The Church at Horseshoe Bay 1996-2004
Prepared by Camille Bigham, 2002, and 2007
Back to Part III: 1982-1996
Part IV - The Pastorate of Dr. John Long
The Year 1996 (June – December)
Dr. John W. Long conducted his first service at the Church on June 2, 1996. A reception welcoming Dr. Long and his wife, Donna, followed in the Forshee Fellowship Hall. Dr. Long attended his first Board of Trustees meeting on June 17. He requested information on the types of programs Church members might desire and advised that he would be gathering data on the possibility of offering the Church as a site for field education for Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary students. Dr. Long noted that his policy in relation to the New Common Lectionary, which is a three-year cycle of lessons used in many Protestant congregations, is to rotate through the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons.
The officers of the Board of Trustees in the year 1996 were as follows: Bill Kinney, Chairman; Dorothea O’Neill, Vice Chairman; Bill Burks, Treasurer; Barry Lynch, Assistant Treasurer; and Paul Ashby, Corporate Secretary. Other members of the Board were George Bennett, Bob Glanville, Bill Kirkman, Laurel Mohun, Sam Oliphant, Peggy Sartain, Marie Snider, Bob Stephenson, Beverly Swennes, and John Wolfe.
The department heads were as follows: Worship – Bill Kirkman, Business Management – Bob Stephenson, Church Assets – Sam Oliphant, Parish Services – Peggy Sartain, Education – Dorothea O’Neill, and Benevolence – Beverly Swennes.
Recording of the second church service continued under the oversight of the chairman of the Electronics and Audio Visual Committee, with taped copies of the service available upon request for a minimal fee. The first service continued to be broadcast over Radio Station KHLB, 1340 AM.
In June new floor candelabras for use on the sanctuary chancel were dedicated in memory of Mac McArthur and J. J. McDaniel.
At the September Board of Trustees meeting, a motion was approved to enter into an intern program with the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. It was announced that Terri Matthews would be the first intern to serve the Church, beginning in January 1997, and that she would provide 10 to 12 hours per week to the Church. Her pay was $6.00 per hour. A lay leadership group, the Minister Intern Advisory Committee, was formed in November, to meet with the intern at the beginning of her term, periodically throughout her term, and again at the end of the term. Committee members were John Wolfe, Bill Kinney, Barbara Racz, and Frankie Ramey.
In September, a contract was executed with United Church Directories to publish a pictorial directory for our membership. Photography was scheduled for April 1997. Also in September, Sue and Ross Chapin presented to the Church a gift of a painting, “The Peaceable Kingdom”, by Sue’s son Tony Herman. The painting was hung over the sofa in the Parlor.
Organizing Minister and former pastor Tom Campbell was honored in October with an Honored Minister’s Pin provided by the Pension Fund of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, as well as with an “appreciation of service” resolution from the Board.
The first meeting of the Book Discussion group, initiated by Dr. Long, was held in November. Dr. Long reviewed The Rarest of the Rare by Diane Ackerman.
Many of our members volunteered to help with the St. Frederick’s Baptist Church Thanksgiving Mission Outreach held on November 16.
In November, a smoke detector/fire alarm system was installed in the church, at an initial cost of $6,160.50 and an annual fee of $594.60.
The year ended with a Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service at our church on November 26, conducted jointly with St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, the Hanging of the Greens on December 8, a Christmas cantata on December 15, and the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. The offering at the Ecumenical Service was donated to The Helping Center.
To bring additional meaning to the Advent Season, on December 7 and 8, Dr. Kenneth Lawrence, Associate Professor of Religion Studies at TCU, was engaged to present three lectures on “Learning about the Early Church through Its Art.”
A research project by the Fine Arts/Memorials Committee revealed that we had members from the following denominations: Disciples of Christ (Christian Church), Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, United Methodist, Southern Baptist, and Assembly of God.
The Year 1997
Officers of the Board of Trustees for the year 1997 were John Wolfe, Chairman; Paul Ashby, Vice Chairman; Barry Lynch, Treasurer; Jim Mathis, Assistant Treasurer; and William E. Kirkman, Corporate Secretary. Other members of the Board were George Bennett, Lou Butler, Bob Glanville, Ralph Herter, Eileen Hurd, Laurel Mohun, Sam Oliphant, Peggy Sartain, Marie Snider, and Bob Stephenson. Eileen Hurd was named the new Benevolence Committee chairman.
Department Heads for the 1997 term were as follows: Worship – Bill Kirkman; Church Assets – Sam Oliphant; Parish Services – Peggy Sartain; Education – Lou Butler; Business – Bob Stephenson; and Benevolence – Eileen Hurd.
The 1997 budget and the Endowment Fund Charter (See Appendix) were presented to the congregation on January 19 and were approved unanimously. The Endowment Fund accumulates all of its gifts and income until a figure of $500,000 is reached. Thereafter, income from the fund will be used for specifically designated purposes, particularly to assure perpetuation of the life of the Church in cases of emergency. The Endowment Planning Committee was chaired by Jim Teague. A brochure was distributed to members explaining the various ways that planned gifts could be made to the Church that would benefit both the Church and the donor.
It was noted at the congregational meeting that the building loan balance at December 31, 1996 was $28,167, paid down from a balance of $129,787 at the 1995 year end.
At the January 20 Board of Trustees meeting, a resolution was passed in appreciation of the service of Bill Kinney, who had served with distinction as Chairman of the Board for six years. A reception in his honor was held following the 11:00 a.m. service on April 27.
In February, Terri Matthews began her service as an intern from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, her duties being to preach occasionally, do some hospital calling in Austin, and conduct an Adult Bible Study series.
In March, John Long announced the names of substitute preachers for the dates he would be away during the months of June and July. They were James Oglesby of the Christian Church Foundation (June 8), Bob Schmeltelcop of the area Baptist office in Fredericksburg (June 15), Malford Hierholzer, the District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church (June 22), and Scott Black Johnson, Professor of Homiletics at Austin Presbyterian Seminary (July 27). Chuck Babcock of San Antonio was available for pastoral emergencies during Dr. Long’s absence in June and July.
Photographs for the Pictorial Directory were taken the first week in April; 238 families participated. The directories were received by participants in mid-September.
Special events of the year included two New Member dinners, held on April 9 and October 29, an ice cream social in May, a picnic in September, and the annual Thanksgiving dinner – all held in the Forshee Fellowship Hall.
Approximately 2,100 people attended services at both churches on Thanksgiving Mountain on Easter weekend.
The Board approved Judy Standridge’s request to use the building for a Texas Women’s Retreat on May 29. May 25 was designated as Choir Appreciation Sunday. A special guest attended the May meeting of the Board of Trustees, Harold Guess, the pastor of the University Christian Church in Austin and a long-time friend of John Long. He spoke on “How Churches Work” and “Revitalizing Your Church”.
The Board of Trustees formed a committee in May, consisting of Paul Ashby, George Bennett and Lou Butler, to plan the “mortgage burning” celebration, scheduled for November 23. (The mortgage was paid in full in June 1997.) Kenneth and Sarah Forshee were invited to attend the festivities the weekend of November 23.
