church was in mission to the surrounding
community in many ways: A Nursery School was operated for three
and four year olds in the area; Sunday School classes often provided
"scholarship" money for those children who could not afford
the tuition; the public schools used the facilities for operation
of a Secondary Opportunity School and Adult Basic Education; Elkhart
City cooperated with Mennonite churches in the area in the Elkhart
Urban Ministries for ways to be of service to the immediate neighborhood,
as well as cooperating with and supporting Church Community Services,
which continued to operate out of the former second parsonage at
Cleveland and Benham Avenues. A 4-H Club, a Boy Scout troup, the
We Care Fellowship group from Elkhart Valley Church of the Brethren,
and the Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church all made use of the
Elkhart City facility during these years.
Music was always
a very important part of the life of the congregation. During these
years there were two choirs - the Chancel Choir for adults and youth
and the Chapel Choir for children. In addition to the choirs, smaller
ensembles, both vocal and instrumental, offered their gifts of musical
was also an important ministry during these years. Under the leadership
of Pastor Smith, 12 persons took intensive two year training to
become teachers of the Bethel Bible Series; training began in 1983,
and in 1985 classes began for members of the congregation, which
involved a two year commitment to go through the entire Bible. (As
of 1992 approximately one third of the congregation, or around 150
persons, had gone through this comprehensive study). Other weekday
Bible studies were offered during the week at various times. During
Pastor Smith's tenure Communion style alternated between contemporary
and more traditional.
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