This church had its beginnings in the community room over Chris Jager’s store at the Oleson/Garden Home Road intersection. Dr. and Mrs. Hetlesater donated the property south of Garden Home Road at S.W. Royal (now SW 71st). According to church records, the ministers were from the Methodist Conference with occasional use of the circuit rider ministers and neighbors, such as “Old Man McLoughlin.”
Many churches of this era wanted their ministers to live near nearby and thus worked to fund and develop a parsonage. This is the church program that the Garden Home Community Church used for the Consecration of the Parsonage on Sunday, August 16, 1953. The Reverend John Woods was the minister with the Methodist Bishop Raymond Grant also participating in the service. Rev. Woods and his wife and four children were the first family to use the new parsonage.
Note the small Kirk story on the front of the program. The Kirk in Scotland meant the church. The 1918 bell that hung in the belfry now has hung in the Garden Home Thriftway, the Bales Market Place since 1995 after the Garden Home Community Methodist Church closed on SW 81st. Colin Lamb assures us that the bell will continue in the yet-to-open new Garden Home grocery store.
In 1961, this Community Church had moved the congregation down to SW 81st and began the sale of the church and the Fraley house to the developing Unitarian Fellowship south up Oleson Road in a stand of timber. The parsonage remained in place and was sold with the property for funds used in developing the new Methodist Church on SW 81 street, south off of Garden Home Road.
Like many churches, the day was concluded with an Open House and Pot Luck Dinner!