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"For those who Influence Public Opinion,"
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Sunday, June 25, 2006

More About Ascension Church

Church of the Ascension (SE) 702 Osage Neodesha, KS 66757
We are also affiliated with and share Vicar and Deacon with Ascension Church

There are several things Ascension and Epiphany share
in their respective
histories and I have now received more history on the Neodesha church to be
shared with you. My thanks goes to Clark Thompson, a member of the vestry
there for making these details available.

For one, Ascension began meetings in April, 1876, just a few years after the founding of the town of Neodesha, in 1867.

Epiphany began in April, 1872, just a dozen or
so years after the town of Independence got started.

For two, one of the founders of Ascension, Amanda McCartney, wife of Dr. Allen McCartney, was one of the founders of the town of Neodesha.

While J.A. Eisenberg, the fellow who held the organizational meeting of Friends of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Independence was not a
founder of the town of Independence, he was rather 'highly placed' and a very respected leader in the community.

For three, the earliest meetings of Church of the Ascension, like the earliest meetings of Epiphany
were held in many public halls around town; also the hotel parlor, other churches, and sometimes in private homes.

The first year of Epiphany's existence was the same kind of thing; public halls around town,
other churches, even for a month or so at City Hall. But after a year of that, we had our
original church home, at 8th and Laurel Streets. Ascension would go on for a few more years in
'borrowed spaces'.

There is no indication that Ascension suffered the same 'black out' period that Epiphany suffered,
but the notes from Clark Thompson do tell us that Ascension did have a 'flourish of activity' in the
early 1900's as did Epiphany. Considering that the church was recognized as a mission in May, 1899,
I am led to believe they probably had a bit more activity going on than we did in those days.

It was not always Church of the Ascension. The original church in Neodesha was named
Grace Church , which was a very common name for Episcopal (and other denomination)
churches in that era. In 1902, the name was changed to Church of the Ascension. On the other hand,
we have always been 'Epiphany' since our beginning.

A church member gave them a piece of land on 8th Street (in Neodesha) for a church, but the Neodesha
vestry decided to not build on that land and they sold the land. The street name there is still 'Church Street'
however. Instead they chose to build at their present location at 7th and Osage Streets. They laid
their cornerstone on July 2, 1903
, and moved in early in 1906. The construction took over two years since it was done on the 'pay as you go' method.

Epiphany began to wake up from its quarter-century 'nap' about that same time, in 1903.
Our 'full resurrection' would take place over the next year. Ascension completed building its church in
1904, as Epiphany was really getting into motion.

From May, 1899 when the 'Grace Church' mission at Neodesha was recognized until November 23, 1905
when 'Church of the Ascension' was well under way, the number of communicants grew from 8 to 46.
People in town saw them building the new church, they were interested in what they saw, and
wanted to be part of the action.

In 1872, the rolls show we had 12 communicants at Epiphany. In 1904, the rolls show us there
were 65 commuicants at Epiphany. So you might say we were two small rural churches which pretty much
grew up together.

Ascension was consecrated March 17, 1908 by Bishop Millspaugh, but they had
services in the building as of February, 1906. Ascension did have resident
priests at one time, and it was only in the 1950's that the present arrangement
-- sharing priest and deacon with Epiphany became the standard.

More about Ascension in another message.



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