At mid-year, projects being considered by the Board consisted of the following: a bell tower, parking lot expansion, a partition for the Forshee Fellowship Hall, a covered patio, an anti-glare screen in the sanctuary, an education facility, land acquisition, and the drainage situation in the porte cochere and flower beds. Because of the approximately $6,700 cost to install a screen apparatus behind the chancel to reduce glare, the Board postponed making a decision until 1998.
Vera Campbell completed the Church history through May of 1996, and a survey of the congregation was taken in September to determine how many copies of the history book to publish. It was decided to print 100 copies of the history book at a cost of $15.87 per copy. The Church received a painting by Lindy Goodman depicting the congregation’s many denominations. The painting was hung in the Board Room, and a photograph of it was used as the cover of the history book.
The first Marble Falls CROP (Christian Response to Overseas Poverty) walk, in which Dr. Long was involved, was held on October 11, with 25% of the proceeds being shared by the Helping Center and St. Frederick’s Church. The event earned $4,500 for Church World Service. Wal-Mart matched the funds received by The Helping Center.
On October 4 and 5, two lectures on the Book of Job were presented by Leo Perdue, Dean of Brite Divinity School at TCU and a well regarded Biblical scholar. On October 11, an ensemble of singers from The University of Texas presented a selection of Mozart arias and the Mozart Alleluia.
In October 1997, the Board approved increasing the Benevolence funds from 20% to 25% of the offering receipts, commencing in January 1998.
A guest minister, Dr. Joseph Jeter, presided at the November 16 service. Former Pastor Ken Forshee spoke at the November 23 service, which included the “mortgage burning” ceremony to commemorate a very special event, retirement of the building indebtedness.
Other special year-end events were the following:
November 25 Ecumenical Thanksgiving service with St. Paul the Apostle Parish November 30 Hanging of the Greens December 7 Service of Lessons and Carols December 14 Christmas Cantata December 21 Hill Country Brass Musical Program
Terri Matthews concluded her service with the Church on December 14. Dr. Long arranged for two more interns from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Steve Buchele and Jeanie Stanley, to serve beginning January 1998.
At the end of the year, the glare in the sanctuary continued to be a problem of major concern. George Bennett assumed responsibility for finding a satisfactory solution.
The Year 1998
Officers of the Board of Trustees for the year 1998 were John Wolfe, Chairman; Bob Stephenson, Vice Chairman; Barry Lynch, Treasurer; Jim Mathis, Assistant Treasurer; and Bill Kirkman, Corporate Secretary. Other members of the Board were Bob Glanville, Ralph Herter, Laurel Mohun, Lou Butler, Jo Ann Brooks, John Racz, Peggy Sartain, Eileen Hurd, Bob Berg, and Paul Weyrauch.
Department heads for the 1998 term were as follows: Planning Commission – Bill Kirkman; Worship – Paul Weyrauch; Church Assets – John Racz; Parish Services – Peggy Sartain; Education – Lou Butler; Business Management – Ralph Herter; and Benevolence – Eileen Hurd.
The Board approved the absence of Dr. Long for the following dates:
February 9-12 Ministers Week at T.C.U. March 25-27 Board meetings at T.C.U. and Brite Divinity School June 22-July 2 Summer Ministers Institute, Princeton Theological Seminary August Three weeks of vacation
On January 22-23, film was installed on the sanctuary windows to reduce the glare in the room, at a cost of approximately $4,000.00.
Two new interns from the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Jeanie Stanley and Steve Buchele, were welcomed by the church in January. They were well received in their leadership of worship and in the Adult Bible study. Following their absence during the summer, they were back at the church in September, to continue with their substitute teaching and preaching. Steve began plans for the annual CROP march to be held in Marble Falls on November 15. He also began work on an Advent Devotional Book. Jeanie designed a class in Christian Spirituality and planned some of the Advent services.
It was announced to the congregation in February that the history books written by Vera Campbell would be available at a cost of $15.00 each.
Dr. Susan White led a two-day workshop, February 28 to March 1, on Spirituality and Christian Discipline. During the year, a Planned Giving Guide was distributed to congregation members. A planned giving seminar was conducted in March by Dr. James Oglesby (VP, Christian Church Foundation) and another in October by Mr. William Hilgers (CPA and attorney).
Betty Jacobs received approval from the Board to publish a cookbook, with recipes contributed by church members and with the receipts to be donated to the Church Special Events Committee.
New hymnals, the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal, were installed in the sanctuary during the Lenten season. The new hymnal was selected because it includes contemporary and updated hymns as well as material used in our worship services. Sixty of the old hymnals were given to St. Frederick’s Church.
The dates for the Easter Celebration were April 5 – Palm Sunday; April 9 – Maundy Thursday; April 10 – Good Friday, and April 12 – Easter. A total of 1150 people attended the three Sunday services. There were more attendees at the 9:30 Easter service than at any other service since the opening of the church. The Maundy Thursday service was planned by the ministry interns, Jeanie Stanley and Steve Buchele.
An Ice Cream Social was held in the Fellowship Hall on May 19.
Father Bob Scott, much beloved in the community and a special friend of Dr. Long, retired from the pastorate at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church effective June 15. Dr. Long served as MC of the roast for Father Bob at his retirement dinner on June 7. Father Bob attended our 11:00 service on July 19 to tell his famous “Good Stop” story as part of the sermon. He was given a certificate of appreciation by our church.
During Dr. Long’s absence to attend the annual Princeton Summer Minister’s Institute, sermons were given by Dr. Milton Cunningham of Baylor University and David Shaw of Kerrville. Rev. Shaw is a retired United Methodist minister. Dr. Long was back for the Sunday service on July 5, for the liturgical celebration at our church. Maurine Van der Pool and Gus Keiser gave some special readings at the service, including a portion of the Gettysburg Address and the poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty.
Dr. Long expressed appreciation to the congregation for their ongoing response to his appeal for canned goods and other foods for the Helping Center in Marble Falls. He noted that our Benevolence Committee carries on a growing involvement in many organizations and agencies that serve human need.
The annual church picnic was held in the Fellowship Hall on September 23.
Dr. Long attended a workshop in Houston, September 27-29, which was provided by the Institute of Religion and was titled “Doing Pastoral Ministry in the 21st Century.”
The second Tuesday Book Review program grew in popularity. In October, Vera Campbell reviewed Snow Falling on Cedars, and in November, Roger Stoneburner reviewed Stephen Ambrose’s book on Lewis and Clark. Dr. Long provided a reading from “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in December.
The following special events were held in October:
October 21 New Member dinner October 25 University of Texas Performance Singers, presenting a 30-minute opera October 27 Estate Planning Seminar, sponsored by the Permanent Endowment Committee
and given by William Hilgers, an attorney and CPA of Austin
The annual Thanksgiving dinner was held on November 22, which was also the fifth anniversary of our being in our own building. There was a special observance of this anniversary at both services on the 22nd.
The annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service was held at our church on November 24, with Father Bernard Campbell from the Chapel presiding at the service.
The Advent Schedule was as follows:
November 29 Hanging of the Greens December 6 Service of Lessons and Carols and Presentation of
“Amahl and the Night Visitors” by the UT School of Music
December 13 Christmas Cantata, UT School of Music December 20 Blessing of the Gifts, Christmas for Others December 24 Family service at 5:00 p.m.
