FC: Celebrating 100 Years
1: The history of Methodism in Racine can be traced back to 1835 when circuit riders from Chicago and Milwaukee visited the area. However, in 1845 the First Methodist Episcopal Church was built on what is now College Avenue. By 1870, the congregation outgrew this building and it was sold. | A lot was purchased on the corner of 8th and Main streets and construction began. This new church was dedicated on July 16, 1871. However, by the early 1900's many families belonging to the First Methodist Episcopal Church were living in what was then the southwest part of the city. This was the determining factor in the establishment of Grange Avenue Church. | Remembering the Past | Grange Avenue Methodist
2: Thus, at a meeting in March of 1911, held at the home of Thomas Hay, a group adopted plans for the building of the church and also decided to become an independent church. At a social held on the grounds on August 15, 1911, the bids were opened and within a few days contracts were signed. On August 22, 1911, ground was broken. On October 8, 1911, the cornerstone was laid and a sermon was given by Frank T. Cartwright, the first pastor of the new church. At a meeting on October 9, 1911, the names of 107 members were placed on the records, eighty-five of whom were from First Methodist Episcopal Church.
3: 1938 | 1944 | By 1951, the membership at the Grange Avenue church numbered 927.
4: As the church continued to grow a large stone addition was erected in 1952. It housed offices, a parlor, a library, a fellowship hall, and ten more Sunday school rooms.
5: A vote was taken in 1959 to relocate further west on the outer edge of Racine. The congregation purchased the home site of one of their members, the Hubert Rogans. This tract of almost twelve acres was set near the highest point in the city. However, Methodism did not fail to continue serving the former neighborhood as the Bethany Methodist congregation purchased the church building on Grange and 15th. | Christ Church United Methodist | In September of 1961, about 500 people gathered on the lawn of the new church site for a ground breaking service. The cornerstone, with the new name "Christ Church" was put in place on October 22nd, 1961.
6: The building was designed by Steffen & Kemp of Wauwatosa, and the contractor was Johnson & Henrichkson. The structure took fifteen months to build. There were delays caused by work stoppages and inclement weather.
8: The Windows of Reconciliation | One of the main features of Christ Church are the art glass windows. The north windows in the sanctuary represent the "Windows of Reconciliation: Old Testament Prophecy"; the south windows "Windows of Reconciliation: New Testament Fulfillment". The windows in the chapel are titled "Adventures in Christian Life". | The Creation The first panel of the Old Testament bank of windows depicts the Genesis account of creation. | The Fall of Man The tree, the serpent,and the forbidden fruit are used to symbolize the fall of man. | The Calling of Moses For centuries the burning bush has symbolized the calling of Moses to be the leader of his people. | The Old Testament
9: The Ten Commandments Perhaps these two tablets are the most recognizable of all the symbols for they instantly flash a depth of meaning to you when you look upon them. | Amos The act of reconciliation continues. When mankind proved to be unresponsive to Moses and the law, God sent prophets among us to be His spokesman, calling us back to Him. Amos was the first of the great eighth century prophets to represent God's endeavor to reach man through the prophets. | Isaiah The scroll, the tongs, and the coal stand for Isaiah. God used the preaching of this prince of Judah in His on-going endeavor to win the people back to Himself. | The Messianic Rose The Messianic Rose is a very ancient symbol standing for the promise of the coming Nativity and the fulfillment of the Messianic prophesy.
10: The New Testament | The Nativity But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people. " Luke 2:10 | The Baptism Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son the Beloved. " Luke 3:21-22 | The Sermon on the Mount No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15
11: The Yoke At that time Jesus said..."Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. " Matthew 11: 28-29 | Gethsemane Jesus prays in the garden, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done." Luke 22:42 | The Cross and Crown Do not fear what you are about to suffer... Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10 | The Butterfly The butterfly is the symbol of resurrection and eternal life.
12: The Chapel Window | The art glass continues in the chapel. The theme in the chapel is "Adventures in Christian Life". The glass itself was produced in the only plant in America making mouth-blown Antique, the Blenco Glass Company of Milton, West Virginia.The workmanship on the windows was done by the Enterprise Art Glass Company of Milwaukee and their artist Ross Taylor. | The first symbol noted in this window is the hand of God since it is from His hand that all things are derived. The waves in the window are intended to show motion. The Chi-Rho (the first two letters from the Greek word for Christ) was a symbol of early Christians and was intended to depict Christianity. The dove atop the cross and shield represents confirmation. Vocations are represented by gears, a book, a shovel and pick, test tubes and a music staff. The interlocking wedding bands and cross represent marriage and the Christian home, while the palm trees represent death and eternal life.
13: The following was taken from the Day of Consecration program dated February 3, 1963. | Architecturally Speaking The architecture of the new Christ Church is a far cry from the style of the old Grange Avenue... Our new edifice is at least twenty years ahead of its time. Christ Church is a direct result of intensive study and research by our committees and our architects. . . . Even though the church styling is ahead of its time the churchliness and religious attitude are not lost. The Narthex, Nave and Chancel are still retained in orderly and respectful fashion. The crosses and other accoutrements are a reminder of the traditional even though they are contemporary in design and feeling. The exquisite stained glass work, the well arranged pews, the softness and quiet of the area, the worshipful atmosphere- all impress one to the fullest extent that the religious portions of our building are a church and as such carry the reverence and faith that a House of God instills in the hearts and souls of all who attend. A feeling of warmth and soul satisfying happiness are as much a part of religious beauty as the wood, glass and brick that eventually shape themselves into a man made structure.
