Sunday, January 17, 1915, was a proud and happy day for the members and friends of the Allentown M. E. Church, when they re-opened their handsome auditorium, which had been closed for the past three months, undergoing a complete renovation.
The improvements consist of a new metal ceiling, which is finished in a buff color, decorated with brown, while the side walls are light brown, decorated in white and dark brown, with the window casings of dark brown also. The wood work over the pulpit and in the rear of the church has been finished in white, trimmed with gold leaf. Over the pulpit, in gold letters, is the inscription “God is Love.” A hardwood floor, new circular seats, carpet and pulpit furniture have also been installed.
The beautiful memorial windows, which add so much to the appearance of the church and the enjoyment of the service were given as follows: Rev. Henry B. White, the two pulpit windows, one in honor of his daughter Leita Bernice, and the other for his son Charles Henry; the double windows in the sides, Mrs. H. P. Johnson, in honor if Mary Ellen Johnson and her daughter Beatrice M. and son Robert; Mrs. Mary Eversham nad Miss Belinda Eversham, in honor of the pastor and his wife, Henry B. and Gussie M. White; the Ladies’ Working Band, in memory of Miss Mary Applegate; Mrs. A. A. Jones, in memory of her husband, Charles T. Jones, and in honor of Alice A. Jones: Coleman Totten, in memory of his son, Edward R., and in honor of his grandson Kyle Totten. Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Cafferty and daughter Marion, in memory of Mrs. Cafferty’s father, Francis Messler, and in honor of her mother, Harriet Messler. The Sunday-school and Junior League gave the two front windows.
The large pulpit chair was given by E. Augusta Beekman and Deborah R. Miller, of Hightstown, in memory of Robert W. and Catharine A. Miller. The two side chairs were given by Mrs. Mary Eversham and Miss Belinda Eversham, one in memory of Rev. C. F. Garrison, a former pastor of the church, and the other in honor of his wife, Susan H. Garrison. In memory of her husband, Johnson Lutes, Mrs. Matilda Lutes gave the pulpit pedestal and the two altar chairs.
The communion table was given by Mrs. Mary Eversham in memory of her husband, Edmund Eversham. Mrs. Thomas H. Eversham gave the church a handsome individual communion service as a memorial to her brother Rev. Nathaniel R. Foster. Miss Belinda Eversham gave the church a new hymn board, and Mrs. Linda Beatty will present a handsome new pulpit hymnal.
The total cost of the improvements amounted to about $2,500, which, with the exception of nearly $325, was all raised by subscription and through the hard and persistent efforts of the Ladies Working Band, together with the Allentown Dramatic Association.
Special services were held last Sunday both morning and evening. Rev. Ananias Lawrence, of Island Heights, was the speaker of the morning. At this service, the boys and girls of the Sunday school sang two of Billy Sunday’s songs, “Brighten Up The Corner Where You Are,” and “If Your Heart Keeps Right,” while the choir rendered a beautiful anthem. A female quartet, composed of Miss Anna Leming, Mrs. Nathaniel Cafferty, Mrs. Evans Ford and Mrs. Walter Chamberlin, gave some of the fine music.
Mrs. Evans H. Ford played the pipe organ in the absence of Mrs. W. R. Savidge, who was unable to be present on account of the death of her mother.
Pastor White, in the morning, through the generosity of the congregation, reduced the deficit to about $114. In the evening a union service was held, through the kindness of the Baptist and Presbyterian congregations, who closed their churches. On account of the illness of Rev. Percy Perinchief, who was to speak in the evening, Dr. Lawrence filled his place, assisted by Pastors Newell and Matheson, of the Baptists and Presbyterian Churches, respectively, with special music by the choir, which was assisted by Newell R. Burk, John D. Rue and Charles R. Dennis, of the Presbyterian choir, and H. O. Jones on cornet. Miss Anna Leming sang as a solo “Hear My Cry, O Lord.” Misses Jennie Laird, Augusta Cafferty, Marion Cafferty and Etta M. Sprague acted as ushers.
The balance of $114 was readily given by the union congregations at the evening service, which entirely frees the church of debt. Pastor White was very agreeably surprised when he was presented with four $10 gold pieces by two ladies of the church, in recognition of his faithful efforts and the high esteem in which he is held by members. At the conclusion of the services the congregation sang “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”