Service of Holy Communion at 7:00 p.m.
A report of the Long Range Planning Commission, whose members were Bob Stephenson, Chairman, Dorothea O’Neill, Jim Teague, John Racz, Bob Brown, James Ramey, Betty Barrett, Bob Warren and Hart Peterson, identified concerns about the church facility and prioritized them for the Board. (See Appendix) The needs noted were:
• Increased Sanctuary seating capacity
• Improved space for organ/piano, bell and vocal choirs
• Additional parking
• Additional administrative office and work space
• Increased ceiling height for Forshee Fellowship Hall
• Larger chancel choir and bell choir room
A Building Facility Needs Committee was formed, to consider both long-term and short-term needs of the church. It was noted that the following statistical information would be key in planning for future growth:In December, Ed Elwert was appointed to a continuous term as Advisory Trustee to the Board, in recognition of his hard work and value to the church in the area of property management and maintenance.
• 83% of our membership resides within a 10-mile radius of the church (Horseshoe Bay, Blue Lake, Deer Haven)
• 75 to 90 new residential construction permits have been issued each year in the Horseshoe Bay area since 1994
• Growth was up 2.2% through October in 1998 vs. 1997, with the most growth shown in the first service
Marion Lynch announced her resignation as Librarian and advised that Betty Welch would become the new Librarian, effective in January 1999. The Christmas for Others program, chaired by Betty Hazlett, continued to receive great interest and support from our Church members.
A new Presbyterian Theological Seminary intern, Diane Oswald, was named in December. Due to her lack of experience, she was assigned during her first semester with the church to pastoral visiting, teaching the Adult Bible Study class, and leading the vespers services at Clairmont.
Also in December, Church secretary Bettie Taber designed a web-page for the church, which would be updated on a regular basis.
The Year 1999
The officers of the Board of Trustees for the year 1999 were John Wolfe, Chairman; Bob Stephenson, Vice Chairman; Jim Mathis, Treasurer; Bob Berg, Assistant Treasurer; and Bill Kirkman, Corporate Secretary. Other members of the Board were Ken Anderson, Camille Bigham, Jo Ann Brooks, Lou Butler, Ralph Herter, Eileen Hurd, Vernelle Jenkins, Barry Lynch, John Racz and Paul Weyrauch. Ed Elwert continued as Advisory Trustee.
Department heads were as follows: Worship – Paul Weyrauch and Ken Anderson; Church Assets – John Racz; Parish Services – Vernelle Jenkins; Education – Lou Butler; Business Managaement – Ralph Herter; and Benevolence – Eileen Hurd.
The special events for the year were:
April 28 New Member Dinner May 19 Ice Cream Social September 22 Picnic October 27 New Member Dinner November 21 Thanksgiving Sunday Dinner
The “Joy of Sharing” cookbook was published by Betty Jacobs and her committee, with receipts designated for kitchen and nursery equipment for the church. Members of Betty’s cookbook committee were Jo Ann Brooks, Becky Peebles, Beverly Swennes and Martha Thomas.
The guest ministers in January were David Lilley, a Lutheran minister; Dan Owen of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ; and Pablo Jimenez, of the Disciples of Christ.
Presbyterian Theological Seminary Intern Diane Oswald began service at the church in mid-February and in May completed the first half of the seminary Teaching Church Program. Her internship with our church was completed in December of 1999.
The Church handbell choir added a new ensemble group, led by Neal Younker.
In March, the church received a $50,000 special gift from Wayne and Eileen Hurd for establishment of a scholarship and job training program for the assistance of young people in the area. The funds are supervised by the Permanent Endowment Committee, with allocation guidelines developed by the Benevolence Committee. Commitments to this scholarship program for needy students were also made by Bill and Karen Wines and David and Judy Standridge.
The 1999 Holy Week dates were:
March 28 Palm Sunday April 1 Maundy Thursday April 2 Good Friday Ecumenical services at St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church April 4 Easter Celebration
Former Presbyterian Theological Seminary interns Steve Buchele and Jeanie Stanley received their Master of Divinity degrees from the Seminary on May 23. Steve was invited to commence service in May with a new United Methodist congregation in Belton. In October, Jeanie was hired to organize a new congregation in Georgetown after being ordained by the Georgetown First Presbyterian Church.
This year, a special telephone line, 598-9392, (a “Care Line”) was established to report pastoral concerns of the congregation.
In an effort to explore ways to increase attendance at the first service (and relieve the stress on the 11:00 service), the Long Range Planning Commission asked members to complete a membership survey.
Guest ministers in June during Dr. Long’s absence were Don Adickes, a retired Chaplain of the U. S. Army and an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Dan Owens, a former missionary and outreach worker for the Voice of America in Kenya, and Herb Lynskey, an ordained minister of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.
In June, Gus and Merle Keiser celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary with a party at the Gateway Center, where Merle resided. In July, staff members of Camp Peniel presented music during the 11:00 a.m. worship service on the 18th. On August 15, a celebration was held in the Forshee Fellowship Hall honoring Viola Seigle on her 96th birthday. Ken and Sarah Forshee were present, along with other family members including Tom and Gerry Taylor.
A Visiting Grandchild registry was started by Marion Lynch and Jean Jenkins.
In September, the Benevolence Committee instituted a food drive to be held on the 4th Sunday of each month, with items to be left in Dr. Long’s office. Church members once again volunteered to help with the Thanksgiving Mission Outreach by St. Frederick’s Baptist Church. The Christmas for Others program supported 57 families with 135 children in 1999. Co-chairmen for this program were Twy Tolar and Pat Dipprey.
The Endowment Commission scheduled an Estate Planning seminar on October 4, with I. Craig Hester of Hester Capital Management making the presentation.
In October, Camille Bigham, Membership chairman, announced that a contract had been entered into with Olan Mills for a pictorial directory to be published in 2000 (with pictures to be taken in April 2000). Members of the directory committee were: Susie Schumacher, Lois Strasburg, Judy Cromer, Laurel Mohun, Vernelle Jenkins, Sybille Herter, and Shirley Jorden.
The Advent dates were:
November 28 Hanging of the Greens, with a performance by the Marble Falls High School choir December 5 Service of Lessons and Carols December 12 Musical Cantata December 19 Music by Pat Furley, harpist for the Corpus Christi Symphony December 24 Children’s service at 5:00 p.m. and communion service at 7:00 p.m.
In 1999, the sanctuary sound system was upgraded significantly with new equipment designed to raise the sound quality for radio broadcasts and tape recordings of the services.
The Year 2000
The officers of the Board of Trustees in the year 2000 were Bob Stephenson, Chairman; Jo Ann Brooks, Vice Chairman; Jim Mathis, Treasurer; Bob Berg, Assistant Treasurer; and Bill Kirkman, Corporate Secretary. Other members of the Board were Ken Anderson, Camille Bigham, John Goodwillie, Vernelle Jenkins, Shirley Jorden, Barry Lynch, Gene Pender, John Racz, Lois Strasburg and Paul Weyrauch, with Ed Elwert serving as an Advisory Trustee.
