Our Building and Our Church Life
April 1865 ~ When the ladies of the church heard that Abraham Lincoln had been shot and killed, they stayed up all night, working on a flag they had already started, so that they could fly it at half-staff the next day and throughout the period of mourning.
Because of the very delicate condition of the flag today, we can no longer bring it out for show, and have it housed with other historical items at InfoSafe in Richland! See picture below!
The original ceiling plaster of the church was made from horse hair and crushed stone. We know this because a big chunk of it fell through the hanging ceiling in Mark Jennings old office, and landed on his desk!
The original pew cushions in the sanctuary were filled with horse hair. When the church had the cushions updated, they kept some of the horse hair in each cushion. In 2017, Peter Alman, reupholstered the pews again, and yes, he did leave the horse hair inside.
Civil War Flag made by 7 Richland women, in honor of President Abraham Lincoln
“PATRIOTIC RICHLAND WOMEN PAY TRIBUTE TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN. NEW FLAG FLIES AT HALF STAFF DURING PERIOD OF MOURNING” April 15th marks the anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Before that fateful event, seven Richland women and members of our Presbyterian Church were already at work on a new American flag that would honor the restoration of the Union as the War Between the States slowly came to a close. On Good Friday, April 15, 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated during a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. and as word spread across the country, the seven ladies decided to work through the night to finish their task so that the new flag could be flown during the national period of mourning. Our Civil War flag is a fragile and rare artifact that has survived for over 150 years. Due to its deteriorating condition, it can no longer be displayed. Count the stars!
Mark Jennings celebrating 25 years of ministering to the First Presbyterian Church in Richland. (2014)
Lois Martin, our longest living member! As of 2016, 68 years!!
From worship service, June 5, 2016
"I want to take just a few moments to recognize someone very special in our congregation. I know next week is actually recognition Sunday, but since the choir isn’t singing next week, we didn’t know if she’d be here. Lois Martin, will you stand with me? We’re recognizing Lois as being a member, longer than any other.
Lois Annabelle Martin was born at Bronson Hospital in 1929. She’s been part of this church since she was 3 years old. At that time, the Upjohn Company bought several farms off Gull Road, and Lois’ father, Clad, was selected to farm one of them, which put the family closer to us, and was when they began attending. Lois’ mother, Lila, was the church organist for 30 years, and if I’m not mistaken, started with that Reed pump organ that now sits in the balcony.
Lois has served three terms as Deacon—1952, 1970, 1974. She’s been sharing her love of music, and singing with the soprano’s at this church, since she was 13. That’s 74 years of singing! Lois officially became a member after high school, on March 21, 1948. Just as a tidbit of information, Lois is #82 in our church register — out of over 3500!
In great appreciation and recognition of our friend and sister in Christ, Lois Martin, who has been, and continues to be, a faithful, loyal, loving, and endearing member of this congregation for 68 years, and counting, please share in a round of applause."