“Methodist Church Dedicated Sunday,” from The Robesonian, Lumberton, Monday, March 5, 1917
Bishop Kilgo Dedicated Chestnut Street Church Yesterday and Preached Two Wonderful Sermons…Great Day for Methodists…House Was Filled to Overflowing at Morning Service and Large Crowd Braved Downpour to Hear the Bishop Last Night
Chestnut Street Methodist Church was dedicated yesterday morning by Bishop Jno. C. Kilgo at the conclusion of a wonderful sermon in which he held up to scorn and ridicule the new movements that seek to substitute organization and business methods for the true religion of undivided devotion to Jesus Christ, and last evening he preached another wonderful sermon in which with fine sarcasm he blasted the claims of the scientists and universities that civilization depends upon so-called culture and with stirring eloquence, moving pathos and unanswerable logic proved that leadership always has been with the Church of God and her prophets.
It was the greatest day in the history of Chestnut Street Church and a great day for all who were privileged to hear the bishop. At the morning service the church and Sunday school room were filled to overflowing, and in spite of the downpour of rain last evening just at the hour for the service, a large congregation gathered.
At the conclusion of the morning sermon the trustees of the church—A.E. White, W.H. Humphrey, C.B. Townsend, N.P. Andrews and G.M. Whitfield—gathered at the chancel rail for the formal service of dedication. Rev. J.H. Hall of Rockingham, presiding elder of the Rockingham district, read the first Scripture lesson from Genesis 28, verses 10 to 22; Rev. W.B. North, pastor of the church, read the second lesson from Hebrews, verses 12 to 25; Mr. C.B. Townsend read the presentation for the board of trustees, and Bishop Kilgo read the formal acceptance and delivered a few words of earnest counsel to the trustees of the church property. He cautioned them always to remember that is the house of God, set aside for prayer and worship. Christ drove those who polluted the temple by making it a place for barter and trade by driving them out like dogs. The house of God, he declared, is not the proper place for Christmas trees, or any other entertainments, right and proper as they may be in the proper place. Protestant children are irreverent, he said, and do not as a rule have the proper reverence for the house of God, differing in this respect from Catholic children, who have such profound reverence for the church that they keep quiet when within its walls, and Catholic churches are left open at all hours and are never desecrated. He charged the trustees to keep the church building for God. The bishop pronounced the solemn sentence of dedication while the congregation stood, after which he led in prayer. The service was closed immediately thereafter with the singing of the doxology.
Services were not held in other churches of the town last evening in order to give their pastors and members opportunity to hear Bishop Kilgo, and though the heavy rain that came at the hour for service kept many away, the body of the church was comfortably filled. Many attended both services from near-by towns and the country.
Special music was prepared for the occasion and it was superb. The first anthem was “Praise Ye the Lord, Oh Jerusalem” by Maunder, Mrs. Junius J. Goodwin, soloist; second anthem, “Life Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates” by Ashford, Mrs. H.H. Anderson, soloist; and as offertory Mrs. B.W. Page, choir leader, sang “The Voice in the Wilderness” (test from Isaiah) by John Prindle Scott. In private conversation after service last evening Bishop Kilgo said that the church was to be congratulated on having such a splendid choir.
At the morning service Rev. Dr. R.B. John, president of Carolina College of Maxton was among the visitors and read the second hymn. Rev. L.E. Stacy of Shelby, a member of the Western North Carolina conference, who is a guest at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Stacy, delivered a Sunday school address yesterday morning.
In Thursday’s Robesonian will be published reports of Bishop Kilgo’s sermons, which it is impossible to handle for today’s paper.
Bishop Kilgo arrived Saturday night from his home in Charlotte and was a guest at the home of Mayor and Mrs. A.E. White He left for Charlotte this morning