Department heads in the year 2000 were as follows: Worship – Bill Kirkman, Church Assets – John Racz, Parish Services – Lois Strasburg, Education – Camille Bigham, Business Management – Barry Lynch, and Benevolence – Shirley Jorden and Paul Weyrauch.
The 1999 Christmas Eve offering was divided among the Helping Center, St. Frederick’s Baptist Church, the Neighborhood Center, and Sharing the Harvest – with each receiving $1,500.
During 1999, membership grew from 754 to 817. There were 23 weddings, 11 memorial services, and 7 baptisms conducted at the church in 1999.
Dr. Long was named the new president of the Helping Center. In addition to this role, his civic responsibilities include serving as a Trustee for TCU and for the Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth.
In January, $75,000 was transferred to the Building Fund.
Special events for the year were:
April 26 New Member Dinner May 24 Ice Cream Social September 20 Annual Picnic October 25 Mew Member Dinner Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Sunday Dinner (to be catered by Sterling Affairs of Austin)
Nursery employee Brenda Dawson resigned effective March 26. She was replaced by Karen Dunn, who had been serving as Brenda’s substitute. Karen, who has a background in teaching, was delighted to assume full time Sunday duties.
Easter Celebration events were:
April 16 Palm Sunday (with the choir entering the sanctuary carrying palm branches) April 20 Maundy Thursday April 21 Good Friday – the celebration of the Lord’s Passion with Holy Communion at St. Paul the Apostle Church April 23 Easter Celebration
261 families (a total of 493 members) participated in the photography by Olan Mills, Inc. for the pictorial directory. Twelve pictures were submitted separately.
Guidelines and procedures were written for the Scholarship Committee, chaired by Paul Weyrauch. Funds committed this year were $15,000 for three Llano High School graduates planning to attend Texas State Technology Institute and $8,750 to Marble Falls High School to complete our existing scholarship commitments.
A search for an Associate Pastor to assist Dr. Long was commenced in 2000. The selection will require both Board and congregational approval. Bill Kirkman was named chairman of the Search Committee, which developed the necessary qualifications for candidates for the position and placed ads in Christian publications.
In June there were three guest ministers, Don Adickes, a Lutheran minister and retired Army chaplain; Dr. Milton Cunningham, who recently retired as Chaplain at Baylor University and who was a former missionary in Africa; and Kevin Murphy, an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church and coordinator for Church World Service. John Goodwillie, Art Hawkinson and Bob Stephenson served as worship leaders.
On March 12, there was a special musical tribute to the Columbine School victims by the handbell choir participating with 2,255 choirs across the nation in performing a specially written musical piece by Kevin McChesney.
At the May meeting, Jo Ann Brooks was appointed to develop a Policies and Procedures manual for the church. Jo Ann completed the manual and distributed copies to the Board of Trustees at the November Board meeting. At the November Board meeting, it was announced that a total of $77,000 had been contributed to the Scholarship Fund.
Substitute preachers in October and December were Bob Schmeltekopf and David Whitelock, the latter being director of Camp Peniel.
The Planning Commission began investigating use of land adjacent to or near the Church parking lot for parking expansion and engaged Willis-Sherman Associates to do a topographical survey. A committee was formed to find a suitable architect to study various options for arriving at an optimum design.
In November, the Board approved purchase of a portable defibrillator at a cost of $3,125. Jo Ann Brooks was named to coordinate the program, which would require volunteers to work under the supervision of a medical director.
The Board elected to provide permanent name badges for the congregation, with distribution to members to begin in January 2001. 705 badges were purchased at a cost of $3.95 each. It was hoped that Church members would wear them at services and social events held at the Church.
George Bennett’s memorial funds were used to purchase a numbered print of the Thomas Kinkade painting, “Stairway to Paradise”, which was hung in the Fellowship Hall.
In December, a carillon system was permanently installed, consisting of The Digital Chronabell III and C. D. Player. This is a unique Automatic Bell System that provides the authentic sound of large bells. The cost of $12,650 was covered by several memorial funds.
Jim Teague resigned as chairman of the Endowment Committee, and Paul Weyrauch assumed the chairmanship.
The Memorials Committee proposed transferring to the General Memorial Fund account all restricted funds under $500 and inactive for four to six months, as well as funds over $500 with permission from the families. This would result in a total of $28,239.74 in the General Memorial Fund account. The Board voted to follow that recommendation and, further, to transfer $20,000 from the General Memorial Fund account to the Endowment Fund and the Building Fund in a 50-50 split.
The Year 2001
The annual meeting of the congregation was held on January 21, 2001. Chairman Bob Stephenson gave a brief overview of the previous year, and Treasurer Jim Mathis and Benevolence Chairman Shirley Jorden made reports on their respective areas of responsibility. New Board members elected by the congregation were Jane Jackson, Ruth Meredith, Jack Hampton, Bill Havins and Bob Warren. The congregation approved a budget of $574,750 for 2001. Benevolence giving remained at 25% of the previous year’s offerings.
The officers of the Board of Trustees in the year 2001 were Gene Pender, Chairman; Vernelle Jenkins, Vice Chairman; Jim Mathis, Treasurer; Bill Havins, Assistant Treasurer; and Bill Kirkman, Corporate Secretary. Other members of the Board were Ken Anderson, Camille Bigham, John Goodwillie, Jack Hampton, Jane Jackson, Shirley Jorden, Barry Lynch, Ruth Meredith, Lois Strasburg, and Bob Warren. Ed Elwert continued his service as Advisory Trustee with an unlimited term.
Department heads in the year 2001 were: Worship – John Goodwillie and Jane Jackson, Church Assets – Bob Warren, Parish Services – Lois Strasburg, Education – Camille Bigham, Business Management – Barry Lynch, and Benevolence – Shirley Jorden. Paul Weyrauch served as Scholarship Committee Chairman under the Benevolence Department.
In 2001, Dr. John Long continued with his community service by accepting another term of office as President of the Board of Directors of the Helping Center. He also served on the advisory committee of New Horizons, an assistance agency in Llano similar to the Helping Center in Marble Falls. In February, he attended Minister’s Week at TCU in Fort Worth. The Board approved his request for continuing education studies at the Summer Ministry Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary June 18-28, which would require his absence from the pulpit on June 17 and 24. The Board also approved his service on another three-year term on the Brite Divinity School Board of Trustees and his absence to attend a Board meeting on March 1-2. It also approved his vacation for August 26 to September 18. Dr. Long continued performing a vespers service throughout the year at the 800 Claremont assisted living facility on the fourth Sunday of each month and taking communion to homebound members on the first Sunday of the month.
The Benevolence Committee distributed the 2000 Christmas Eve offering, in the amount of $1,500 each, to the Helping Center, the Neighborhood Center, St. Frederick’s Baptist Church, and Sharing the Harvest. In February of this year, the Committee also contributed $2,000 to “Doctors Without Borders” for earthquake relief in India.
The Care Line, dealing with illnesses and deaths in the congregation, was discontinued in January because it was not being utilized. The telephone line was retained.
In February Church member John Racz was named “Outstanding Citizen” by the Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce for his leadership in the building of three new facilities in Marble Falls: the Library, the Crisis Center, and the Boys and Girls Club.
