large group of faithful gathered at the Beaver Island Christian
Church July 7 to celebrate not only the congregations 41st
birthday, but to pay honor to two of its longest running members,
Phil and Lil Gregg.
Following a generous potluck dinner featuring, in true Beaver
Island tradition, more food than a group twice that size could
eat, the evening progressed to a wonderful performance of Gospel
songs. Mike and Rich Scripps provided musical accompaniment for
a small choir made up of members of the Community Choir and friends
of the congregation. Cindy Gillespie-Cushman joined the group
for two solos, while Susie Fisher and Earl Seger also took single
turns at the microphone.
Time was then spent reminiscing about the churchs history
with members of the congregation coming forward to read letters
from those who could not attend. One such letter was from Steve
Perdue, grandson of former Island physician Dr. Howard Haynes
who was instrumental in starting the church in 1963.
According to the program distributed that evening, the first
service held by the church was on Easter Sunday,1963, in one of
the units of Wojans Motel #1. The Greggs and family were
among those gathered for the initial meeting.
Phil Greg then recounted some stories from the churchs
early years and how it moved from the basement of the former Medical
Center, to the Holy Cross Hall, to what is now the Parsonage,
and finally to its beautiful new building.
Speaking prior to the surprise honoring, Phil credited the success
of the church to what is a widely-known secret of life on Beaver
Island. This island community is really one big family,
After Phils talk choir leader Kathy Speck led the group
in singing Great is Thy Faithfulness.
The highlight of the recognition program came as current Pastor,
Howard Davis, read out words of things the Greggs have given to
the church as those in attendance brought forth small cutout helping
hands, each with one of the wordssuch as cookie baking,
laundry, love, laughter, maintenanceprinted on it. Placed
in a vase at the front of the church, the helping hands made a
lovely bouquet that the evenings co-organizer, Judi Meister,
replaced with one of yellow roses as the Greggs stood in front
of a standing and appreciative audience.
To close out the evening, the group sang God Be with You
Till We Meet Again, as they do at the close of each weeks
service, and the small church in the woods joyfully began another
year of service to the community.
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