Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mt Calvary Union Church

The church in which I grew up and learned so much about the Lord, Jesus Christ, was called Mt.Calvary Union Church. I went through a history (of Runnemede) book which I have, but there was nothing in that book that said what the reasoning behind the name was. The church was built in 1910 and was built because the nearest church was in Glendora -- the Methodist Church.

I have never written about the inside of the sanctuary of the church, but it is beautiful in the sense that it definitely portrays the early 1900s in materials and fixtures.

I've spoken about the vestibule (small entry room) before, but as you pass through the two swinging doors that lead to the main part of the church you see that the church is very small by today's standards. However, small doesn't necessarily mean "not good" or "not visited by people who believe in Christ the Lord as Savior of the world", etc.

I do have pictures of the inside of the church, but I'm not certain they would show up in the BLOG because they were sent to me in a very small view.

Needless to say, the inside of the church has an oak floor. I'm almost certain that sometime in the late 40s, early 50s, the wood floor was covered with linoleum -- after all it was what everyone was doing back then, because wood floors could give you splinters. Dumb reason.

Anyway, around the inside of the church there is a wainscoting -- it's tin. It's been painted many, many times, but it's in good shape. The ceiling is also decorated tin, painted only a couple of times. The ceiling peaks in the middle of the center aisle. On each side of the main room are stained glass windows which tell who donated them and in whose memory and the year of the donation. A mini-history of the early church. The names were all prominent in Runnemede (according to the history book) in the early 1900s, including the mayor, town council people, and the fire chief.

The pulpit area is raised two steps and is fronted with a kneeling rail. The pulpit area is still wood covered with an area carpet. This area also has two chairs -- one to the right, the other to the left of the speaker's pulpit, which is a big wooden thing with several shelves under the sloped top. Behind the actual speaker's pulpit there is a large wooden arm chair -- I always thought of it as a throne because it had a high back, was ornately carved, and had a big dark red pillow on it (that was to sit on).

Behind the whole pulpit area is a dark red velvet curtain which hides large doors that can be folded back to open the whole church up into one large room, or to extend the pulpit for plays (which we did a couple of times when I was a child).

The light fixtures are pewter, simple, but have that patina that only older pewter can have. I always liked those lights.

I was married in this tiny church in 1966. The church is going through some cosmetic changes now, but I would hope that in making those changes the integrity of the early 1900s wouldn't be destroyed or removed.


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