In the area of Long Range Planning, it was decided that the time range for planning would be three to five years, with the two most important areas of focus being the physical capacity of the Church facility and the demand for additional parking. The urgent need to expand the parking facilities became very evident this year. It was determined that four lots across the street from the church, which were either donated or purchased, would provide ninety additional parking spaces. The Long Range Planning Commission began getting information on the cost of constructing a new parking lot. It was estimated that an approximate cost for clearing, paving, lighting and landscaping the property would be $100,000, and it was recognized that approval would have to be secured from Wayne Hurd and the Planning & Zoning Commission. A subcommittee of the Long Range Planning Commission was formed to study construction needs of the Church over the next ten to fifteen years, to contact contractors specializing in church construction work, and to interview for an architect who could act as counselor and guide in the planning process. Because of the costs and other difficulties involved with expansion of the sanctuary, such a move will be indefinitely delayed. At the present time, a plan is being developed for other needed expansions, including additional meeting, office and storage spaces. Another subcommittee was authorized to update our demographic and geographic study of the area. It was decided in December to continue to pursue acquisition of adjacent lots on the same side of the street for future expansion of the church.
A Special Worship Committee was established by the Board to study the need for a third worship service on Sundays, with the understanding that before any changes could be made in the times of worship services, the parking facilities would have to be expanded.
In April, the Church presented two-year scholarships to three outstanding Llano High School students to attend Texas State Technological College in Waco.
Special events for the year were:
April 25 New Member Dinner May 23 Ice Cream Social September 19 Picnic October 24 New Member Dinner November 28 Thanksgiving
The Adult Bible Study program continued throughout the year, with studies conducted by a team of Art Hawkinson, Jim Jorden, Jack Miller, Bruce Hennie, and Larry Canter, with oversight provided by John Long. Dr. J. Randall Price, president of World of the Bible Ministries and author of numerous books and commentaries on the Bible, was guest speaker at the Sunday morning Bible Study in March.
Community Bible Study programs not sponsored by our Church but participated in by a number of our members include the “Joy of Living” Ladies Bible Study, Ladies Ecumenical Bible Study, Highland Lakes Community Bible Study, and “Search for Significance” Bible Study.
Bettie Taber, the long-time Church secretary, resigned in March due to personal considerations. A reception honoring her was held in the Forshee Fellowship Hall on March 16. Martha Logan, previously volunteer coordinator for the Crisis Center and most recently employed by the Burnet County District Attorney’s office, was installed as the new secretary.
A written guideline for caterers was approved by the Board in March and made a part of the Policy and Procedures Manual.
Easter Season activities included special music on Palm Sunday, Holy Communion and music on Maundy Thursday, and Meditation on the Seven Last Words on Good Friday. There were four services on Easter Sunday, at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., as well as a 6:30 a.m. sunrise service centered around the celebration of Holy Communion. Dr. Long planned to make the sunrise service a feature of the 2002 Easter Season.
In April, the Church received a signed letter of understanding from Pete Christy accepting the position of Associate Minister, to come on board about November 1, 2001. The congregation approved his call in May.
Barry Lynch resigned from the Board in May. Ed West was approved by the Board as his replacement.
When Dr. Long took his study leave in June, Pastor Don Addickes, a retired military chaplain now living in San Antonio, replaced him on June 17. The Rev. Bob Schmeltekopf, Director of Missions for the twenty-five churches in the Burnet-Llano Baptist Association and now living in Meadowlakes, preached on June 24. During Dr. Long’s August absence, Gordon Smith, an Associate Minister at Riverbend Church in Austin, preached on August 19, and soon-to-be Associate Minister Pete Christy on August 26.
During the year, several additions or repairs to the Church facilities were necessary, including the following: resurfacing, resealing and restriping the parking lot at a cost of approximately $30,000; replacing the Church’s outdated and inadequate telephone system at a cost of $2,600 (the old telephone system and telephones were donated to the First Assembly of God Church); and painting the exterior of the Church building at a cost of approximately $15,000.
The Board deliberated the purchase, at a cost of $3,100, of a defibrillator utilizing Memorial funds. Because of difficulty in meeting requirements associated with proper supervision and training of volunteers, the purchase was postponed until 2002. The Board also considered participating in a Parish Nurse Program, which would be offered to the church at no cost. It was decided to give further consideration to this program in 2002.
The Board approved an Accident Report Form for use with every accident occurring on church property. Copies of the completed report will be kept in the church office and sent to Church Mutual Insurance Company.
In June, the Board voted to give former Chairmen of the Board the honorary position of Chairman Emeritus. Those currently honored are Bill Kinney, John Wolfe and Bob Stephenson. The former Chairmen will not have a vote at Board meetings, but their valuable input will be appreciated and considered by the Board.
In the last quarter of the year, a Special Committee on Membership developed definitions of subclasses of membership under the Full and Associate membership categories provided in our constitution. Subclasses that have been added are: “Resident – Active”, “Resident – Inactive”, “Non-Resident – Active”, and “Non-Resident – Inactive”. As annual reviews are made, a member who provides financial support to the Church for the previous two years will remain classified as “Active”.
A joint service with the congregation of St. Paul the Apostle Church was held following the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City and Washington, D.C. The Benevolence Committee made a special donation of $4,000 from unallocated funds to disaster relief in New York City.
In 2001, the Chairman started a “Committee Corner” in the Church Newsletter featuring Board Committee information, with each month the work of a Board committee being described.
The fourth Sunday of each month continued to be designated as Helping Center food collection time at the Church. Donations are left in Dr. Long’s office. The “Helping Hands” craft group was formed to help support the Helping Center with craft fundraisers.
It was decided by the Board to drop the congregational Thanksgiving Dinner from the future schedule as it had grown too large for our facilities to accommodate it comfortably. Many members of the Church participated in the St. Frederick’s Baptist Church community meal, at which over 1100 people in the Marble Falls area were served, by providing cash gifts and volunteer help as well as turkeys, pies and cornbread.
The Church continued with its “Christmas for Others” program, which once again was highly successful. Gifts were provided for 104 children from 45 families in the Marble Falls and Llano areas.
Memorial gifts received throughout the year included decorative items for the Forshee Fellowship Hall, books for the Church Library, a high speed tape copier for the Music Department, and new furniture for the new Associate Minister’s office.
Near the end of the year, Minister Emeritus Tom Campbell passed away. The Board adopted a resolution honoring him. The resolution was signed by the Chairman of the Board and Dr. Long, framed, and presented to Jane Campbell.
New Associate Minister Pete Christy came on board full time with his formal installation before the congregation on November 4. His duties include assumption of preaching responsibility during Dr. Long’s absence from the pulpit, pastoral care, administration and organization, and the development of mission programs and projects. A program under consideration is one called Stephen Ministries that involves lay people in pastoral care. After Pastor Christy’s arrival, a program was started called Chapel Prayers, with one of the ministers in the sanctuary each morning to pray for concerns of church members.
