Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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(a.k.a. Main Street Church)
Mason City, Iowa

Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Centennial Issue, June 01, 1953
Section 7, Page 8

[Mason City's] population gains created the demand for additional church denominations and again an evangelistic meeting had a part. As result of a five week's tent service in October, 1891, by C. K. Brokaw there was organized the First Christian Church. The population had just passed the 4,000 mark.

Services were held at the courthouse and the opera house while a new church was being erected at a cost of $25,000 on North Federal and 4th. This church was dedicated May 7, 1893, by F. M. Fains. The building, which was later enlarged, was destroyed by fire in 1916.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, June 01, 1953
Section 8

$40,000 in Interest - CHURCH CLEARS WARTIME DEBT

[Section 8, Page 2] The end of a long hard road in wiping out the indebtedness of their church came to the members of the First Christian Church, 318 Adams N. W., the night of April 12, 1944.

That night A. M. Halson, chairman of the financial department of the church, reported cash and 1944 pledges on hand to liquidate the final installment of debt which had been saddled on the church upon its erection in 1917. Costs of the church skyrocketed far above earlier expectations during the World War I period, with the result that the congregation not only had a $130,000 capital expenditure, but also a $40,000 in interest to pay before the debt was wiped out. It is to the credit of the membership of this church that in the face of difficulties that at times seem insurmountable, it did not default on a single dollar of debt or interest.

Destroyed by Fire

The present church was erected to take the place of a structure, which stood at 4th and N. Federal, which was destroyed by fire Sunday noon, Feb. 12, 1916. The official board was holding a meeting, discussing a coal bill of $300.

At the time the board was meeting, the coal they were trying to find a way to pay for was burning, not in the furnace,but in the bin. A few minutes after the board adjourned, firebells rang out and members of the church returned to see their house of worship in flames.

The congregation that had been perplexed over the coal bin then rallied to the cause for a new church. A contract was let for what was believed would be an $80,000 building, but mounting costs pushed the cost to $130,000.

Took New Step

In 1952, under the pastorate of the Rev. Richard L. Williams, the congregation took another important step in remodeling the sanctuary of the church, The removal of the balcony revealed full length stained glass windows. The ceiling of the sanctuary was lowered two feet, affording a new lighting system, as well as acoustical improvements.

The entire front of the sanctuary was redesigned with a new pulpit platform, new baptistery and a new organ console installed.

Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Centennial Issue, June 01, 1953
Section 10, Page 31


40 YEARS AGO [1911]

The site of the new Christian Church building at Fourth and N. Adams was staked out yesterday by Keerl & Stevens, engineers, and excavation for the basement has been commenced. This work is being done by Ernest Thraves. A. H. Skellinger has moved from the site the residence which was bought by the First Methodist Church.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2012; updated January of 2015


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