14: The Pastors | But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? Romans 10:14 | Frank T. Cartwright was educated at Ohio Wesleyan, graduating in 1911. He came to Racine as assistant pastor of First Church, June 20, 1911, and stayed until September 21st of the same year when he was sent by the Wisconsin Conference to Grange Avenue Church as its first pastor. Cartwright became a missionary to China and then returned to the United States to administer the work of the missionaries. | Frank T. Cartwright 1911-1916 | Pastors that followed Rev. Caartwright were: 1916 - 1918 Rev. Edwin Folley 1918-1920 Rev. Henry Johnson 1920 - 1924 Rev. Frank Richardson 1924 - 1930 Rev. George Lester 1930 - 1936 Rev. A.W. Triggs 1936 - 1947 Rev. Granville Calhoun | Rev. Calhoun Christmas 1943 | Grange Avenue Pastors
15: 1947 - 1950 Rev. Herman Thomas | 1950- 1968 Rev. Stanley Matz | Rev. Stanley Matz was assigned to the Grange Avenue church in 1950. When the new Christ Church was completed, Rev. Matz became its first pastor. He wrote the following in the Day of Consecration booklet: The worship of God is the noblest activity of man. Here, in the presence of God, are brought together the deepest attributes of personality - gratitude, praise, confession, repentance, and dedication. From such relatedness to God we can expect a kindlier community and a more peaceful world to emerge. May this place of worship thus serve as a source of peace on earth and good will among men in our time. | After his three years of service at Grange Avenue Methodist, Rev. Thomas was appointed to Kingsley Methodist Church in Milwaukee.
16: Christ Church Pastors | Rev. Stanely Matz continued as pastor until 1968. His associate during this time was Rev. Allen McCaul. He was replaced by the Rev. Roy Deming. Rev. Don Ott served as associate under Rev. Deming, who left in 1972 to become Northwest District Superintendent. The Rev. Richard Hinkleman then took over as senior pastor until 1981, when he left to become Milwaukee District Superintendent. His associates included Rev. Ott, Rev. David Brice, Rev. Robert LeCount, Rev. Judi Jacobsen, and Rev. Arnie Nielsen. Serving as senior pastor from 1981 through 1988 was the Rev. Lowell Bartell, who had Rev. June Nettles and then Rev. James Guckenberg as associate pastors. In 1988, Rev. Marvin Rowe became the senior pastor with Rev. Guckenberg remaining as the associate. | Row 1: Rev. Richard Hinkleman, Gerry Martin, Marion Zimer, Rev. Stanley Matz Row 2: Rev. Donald Ott, Rev. Roy Deming, Bob Rouze
17: Rev. Tom Garnhardt served as senior pastor from 1992 through 1996. His associates were Rev. Joan Frost and Rev. Jim McChesney. | Rev. Jaime Nolla served as senior pastor from 1996 to 2009. Associates during these years were Jo Bierer, Kaye Glennon, Ethan Larson, Mary Council-Austin, Awilda Nolla and Fid Sailor. It was during these years that the child care facility was added to the building.
18: The Church Today | The lead pastor as the 100th anniversary of Christ Church is celebrated is Rev. Mark R. Swanson. Pastor Tsuker Yang serves as the associate pastor.
19: Two worship services are held each Sunday. The Praise Band provides music at the first service. The Chancel Choir enriches the second service with their music. There is also a Thursday evening service as well as a contemporary service once a month on Saturday evening. | Christan education for both the youth and adults is a vital part of Christ Church. Sunday school is held during the first service and children's church is held during the second service. Other programs for the youth include.Kid's Club and Kids for Christ. During the five day Vacation Bible School each summer, children learn about God's works through music, videos, scripture lessons, games and crafts. In addition, Christ Church sponsors a Boy Scout troop. | The programs at Christ Church are based on Christ's Commandments to his Church: Worship - Love the Lord with all your heart. Ministry - Love your neighbor as yourself Evangelism - Go and make disciples Fellowship - Baptize and teach
20: The United Methodist Women has been a continual presence at Christ Church. There are currently three circles. This group sponsors the Cookie Walk, a Christmas and Spring luncheon as well as other activities throughout the year. | The social conscience of Christ Church is reflected by the many community outreach programs that members of the church participate in. This list includes the jail ministry, support for the Racine Food Bank, St. Richards dinners, the Saturday sack lunch program and active membership the Racine Interfaith Coalition. | There are many learning and social activities for adults. These include the Disciple Studies, the Bible Book Studies and the Women's Group Studies. The ARC (Active Responsive Christians) meet for meals three times a month. There is also a bridge group, a cribbage group and dart ball. The Prayer Shawl Ministry makes knitted and crocheted shawls that are given to comfort people as they are experiencing difficult times.
21: Christ Church also supports three missionary groups - Rev. Kies and family of Zimbabwe Africa, Rev. and Mrs. Diaz of Guanabacoa, Cuba and Rev. CherLue Vang and his wife Mang Thao in Thailand. | Christ Church outreach extends beyond the local community. Each year for the past twenty eight years a group of youth and adults have participated in the Appalachian Service Project. Two or three crews of workers travel to various sites in the Appalachian Mountain area for a week's worth of work including building foundations, putting on roofs and providing other help as needed. | Christ Church is also involved in the community through the Sunshine Mountain Preschool as well as the child care program. | We also actively support the Methodist Chaplaincy Program at the Madison area hospitals. For many years Pastor Fid Sailor served as the chaplain.
22: In condensing one-hundred years of an active church into these few pages, what has gone unmentioned are all of the lives that have been changed by Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit working in the people and ministries of Christ Church. Truly they are the saints that have gone before us, and the saints that continue to glorify Jesus Christ. We are grateful to Christ Jesus, our ministers both lay and clergy, and the members and friends who together with Jesus have made Christ Church what it has been, and is now, and will be in the future. ~ Pastor Mark Swanson