The Year 2002
Annual Congregational Meeting
The annual meeting of the congregation was held on January 20, 2002. Congregational members were provided with copies of the Chairman’s Report, a summary of all Standing Committees’ activities, an audit report, and a financial review. Chairman Gene Pender gave a brief report on the major initiatives and activities of the Board in 2001. The report included the following information: 83 new members were added to the Church rolls in 2001, bringing total membership to 805; the buildings were repainted and parking lots resurfaced; a tentative decision was made not to expand the sanctuary due to the excessive cost and other difficulties; and a conceptual plan was being developed for possible expansion of spaces deemed not adequate.
Chairman Pender requested and received motions to approve the following actions: (1) the purchase of two lots located immediately south of the Church parking lot, for future additional parking or expansion, at a price not to exceed $30,000 for the two lots; and (2) the paving of either four lots across the street from the Church which had already been acquired or two lots south of the Church if they could be acquired. Both motions were adopted. The cost of paving either site was estimated at $100,000.
Assistant Treasurer Bill Havins reviewed the 2001 financial report and the proposed budget of $581,500 for the year 2002. The proposed budget, which projected a 2% increase in contributions over those in 2001, was adopted. It was noted that, despite lagging contributions prior to October, the 2001 contributions budget was exceeded by $3,500.
Chairman Pender recognized the following outgoing Board members and thanked them for their service to the Church: Ken Anderson, Camille Bigham, Vernelle Jenkins, and Bill Kirkman. He also recognized Paul Weyrauch, the retiring Chairman of the Endowment Fund who had served for eight years. He was to be succeeded by Pete Dysert.
New Board members elected by the congregation were Rita Adams, Donna Canter, Jud Cary, Bart Stephens, and Ed West.
Benevolence Committee Chairman Shirley Jorden reported on gifts from the Church in 2002. She pointed out that Benevolence funds are made up of 25% of the previous year’s offerings plus special contributions from individuals and special worship services. In 2001, the Benevolence Committee gave $139,600 (25% of $558,508).
Officers and Department Heads
The officers of the Board of Trustees in the year 2002 were Gene Pender, Chairman; John Goodwillie, Vice Chairman; Bill Havins, Treasurer; Jud Cary, Assistant Treasurer; and Shirley Jorden, Corporate Secretary. Other members of the Board were Rita Adams, Donna Canter, Jack Hampton, Jane Jackson, Jim Mathis, Ruth Meredith, Lois Strasburg, Bart Stephens, Bob Warren, and Ed West. Ed Elwert continued as an Advisory Trustee with an unlimited term.
Chairman Pender appointed the following department heads for the year 2002: Worship – Jane Jackson and Bart Stephens; Building and Grounds – Bob Warren; Personnel – Bart Stephens; Membership – Ruth Meredith; Education – Rita Adams; Parish Services – Lois Strasburg; Benevolence – Shirley Jorden and Donna Canter; Insurance – Jack Hampton; and Long Range Planning – Ed West.
Because of Pete Dysert’s elevation to Chairman of the Endowment Fund Committee, in January the Board added Woody McCasland to the Endowment Fund Committee.
2002 Special Events:
Spring New Member Dinner April 17 Ice Cream Social May 15 Fall New Member Dinner October 16 Church Picnic November 6
Easter Sunday Services:
There were 4 services held on Easter Sunday, March 27:
6:30 a.m. Sunrise Service and Holy Communion
Regular services at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Activities of Ministers
John Long attended Brite Divinity School Board of Trustees meetings on March 1 and 2. He will continue his service on the Brite Board. He also attended his final official meeting as a member of the TCU Board of Trustees on April 9 and 10. He advised the Board that he had accepted a 4th term as president of the Helping Center of Marble Falls.
In July, the Board approved the enrollment of Pete Christy in the Austin Theological Seminary in Doctorate program. He advised that Doctor of Ministry programs are designed to accommodate pastors engaged in full time church work. The program, which Pete will fund at no cost to the Church, requires on-campus attendance for two weeks in January and two weeks in June for approximately 2-1/2 years. Pete plans to commute to Austin daily and to continue to be available for Sunday duties and evening emergencies in Horseshoe Bay. Pete attended Brite Divinity School’s Kirkpatrick Summer Institute July 7 through 12.
In February, the Benevolence Committee disbursed Christmas Funds in the amount of $1,000 each to the Helping Center, the Neighborhood Center, Llano New Horizons, Sharing the Harvest, and St. Frederick’s Mission Outreach. The Board also approved disbursements of $2,450 to Camp of the Hills to purchase water fountains and water coolers and $2,000 to Faith in Practice. In May, the Board approved a Benevolence Committee request to give $1,000 from unallocated Benevolence funds to purchase a cooling system for St. Frederick’s Baptist Church in Marble Falls. In November, Benevolence requested and received approval to allocate $2,000 to Seton Highland Lakes Hospital as a donation toward stained glass artwork for the hospital chapel, as well as a gift of $1,800 to the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
The Memorial Committee received permission from the Board to purchase new choir robes for a total expense of $6,000. These were the first new robes purchased for the choir in10 years.
John Long proposed the concept of a “memorial park” to be located to the west of existing Church property. The park would be for the use of the entire community and not restricted to use by Church members. The Memorial Committee will advise congregation members with memorial funds pending about the possibility of participating in the construction of such a park should it be approved by the Board.
The Adult Bible Study program, conducted at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday in the Forshee Fellowship Hall by a team of Church member lecturers, continued with great success throughout the year. From 50 to 60 persons participated each Sunday.
Church member Judy Standridge led a 12-week program for a special Bible Study group meeting on Wednesday afternoons at the Church March 6 to May 22.
Long Range Planning
In February, the Board authorized the Long Range Planning Committee to proceed with interviewing architects to develop a master plan and cost estimates for parking and expansion. The Spencer-Godfrey firm was chosen to do the planning. Zoning approval is required in order for the Church to pave the new lots and use them for parking. For a cost of approximately $2,000, Marble Falls Survey & Mapping Co. will survey and replat the lots acquired by the Church and, hopefully, have the property zoned the same as the church. Once all the lots currently under negotiation have been obtained, Wayne and Eileen Hurd have agreed to donate lots adjacent to the Church.
In October, the Long Range Planning Committee submitted to Church members for their comments a questionnaire prepared by Spencer-Godfrey to help determine the wishes of the congregation in relation to expansion of Church facilities. In December, a representative of Spencer-Godfrey reported to the Board and participated in a discussion about the most effective format to present options to the congregation in 2003. The Board approved a payment of $20,000 to Spencer Godfrey for development of the schematic design.
In 2002, there were several days set aside to provide special recognition to those serving the Church. April was named Volunteer Appreciation Month. A Board resolution was published in the Church newsletter: “The Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of volunteers to the church’s life. We are all volunteers but many make special efforts that not only save the church considerable money but also create a better life that we can share together. God bless those who serve so generously. You are appreciated.”
June 9 was named Choir Recognition Day, with the work of Karen Carson, Marion Brunette, and Winona Burks particularly acknowledged. June 30 was designated as Freedom and Democracy Sunday. On July 6 there was a dedication held at St. Paul the Apostle Church in memory of the mother of one of our prominent members, Wayne and Eileen Hurd made possible the construction of the Chapel with a donation of land and funds for construction. A commemorative boulder was blessed by Bishop John McCarthy. The 20th anniversary of our Church was celebrated on November 24, with an expanded coffee fellowship and special recognition of approximately 40 charter members still living in the area.
