Submitted by Sharon Kidd
Cranston Memorial Presbyterian Church
Cranston Memorial Presbyterian Church. That is our church, located at 200 Union Street in New Richmond.
The only Presbyterian church named for a Methodist Bishop, which occurred when the Methodists lost their church and joined us. Our Fellowship Hall was built with bricks from their church.
Formed in 1821, our history is rich, including being a part of the Underground Railroad. Our active members, most up in years, now number but few. Due to the flood, we needed to clear the ground floor of the church to protect it; everything had to go, including even the pews. We would not have been able to accomplish this alone.
As we worked, our numbers began to swell. We began with four of us, and were joined by more congregation members, and then two gentlemen who are not in our congregation, but who had also helped in the 1997 flood: a minister from Kentucky, who knew our church, and a large group of students from New Richmond High School.
By the end of the day, the church was bare, having all contents moved upstairs or packed into three trucks and moved to higher ground. We were touched by the kindness shown to us by so many people, who expected nothing but gave everything!
People helping people, doing unto others … that’s what it’s all about!
This should be the end of the story. But it is not.
Two other things have come to mind. I have learned that the high school students who helped us clear our church, then proceeded to Front Street in New Richmond, helping anyone else who needed it.
The school administration has said that once it is safe to go back into the village, the students will return to help with the clean-up; they are a special group of students of whom we can all be proud!
The other thought I had was about our church; the church building is just that, a building, but the spirit of our congregation is the heart and soul of the church; we are truly family!
Ours is the church in the village with the tallest steeple; it stands out just like our spirit!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Take care and stay dry!
P.S. We were doubly blessed; the river at least partly surrounded our church on three sides, yet the church has not gotten any water in it!