Old Rugged Cross Church Hymn Sings to begin SundayPublished 6:16pm Friday, April 29, 2011
The Old Rugged Cross Foundation (ORCF) will begin its 2011 series of monthly Community Hymn Sings in The Original Old Rugged Cross Church on Sunday.
The popular Hymn Sings begin at 6 p.m. They will continue on the first Sunday of each month through December. Attendees at each Hymn Sing choose which traditional hymns the crowd sings.
The public is invited. There is no admission charge for the events. The church doors will open at 5 p.m.
The church now has a heating system for the sanctuary; air conditioning will be added soon.
“Thanks to the generosity of an area individual who remembered The Old Rugged Cross Church restoration in her will, we will accomplish some significant restoration activities in 2011,” said Robert Shaffer, ORCF president.
“Those plans currently include adding heating and air conditioning in the former kitchen area, installing the remainder of the electrical system, and insulating the kitchen and the sanctuary attic,” Shaffer said. “We will talk more about these exciting plans, and others, at each of these events.”
This year’s plans also include installing the first two replica painted, leaded glass sanctuary windows. Donors have funded four of the 9-foot-tall replica windows; four additional windows are available for funding. The windows’ design follows a consistent overall pattern, but each is personalized according to donors’ wishes.
The church is where, in 1913, composer the Rev. George Bennard of Albion first publicly introduced the final version of his hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross.”
The Old Rugged Cross Historic Site is in Pokagon, one block south of Pokagon Highway, just east of Highway M-51 (halfway between Niles and Dowagiac). The site includes the half-acre Old Rugged Cross Memorial Garden.
The Original Old Rugged Cross Church is a Registered Michigan Historic Site. The church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the national level of historic significance.
For more information, contact the ORCF at 683-4540, or P.O. Box 41, Niles, MI 49120. Learn more by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.the-oldruggedcross.org.
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