Archived Story

Old Rugged Cross Church calendar available

Published 7:09pm Friday, September 23, 2011

The Old Rugged Cross Foundation’s (ORCF) colorful 2012 wall calendar asks, “Are We There Yet?” and looks at the journey so far and the

File photo The Old Rugged Cross Church in Pokagon has released its 2012 calendar.

challenges yet ahead, in restoration of The Original Old Rugged Cross Church in Pokagon.
“The answer to the question is, ‘We’re getting closer, but we’re not there yet,’” said Molly Shaffer, ORCF treasurer. “We’ve learned that God’s plan and timing for this project are entirely his, and have learned to be patient and watch the project impact and change lives as we continue the journey.”
The calendar includes new color photographs marking restoration progress, along with views of The Old Rugged Cross Historic Site. The calendar also includes Scripture passages appropriate to each month’s featured photo.
The calendar includes photos of the first two replica stenciled, leaded glass windows, installed in August. Additional windows — and soon, replica pews — remain to be supported by donors.
Calendars are available for a donation of $20 or more, each, at events such as the ORCF’s Community Hymn Sings on the first Sunday of the month (through December), and at the “Third Sunday at Three” concerts on the third Sunday of the month (through November).
“The 2012 calendar is another collector’s item,” said Bob Shaffer, ORCF president. “They make perfect gifts, and are a unique photographic tribute to this hymn’s continuing impact.”
The church is where, in 1913, composer the Rev. George Bennard of Albion, Mich. first publicly introduced the final version of his hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross.”
“The restoration is about 70 percent complete,” Bob Shaffer said. “The ORCF currently needs funding for the sanctuary’s new, five-inch tongue and groove flooring, and for replica wooden pews.  Also, some sanctuary and kitchen/museum woodwork needs to be replicated, depending fully upon donations.”
He said that future work, also depending on funding, will include structural restoration of the former upstairs Sunday School room, and replacing the church’s roof.
The calendar is the ORCF’s ninth annual depiction of the one-acre Old Rugged Cross Historic Site, which includes The Old Rugged Cross Memorial Garden.
Calendar donations help support the ongoing restoration effort.
For more information, or to make other arrangements for securing calendars, call the ORCF at 683-4540.
The shipping cost for mailing a calendar to a donor is $2.  Calendars can be ordered from The Old Rugged Cross Foundation, P.O. Box 41, Niles, MI 49120.
The email address is The foundation’s website is
The Old Rugged Cross Historic Site is one block south of Pokagon Highway in Pokagon, just east of Highway M-51. Pokagon is halfway between Niles and Dowagiac.

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