It certainly seems like Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny is mixing government and religion here!!!
Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, who will present an official proclamation lauding the Chandler United Methodist Church longevity and continued good works in the community. The luncheon, at Tumbleweed Recreation Center, is sold out.
Chandler Methodist church to celebrate 100 years on Sunday
By Coty Dolores Miranda Special for The Republic | azcentral.com Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:06 PM
The year-old city of Chandler wasn’t much in 1913. Cotton, alfalfa and wheat fields ringed the downtown that included the Bank of Chandler and the Eastern Railroad Depot, and the San Marcos Hotel.
But there was another bit of history made Jan. 20, 1913, when some new residents, including Rev. Kramer M. Gilbert, Bessie Gilbert and their family, celebrated their first Sunday as the Chandler Methodist Community Church. It eventually became Chandler United Methodist Church.
On Sunday, 100 years later to the day, the founders’ descendents, newer members and friends are scheduled to celebrate their church’s centennial at a special 9:30 a.m. service in their newest location, 450 E. Chandler Heights Road, which has been the congregation’s home since 2008.
It will be followed by a noon luncheon attended by Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, who will present an official proclamation lauding the church’s longevity and continued good works in the community. The luncheon, at Tumbleweed Recreation Center, is sold out.
Alex Knox, a lifelong member whose ancestors joined the church in 1914, will present a historical review of the church titled, “Chandler’s First Church.”
Knox, a U.S. Airways pilot and great-grandson of founding member Thompson Alexander Knox, will recall how his ancestor, a Scottish orphan, immigrated from Canada to Chandler with friends John and Wesley Dobson.
“I can’t believe the risks my great-grandfather took to come to Arizona,” said Knox, representing the church’s fourth generation of the Knox family. “He gave us such a wonderful foundation.”
The congregation first began meeting in an “old flap church,” a 26-by-40-foot wooden structure on two downtown lots on West Chandler Boulevard. The building’s name comes from the canvas window flaps that were lowered in cold weather, pulled up during warmer months.
Though from the start members planned a more imposing edifice “built of brick and cement,” for the next 44 years, with modifications and additions, the “old flap church” served the congregation until a new mission style church grew up around it.
The flaps were replaced by windows in 1938, and the building was sold for $1 to a Mormon congregation and moved to Maricopa in 1959.
Former state representative and senator James Sossaman’s maternal grandparents were also charter members of the church. “Like many, my grandfather grew alfalfa and melons which he would sell to the Indians. He’d get his wagon loaded and go 6 miles south. He also drove a horse-drawn school wagon,” said Sossaman.
His wife, church historian Sue Sossaman, is co-chairing the CUMC Centennial. “It’s been a privilege to be a part of this congregation for so many years,” said Sue Sossaman, who married James 57 years ago in Chandler Methodist’s second church building.
Like others, Alex Knox said the centennial celebration is as much a send off to the next century as a marking of the past. “We have our challenges ahead of us for the next century, but I think we’re up to it,” he said.
Information: 480-963-3360, chandler methodist.org.