50th Anniversary Fun Factoids

The land for our current church was purchased in 1962 by the Second Presbyterian Church congregation and was originally located at Rodney Parham and Highway 10. It was exchanged in 1963 by the Highway Department for our current site.

The vote by the congregation to move to Pleasant Valley was held Sunday, March 21, 1965. The vote was 293 for and 69 against.

The Second Presbyterian Church building at 3rd and Gaines was sold to the U.S. Government in 1966 for $406,000. However, we were allowed to continue to use the building until October 1, 1968. Apparently, however, the Pleasant Valley location was not ready in time, and we continued to use the building until December, 1968.

Construction of the current building on Pleasant Valley Drive began February 1, 1968 and we began moving in December, 1968.

On November 18, 1968, removal of the stained-glass windows began at the building at 3rd and Gaines. The last service was held in the building on December 15, 1968.

The last baby to be baptized at 3rd & Gaines was Tom Vanhook, son of Linda and Fred Vanhook, baptized on December 8, 1968.

Neil Hamill Park, the state’s first professionally-trained landscape architect drew landscape plans for the Pleasant Valley site. One interesting feature was the inclusion of a tennis court near the southwest corner of the property.

The Pleasant Valley building was paid off in December 1980 with a final payment of $133,374.00.

The building on Pleasant Valley Drive was designed by the Little Rock architecture firm of Wittenberg, Delony, and Davidson. Thomas (Tom) Gray was the lead architect for the project, and his house, which is located at 25 River Valley Road, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 18, 2018.

The capital campaign for the current building was called “Our Venture in Faith.” The goal was $750,000 and the pledges received totaled $833,242.

The first service in the current building was held February 9, 1969, and the building was dedicated on March 23, 1969.

In 1971, the Highway Department paid the church $57,187.00 for land to the north and west of the building in order to construct the exit ramp from I-430.

Wittenberg, Delony, and Davidson, the architecture firm that designed the building on Pleasant Valley Drive, was founded in 1919 as Wittenberg and Delony, Architects. George Wittenberg and Lawson Delony founded the firm, and it became Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson in 1946 when Julian Davidson became a partner in the firm.

Most Popular Hymns Sung in Worship (1969-1979)

1. Now Thank We All Our God
2. Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
3. Be Thou My Vision

Most Popular Hymns Sung in Worship (1980-1989)

1. Holy, Holy, Holy
2. Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
3. God of Grace and God of Glory

Most Popular Hymns Sung in Worship (1990-1999)

1. Lift High the Cross
2. Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above
3. God Is Here

Most Popular Hymns Sung in Worship (2000-2009)

1. Holy, Holy, Holy
2. How Firm a Foundation
3. Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

(Watch your newsletter for more 50th Fun Factoids in each issue.)

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