Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cornerstone Ceremony for Irvington Presbyterian Church--1908

The Irvington Presbyterian Church, although not the oldest congregation in the neighborhood, has been  in the community since the early twentieth century.  The organization began in 1906 and by the next year the founders hired Jonathan Day as the first minister.  Reverend Day's first task was to work with the board to raise the funds for a church structure.  Dr. Day had other issues to deal with that first year including the controversial notion of allowing members to play Sunday baseball.  He went against other nearby Protestants and thought it would be okay.

The Board of Trustees had already secured a large lot at the intersection of Johnson and Julian Avenue for the future church for $1600. Architect Bennajah Weesner donated his fees and designed a pleasant one-story brick structure with intersecting gables and a tower.  Eventually, the congregation would outgrow the small building and it was torn down in 1928 to make way for the current and grander edifice.

In the following two photos, both taken in the winter of 1908, you can see the cornerstone dedication for the first Irvington Presbyterian Church.  In the top photo, you can see the Reverend Jonathan Day at the far right.  Historical information for this post came from: Emily McAdams, Irvington Presbyterian Church 1906-1956, Indianapolis, 1956.  The historic photos are courtesy of Bill Ferling.

Reverend Jonathan Day (far right) speaks to new Irvington Presbyterian Congregation in 1908

Members of the Irvington Presbyterian Church gather in 1908 for the cornerstone ceremony for the new church (no longer standing) at the intersection of Johnson and Julian Avenues.

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