Church History

 A church is more than a building…it is the sum total of the people who attend and join in membership and labor together as a group. The church is built with the hands and hearts and minds of the church “family.”
 
Like any family we share a common heritage.  As a new member you inherit the THUMC family history and you add to it with your own personality and gifts.  In that same way, we are all accepted into the family of God when we join with Jesus and we add our offerings to the heritage of Christianity.  We welcome you and look forward to creating happy memories with you as a member of the Tallahassee Heights family.
 
When families get together we like to remember the “olden times,” the funny things, the good times, the personalities that we share in common, the very DNA, if you will, that make us a family.  Each of us has favorite stories that we tell over and over.  We laugh at the funny ones, cry at the sad ones, and whisper “Shhh” behind our hands about some we should forget. 
 
The “Church at the crossroads” has a rich history, with new chapters being written each year. The following paragraphs highlight some of the cherished memories of Tallahassee Heights.
 
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Tallahassee Heights was started in 1943 as a Sunday School class that met in a private home.  Every room in the home was used as a classroom and the housewife would be cooking her Sunday dinner as the classes met. One Sunday just before Easter, a children's class met in a child's bedroom and the kids sat on the floor and on every other surface including the bed.  The kids on the bed were a little more active than usual and the bed collapsed!   As the mattress and springs were lifted up, Mom's hiding place for the Easter baskets was revealed …unfortunately the baskets were smashed and broken.  Let me tell you, there was gloom in Mudville that day.
 
Some of the classes met outside under a young Oak sapling which is now the huge Oak tree in front of the Chapel.
 
The congregation soon grew too large for a private home and a church building was planned.    The ladies baked cakes on Friday and on Saturday and one of the men would take them into town for sale.  Many a child was pressed into service as a “pest control” expert to keep the ants off the cakes on Friday nights. You could say the church was built on a firm foundation of vanilla, coconut crème and chocolate cake.  This was just before World War II ended; flour and sugar were in short supply so the ladies had to be resourceful and thrifty.
 
The basement was built first and was put into use as soon as it could be covered over. The ladies continued to bake cakes and about a year later, the main floor of the building was completed.  It is still in use today.  It is the building with the steeple we call the Chapel on the front of the church lot.
 
The congregation was very proud of their church and the ladies took care to do the cleaning and dusting, especially for Sunday because the children from town would turn out for Bible School and the ladies didn't want to be seen as “country cousins.”  It's hard to believe now, but in those days the church lot was outside of town and was considered in the “country.” 
 
The congregation grew until a new sanctuary was needed, so additional funding had to be found.  If the Chapel was built on eggs, flour and sugar, the new sanctuary was built on ingenuity.  All kinds of money raising schemes were used. The ladies continued to bake cakes, the men had fish fries, and the children collected change. And then there were the challenges.  One group would challenge another in raising money in some “event.”  The church members would pledge so much money to support their favorite group. 
 
One such event was the peanut race.  Several men agreed to push a peanut in its shell a given distance…with their noses. They were a determined group and even though one contestant suffered a back injury, with the help of a mechanics rolling frame, he was able to complete the race. 
 
The stone wall behind the choir in the main sanctuary was built by the congregation, one stone at the time.  A huge truckload of stone was dumped on the grounds and the larger stones were broken up, cleaned and shaped by church members. The stones were actually laid with a little help from an experienced mason.
 
History is important.  It tells us who we are and it gives us a sense of belonging.  We are rooted and held firm by the knowledge of our past.  The Bible tells us who we are as Christians and our relationship with God.  It contains the struggles, the hardships, and the joyful triumphs.  Our Christian Heritage opens our minds and hearts to a Divine Plan to follow.  It also gives us a clear promise for the future, a reason to go forward.
 
We welcome you into our church family and we want to share our past and our future with you.  We encourage you to visit with us and find your place.  Come help us create the future history of Tallahassee Heights.
 
—Sandy Kelly
 
Mission Statement of Tallahassee Heights:
To be the Body of Christ, filled with the Spirit,
Reaching out to all people through
the Sharing of God's Word and Love.