Hours after a devastating fire, members of Milton Christian Church began making plans for a new sanctuary.

Now, 100 years later, area residents are celebrating the construction of that new building at 307 S. Central Avenue, intending to reflect on the faith, fellowship and sense of community shared with their ancestors.

A special service is planned at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, followed by a pitch-in meal. The public is welcome at both gatherings.

The congregation’s earliest records show meetings beginning in 1831, followed by full organization in 1844. As membership grew, services took place in what is now the Odd Fellows Building.

Additional growth led to construction of the congregation’s own church building in 1882 for $3,300. A few additions and renovations took place over the years, including a $700 pipe organ half funded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1910.

However, all that progress was destroyed in June 1922 when a fire broke out in the grocery store south of the church and the townspeople’s bucket brigade couldn’t save it.

The following Sunday, a mass meeting took place and $8,000 was pledged. Fundraising continued to pay for the approximately $30,000 new red brick building with white pillars and art glass windows.

On Oct. 21, 1923, residents gathered for an all-day program and basket dinner to mark the occasion.  

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A version of this article appeared in the October 25 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.