July – 100 years agoThe cornerstone was laid July 13, 1919, for a new brick United Brethren church building in Tower City. Organized in 1871, that congregation had erected a frame structure at that same East Grand Avenue site in 1872. The Evangelical congregation in Tower City had an almost identical history, erecting a frame structure in 1872 on the northwest corner of Grand Avenue and Fourth Street and replacing it with a brick building in 1922. Similarly, in 1888 the Methodists erected a frame building on the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Fourth Street and replaced it with a brick building in 1918. These three congregations are now one. In 1947, following the 1946 EUB denominational merger, the former Evangelical building burned down and that congregation joined with their counterparts in the former United Brethren building. In 1978, following the 1968 UMC denominational merger, the Zion (former EUB) and Wesley (former Methodist) congregations united to form Christ UMC and met in each church on alternate Sundays. In 1980, the furnishings from the Zion building were moved into the Wesley building, where all services would be held. In 1991 the present new Christ UMC building was erected on Grand Avenue next to the former Methodist site, which is now a landscaped lot within the Christ UMC complex. The 1919 United Brethren building is now a funeral home.
August – 50 years agoAfter one year in the former Wyoming Conference and two years in the former Central Pennsylvania Conference of offering a week of camp for persons with special needs, both conferences announced they would be adding a second week for such campers in August 1969.
The August 24-30 Wyoming Conference week at Sky Lake included a concurrent youth service camp, limited to ten young people, to include all the usual camp amenities while focusing on servant ministry and whose service component would be to spend six hours each day assisting and interacting with attendees at the special needs camp. The August 3-9 Central Pennsylvania Conference week was held at Wesley Forest.
Both camps were promoted by articles in their conference’s regular publications. While the heading in the Wyoming Conference Methodist read “Special Needs Camp,” the then acceptable but now inappropriate headline in The Central Pennsylvania United Methodist proclaimed “Two Camps for Retarded Planned.”