Policies and Programs
Pete Christy continued accumulating names of congregation members for the e-mail notification list. He also was involved in the revision and updating of the Church web site. A contractor was hired to provide software and instruction on posting changes on the web site and by May, the web site was updated and running smoothly. The Church secretary, Martha Logan, is responsible for updating the site every few weeks.
In November, a Revised Wedding Policy prepared by Pete Christy was submitted to the Board for approval. The policy was adopted. Changes in the policy concerned the scheduling of weddings and prevention of removal of ecclesiastical furnishings from the chancel, etc.
By the end of the year, a Church Visitor Program had been initiated, and teams had already begun visiting individuals who had expressed an interest in receiving a visit.
The Special Committee on Membership continued its study of our membership and expected to have definitive results very soon.
Collections for the Food Drive for the Helping Center of Marble Falls continued on the 4th Sunday of each month.
In April, the Board approved the purchase of oxygen equipment, a stretcher, pillows, and blankets for emergency use at the Church. These items are kept in the parlor closet. Pete Christy has been in charge of obtaining trainees for defibrillator CPR classes. In June, Pete Christy announced that 16 people had been trained in the use of the Automatic External Defibrillator equipment, which provided a sufficient number of qualified operators to allow the Church to purchase the machine and related equipment. The Board approved purchase of the equipment for approximately $3,500, with funds to come from the Marion Lynch Memorial funds. In December, Pete Christy advised that the defibrillator program had been activated and refresher training conducted for those who had previously received qualification training.
In May, John Long and Pete Christy began making plans to hold three Church services in 2003. John Goodwillie, Chairman of the Special Worship Committee responsible for developing plans for a third service, participated in their discussions. Under consideration was offering a new 8:15 a.m. Holy Communion service, adding a 9:30 a.m. service, and retaining the 11:00 a.m. service. The 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services would be identical. Bible Study would be offered during the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. services.
Board of Trustees
The Nominating Committee selected the following five candidates for the Board of Trustees for the 2003-2005 term, to be voted on by the congregation at the January congregational meeting: Ed Ayers, Jan Browning, Ann Eckelbarger, Bob Lambert, and Norrie Swennes.
At the December Board meeting, a Special Nominating Committee recommended that all retiring Board Members remain after the January 20, 2003 Board meeting to meet with the newly appointed trustees and hold an informal orientation session to familiarize them with Board operations and responsibilities. All trustees agreed.
The Church experienced a significant loss near the end of the year with the death of Ed Elwert, who had served admirably for many years as an Advisory Trustee serving on the Building and Grounds Committee. His death resulted in the hiring of a part-time Church sexton to assume some of his duties and responsibilities.
The Year 2003
Annual Congregational Meeting
The annual meeting of the congregation was held on January 19, 2003. Board of Trustees Chairman Jud Cary welcomed attendees and recognized the outgoing Board members. The following new Board members were elected by the congregation: Ann Eckelbarger, Ed Ayers, Norrie Swennes, Bob Lambert, and Jan Browning.
Board Members and Department Heads
The members of the Board of Trustees for the year 2003 were:Jud Cary - Chairman
Ed Ayers - Vice Chairman
Bill Havins - Treasurer
Bob Lambert - Assistant Treasurer
Ruth Meredith - Corporate Secretary and Membership Chairman
Jane Jackson and Bart Stephens – Worship Committee
Bob Warren and Norrie Swennes – Building and Grounds Committee
Bart Stephens – Personnel
Rita Adams – Education and Parish Services
Ann Eckelbarger – Parish Services
Donna Canter – Benevolence
Jan Browning - Benevolence
Jack Hampton – Insurance
Ed West – Long Range Planning
Contributions and other income totaled $615,492 in 2003. Expenses were $430,409.
The 2003 Benevolence budget was $150,237, made up of $68,600 for local charitable organizations (45% of the budget) and the remainder for special programs, camperships, missions, and ministerial education. A “Thank You” bulletin board was installed in the Forshee Fellowship Hall.
2003 Special EventsSpring New Member Dinner April 30
Fall New Member Dinner October 1
Ice Cream Social May 21
Church Picnic October 15
As in the past, there were three Easter Sunday services. The Sunrise Service was discontinued after two years of light attendance. An Ash Wednesday service was contemplated for 2004. Both Christmas Eve services were well attended.
Leaders of the Sunday Bible Study were Gail Matthews, Larry Canter, Jim Jorden, Bruce Hennie and Art Hawkinson. The mission of the Library is to support the spiritual programs of the Church. The Librarian works with the Pastors to select reading materials.
Long Range Planning
The Long Range Planning Commission recommended the addition of parking spaces, to eliminate the need for automobile parking on the street, and additional handicapped parking spaces. The committee also recommended hiring Spencer Godfrey to procure schematic design drawings at a cost of $20,000. In June, the Board approved the expenditure of $80,000 to construct the new parking lot, consisting of approximately 39,869 sq. ft. This year, options for expanding the church facilities were considered, and a survey was sent to all members of the congregation for their input into the needs of the church. The Facilities Use Committee concluded that, since total attendance for the previous five years had shown very little growth, the sanctuary should not be enlarged until after a third service is needed and that a third service would not be considered until later.
A special Congregational Meeting was held on April 8, 2003, to bring the congregation up to date on plans under consideration.
Building and Grounds
A topographical survey was made to aid in the design of the new parking lot across the street from the church. (The church owns 10 lots adjacent to or near the church property.) When the construction of the approximately 39,869 sq. ft. lot was completed, 89 parking spaces were added to the previous total of 164 spaces.
Christmas for Others
Gifts were provided for 205 children in the Marble Falls community. The Benevolence fund purchased children’s Bibles for each family’s gifts.
The Memorials Committee purchased new robes and reversible stoles for the Chancel and Handbell choirs. The choirs’ old robes were donated to a small community church in Bertram and to the Leander United Methodist Church.
The offer of Eileen Hurd to donate her property to the west and south of the church for a memorial garden was accepted. A Memorial Garden Committee, made up of Donna Canter, Jan Browning, Jud Cary, Ed Ayers, Eileen and Wayne Hurd, John Long, and Pete Christie, was named. It was determined that the funding for this project would not come from the building fund or the operating budget, but from memorial funds or a special fundraising program.
In November, the Church celebrated the tenth anniversary of the move into the present facilities. The Sunday before Thanksgiving is traditionally recognized as an Anniversary Sunday for the Church.
Insurance and Legal
The policy for multi-peril, workers compensation, and professional liability was renewed for three years at a cost of $10,174. All contractors or subcontractors are required to have Certificates of Insurance.
Bill and Edra Edwards, who have worked with the Volunteers in Missions to build homes in poverty stricken countries for a number of years, made available to the Church a mission opportunity for February 2004. Sixteen Church members signed up for the mission trip to Mexico scheduled for February 14 to 21, 2004. Pete and Annette Christy will join the group.
Three new scholarships to Texas State Technical College were awarded to graduates of Llano and Marble Falls High Schools. This is the fourth year of this program. Scholarships cover tuition, books and fees for 2 years at TSTC. The Church’s funding of these scholarships was provided by a few individuals particularly interested in this kind of educational experience for young people in our area.
