Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Birthday Party at the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church--1952

The Reverend John H. Bergen, the pastor of the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church, received a surprise on his 62nd birthday when the local chapter of the Bluebirds honored him with a cake. Mr. Bergen and his wife Lorene and children, John and Mary, dwelled in the small bungalow at 929 North Wallace Avenue which served as the church parsonage. The photo, taken in the basement of the church in 1952, shows the two chapter sponsors, Mrs. Vivian Azbell and Mrs. Flo Norton.  The girls in the photo include:

Juanita Stewart, Melinda Beberstein, Sandra Myers, Donna Young, Barbara Azbell, Carol Hall, Carolyn Rosemeyer, Shelly Norton, Brenda Frazier, Charlotte Spangler, Jennie Gray,  and Margaret Pete.  

The church, built in 1926, was truly a neighborhood church as no parking lot has ever existed for the structure located at 4805 East 10th Street. Congregants built onto the structure in 1948.  Oddly, the church is called Wallace "Street" Presbyterian Church despite the fact that it is located along Wallace "Avenue."  

The local chapter of the Wallace Street Presbyterian "Bluebirds" hosted a birthday party for the Reverend John H. Bergen in the basement of the church in 1952.

Wallace Street Presbyterian Church in 2014

Tenth Street entrance to the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church in 2014

Cornerstone for the newer 1948 addition to the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church in 2014
The historic image is courtesy of Barbara Sanders.  


  1. I went to this church as a little girl. I lived at 811 N. Wallace, and grew up playing in that church yard. It was a lovely place. I visited the church today, and was fairly heart-broken the condition of the building's interior. Also, it is now called the Wallace Street Evangelical Church. Can you tell me when that change took place, and do you know why?

  2. Bill, is this your Irvington blog? I googled the church and this was the most promising find.

  3. Hello, Christy! Our paths cross once again. I am not sure when the church changed the name. I struggled to find historical information on it when I wrote this post, but I have not had the opportunity to speak to the current minister. Perhaps the church keeps an archive.