The Confirmation Class of 2018 is currently working with the Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Consistory on planning a restoration project for the church bell. The Confirmation Class unanimously agreed to this project to serve God and members of the faith community. Before worship this morning, the Confirmation Class tested some home remedies on the bell, as pictured above.
The bell is still operational today. However, the bell and bell yoke are in need of polishing due to long-term exposure to weather. The bell shelter is also in need of restoration. We are attempting some safe home remedies, including polishing the bell. However, it may need to be professionally restored. We pray you will join us and assist with either working on the bell or donating toward its restoration.
This church bell is an integral part of our church's history. After the first service was held on May 5, 1901, the need arose for a church bell. With the help of the Ladies Aid Society, the Sunday School raised $31.85 ($902.55 in 2018 USD value). After the Ladies Aid Society received approval from Consistory in 1901, the bell was constructed by E.A. Williams Son and Foundry of Jersey City and placed in the steeple. Their name appears on the bell today. The bell would later be moved to the bell tower that was constructed sometime after the Education and Fellowship building was constructed in 1925 (where our current church building stands). Speakers were eventually added to the bell to play music to invite the entire community to join us to worship God.
The church bell survived a terrible fire that destroyed the Education Building on December 20, 1952. The church bell was rung for the nation's bicentennial on July 4, 1976. Later in that same year, the original chapel, which was built in 1900 and stood where the Ackerman Ave rear parking lot is now located, was demolished along with the bell tower. The bell was then lugged to and stored in the boiler room until it was resurrected and restored and put on display in a newly built shelter in the late 1980s. The bell was rung at our 90th Anniversary Celebration held on May 4, 1991.
The bell and its music were a welcome and expected part of Sunday worship. Through this effort, we hope to restore the bell to make it once again be a part of our community.