41 new members joined the church in 2003, for a total membership of 768. A program was partially completed to map where our members live. The map provides a quick visual portrayal of where our members are clustered. This program was put on hold for a time.
Activities of Ministers
John Long completed his fourth term as President of the Helping Center of Marble Falls and his service as a member of the TCU Brite Divinity School Board of Trustees. He also attended the continuing education course at Princeton University June 16-26. Pete Christy has completed Phase I of the Doctor of Ministry program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He will complete Phase II by January of 2005 and will begin Phase III, the doctoral project, in June 2005.
In January, Ron Mikkelson was hired as Church Sexton following the death of El Elwert, long-time Advisory Trustee serving on the Building and Grounds Committee.
The Year 2004
Annual Congregational Meeting
The annual meeting of the congregation was held on January 18, 2004. Board of Trustees Chairman Jud Cary greeted those present and then recognized the outgoing Board members.
New Board members elected by the congregation were Bob Warren, Carol Young, Ronnie Rudd, Gail Mathews, and Billy Lapham.
Board Members, Officers and Department Heads
The members of the Board of Trustees for the year 2004 were:Jud Cary – Chairman
Ed Ayers – Vice Chairman
Bob Lambert – Treasurer
Ronnie Rudd – Assistant Treasurer
Donna Canter – Corporate Secretary and Benevolence Committee
Gail Matthews – Benevolence Committee
Jan Browning – Worship Committee
Bart Stephens – Worship Committee
Bob Warren – Building and Grounds Committee
Norrie Swennes – Building and Grounds and Memorials/Fine Arts Committees
Bart Stephens – Personnel Committee
Carol Young – Membership and Memorials/Fine Arts Committees
Jimmy Lapham – Publicity Committee
Rita Adams – Education and Parish Services Committees
Ann Eckelbarger – Parish Services Committee
Ed West – Insurance and Long Range Planning Committees
Jan Browning – Memorials/Fine Arts Committee
Contributions and other income amounted to $626,371. Expenses totaled $606,446.
In 2004, the Benevolence Committee distributed $152,129 (25% of the 2003 weekly offerings). In addition, 5 community agencies received $1,000 each from the 2003 Christmas Eve offering. 7% of the Benevolence budget is set aside for emergencies or special needs, and in 2003 a total of $40,061 was made as one-time gifts for those purposes.
2004 Special EventsNew Member Dinner April 21
Ice Cream Social May 19
Church Picnic October 20
As in the past, there were three Easter Sunday services in 2004, with the 9:30 a.m. service being the most heavily attended. An Ash Wednesday service was added this year.
The women’s book club had its first meeting in April, resulting in an increase in the use of the library. The purpose of the book club, named “Books and Scones”, is to discuss Christian books, provide Christian fellowship, and to act as an outreach for area women.
The purpose of the Nursery and Child Care service is to provide a safe environment for infants and toddlers while parents and grandparents attend services.
Leaders of the Sunday Bible Study were Jim Jorden, Glenda Butler, Art Hawkinson, Larry Canter, and Jim Carter. Pastor Pete Christy worked closely with the teaching team and also taught classes when needed. An ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee for the Christian education program, made up of Trustee Rita Adams, the Bible Study teachers, and Pete Christy, reported to the Board in September. It was recommended that the major objective of the program during the next five years should be to cause growth in the program, so that every member and visitor would develop and strengthen a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The program would include Biblically-grounded classes offering a broad variety of study topics and learning styles. A second Bible Study class was added in September, allowing study of the Bible as well as one topical study each term.
Building and Grounds
A special congregational meeting was held on March 14, with the Board requesting authority to spend $300,000 to make changes in the sanctuary resulting in the relocation of the choir and thus adding a 20% increase in available seating. The $300,000 expenditure was approved by the congregation. The first bid received for the remodel/addition was over $320,000, not including walkways or stone work. A significant problem was the possible inadequacy of the existing slab to support the new construction, and a contractor was hired to do a slab study. Also, additional steel work would be required before construction could begin. In October, it was learned that the all inclusive bid for the construction/remodel was approximately $600,000. Since the congregation approved an expenditure of only $300,000, the project was put on hold.
Christmas for Others
215 children received Christmas gifts from the congregation this year. Gifts were delivered to Marble Falls Elementary School on December 18. The Benevolence fund provided funds for children’s Bibles for each family.
Memorial funds were used to upgrade Library material, to purchase a coffeemaker for the kitchen, and to aid in Memorial Garden planning.
Wayne and Eileen Hurd officially transferred the property for the Memorial Garden to the church in March 2004. The Board passed a resolution stating that the Memorial Garden would be specifically for memorials, not a place to scatter ashes. The Memorial Garden Committee met in October with a contractor and landscape designer. John Richardson agreed to be Project Manager. Although the actual bid for the work was $199,000, the “worst case” scenario for a total implementation of the plan was approximately $215,000.
Because of light attendance at recent New Member Dinners, the Board decided to hold only one New Member Dinner per year, rather than two as in the past. There was a special extended coffee fellowship on Sunday, November 21, in honor of the anniversary of the church and as an alternative to the Thanksgiving dinner that the church hosted in previous years.
The mission trip to Rio Bravo, Mexico from February 14 to 21 had eighteen members of the congregation participating. Activities included building two houses, teaching children’s Bible school, staffing a clinic, repairing and distributing bicycles, and improving the Volunteer in Missions facility in Rio Bravo. Another mission trip will be scheduled for February 2005.
Three scholarships to Texas State Technical College were awarded in 2004 to two students from Llano High School and one student from Marble Falls High School. $12,000 was disbursed from the scholarship fund to cover these scholarships and those of continuing work for past recipients who were still attending school.
23 new members joined the church in 2004. Total membership at the end of the year was 749.
A committee was formed with the objective of finding ways to increase the membership of the church. Trustee Billy Lapham was named chairman of the committee.
In September, Trustee Ronnie Rudd reviewed the Endowment Fund records and made some recommendations to the Board concerning the fund. At the end of the year, the fund had assets totaling $100,330.60. According to the terms of the fund documents, the fund must reach $500,000 before withdrawals may be made. Withdrawals may not be more than 6% annually and must be for religious and charitable purposes.
In September a standard computer with flat screen monitor, PowerPoint and a good quality data projector, mounted on a moveable cart, was installed and operational at a cost of approximately $3,500.
A new Risograph Machine was purchased near the end of the year at a cost of $17,500.
Activities of Ministers
Although no longer president of the Helping Center of Marble Falls, John Long remained on its board. After completing the June 2004 session of his Doctor of Ministry Program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Pete Christy had one class remaining (in January 2005) before beginning his final thesis work in June 2005. In July 2004, he attended the Kirkpatrick Summer Institute, sponsored by Brite Divinity School.
Rev. John Long retired at the end of the year. A search committee to find a new pastor was formed.
Because the non-ministerial full-time employee group is too small to qualify for a group health insurance plan, the Board has agreed to provide up to $300 a month for each employee to reimburse their individual health insurance policy.
Continue with Part V: 2005 - Present