The celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Presbyterian Church of Dresden has been the hearts of the people for some months, which finally, culminated in a Congregation Meeting. The various committees were arranged for the assigned and the time set and "Our Centennial began" the week's service, Sabbath, September 28th, very fittingly with the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and the Text-1 Samuel 7, 12, "Hitherto Hath the Lord Helped Us"-which, ignorant of the Pastor's text, the Historian has also chosen.
The program for the week was most interesting and was planned by our most efficient Pastor, Rev. D. M Ogilvie and his able Coadjutors, J.W. Lanning, W.W. Shore, C.W. Stevenson, Hugh Adams and Robert Mortland. These, with their wives and Mr. Lanning's daughter, Miss Lettie, were also the Reception Committee to welcome the Home-coming guests.
On Monday, September 29th, the Choir gave a splendid Concert under the leadership of Messrs. S. Spencer and Harry Shore.
Tuesday, September 30th, P.M. Rev. F.B. Shumaker, a former Pastor, of Jeanette Pa., who had preached his farewell sermon, September 30, 1907, preached from Deut. 3, 4-7; "One hundred years old and the the eye not dim nor his natural force abated."
On Wednesday, October 1st, "The Presbyterian Family-Homecoming Dinner" was served to over three hundred guests. A word of commendation must be said. Never was a more capable committee appointed and as the whole Church could not be named, the Pastor announced that any lady who would assist would be very welcome. Many ladies not mentioned on the Committee came forward and served faithfully throughout the occasion. Such were the wise and willing-hearted Presbyterian women rendering the highest type of service. Mrs. J.J. Horn was the Chairman of this efficient Committee. Menu and service were fine and carried out like clockwork.
After the dinner came the speeches, the Pastor, Rev. D.M. Ogilvie, acting Toastmaster. Rev. Kenneth McLeod, H.J. Shore, J.W. Lanning, Mrs. R.B Longstreth and Rev. F.B. Shumaker were called upon. Rev. Shumaker remarked in his response, that he had "attended other Centennials, and this one was the best planned and best carried out of them all." Rev. Ogilvie then read the Regrets from the four points of the compass, getting the best of them all. Mrs. F.B. Shumaker, by request, sang a beautiful solo.
Then came the Church History of the One Hundred Years, by Mrs. T. M. Stevenson. Mrs. Stevenson endeavored to gather the laborers of the past, and their labors, the Ministerial Committee sent by the Presbyter of Lancaster (Ohio), to assist the little band of eight persons to organize the Dresden Presbyterian Church-three ministers, four men and four women, their names, and a brief biography of each.
Strange to relate, in the audience were grandchildren, of every Charter member or founder, and great-grandchildren of most and at least one great-great-grandaughter, and all these still faithful active members of the Presbyterian Church. Surly a wonderful record after on hundred years!
The Historian also gave the Apostolic Succession of the sixteen Pastors, beginning with Rev, Prescott B. Smith,1819, and closing with Rev. D.M. Ogilvie, 1919. She also named the Elders and date of ordination down to the present Session. Then the Missionaries: Mrs. Josephine Lemert Coffing, nearly fifty years in Armenia, and Roy Lanning, now for five years in China; the former, daughter of Laban Lemert, a former Elder, and Roy, son of J.W. Lanning, now an Elder. Then as our Representatives for Home Missions; Mrs. H.G.O. Cary, daughter of another Elder, John N. Ingalls.
Mrs. Cary organized the Zanesville Presbyterial Home and Foreign Missionary Society. She visited the Churches of Muskingum, Licking, Coshocton, Knox and Perry Counties, stirring up the Presbyterian women of all. Then for seventeen years served as President and as President Emeritus the rest of her life. She and Mrs. Coffing organized the Dresden Home and Foreign Missionary Society, which still exists, with Mrs. C.S. Frazier as President. We have had many, many faithful workers.
Mrs. Coffing also organized the "Mercy Drop" a Home and Foreign Missionary Society-a young ladies society-who raised more for missions than any society we ever had, and who at one time, gave more than any other society in this large Presbytery.
Mrs. T.M. Stevenson, of this Church, served for seventeen years as the President of the Athens Presbyterial Home and Foreign Missionary Society and two year as President of the Zanesville Presbyterial Home and Foreign Missionary Society.*
* notion in pamphlet Still a Vice President ( unsure of handwriting)
Then there was Mrs. F.W. Gorche who, besides organizing the C.E. Society, was President of the Auxiliary Missionary Society, a Sabbath School teacher and President of the W.C.T.U. Society. Our ladies never confined themselves to their own Church activities. Mrs. Mittie Cresap Senior hand the Junior Mission Band. Today Miss Mary Stump leads the Union Endeavor. Some of these workers have gone to their reward. We love and appreciate them and can never forget them and the blessing their lives have been. His work goes on and gathers strength from their example. For years Mrs. Alex Pruson was Auxiliary President.
Another activity of Christians which is sometimes forgotten was ministering to the Black Man. There was a transportation called the "Underground Railroad." It took a strong, kindly heart to open the doors to the black brother seeking the North Star. Mr. and Mrs. Pruson, Alex. Pierson and Rev. S.P. Hildreth had that heart and hand.
Truly hitherto hath the Lord helped us and will be with us always. This fortunate Church has grandchildren of its members in the ministry; Rev. Hayes Beeman, of Wooster, and Rev. John White, of the U.P. Church at Cedarville, Ohio; the former son of the late Rev. Henry Beeman, of New Lexington, and the latter of Rev. James White and Mrs. Amelia Wallace White, God hath not dealt so with any people.
On Thursday Evening October 2, Rev. Dr. D.W. McLeod, of East Liverpool, also a former pastor, preached upon the "Glorious Gospel." This was a unique service. H.J. Shore, for twenty years or more leader of the choir, invited all former choir singers-visitors- to take their old places. The choir was full to overflowing and and they added their voices with joy to the singers of the present choir, and Harry Shore wielded the baton with his old-time zest, and Rev. Dr. MacLeod preached in his happiest style.
On Friday Evening October 3, Rev. J.A. Speer, of Coshocton, gave a stirring sermon on the "New Era."
On Sabbath Rev. D.M. Ogilvie, our Pastor, finished this delightful and eventful Centennial Week with a wonderful plea for the future, from Joshua 1, 2: " Moses, my servant, is dead. Arise now, therefore, and go over Jordan."