Loula Long Combs
Louise Overman
Chapel Christmas
Chapel Speaks

by Louise Overman
(circa November 2000)

My husband Jack Overman, and I, Louise Overman, started attending Longview Chapel in the summer of 1967. The minister at that time was Cecil McGee. He was only a part-time minister as he also sold insurance. He and his wife, Alice, did work very long hours for the church. Alice sang in the choir and she and Georgiana Graham sang duets. One I especially remember was "Ivory Palaces." Donald Roelke was our organist and Choir Director. I sang in the choir as did Leah Burch, Pearl Crawford, Inez Sparks, and Mrs. Purtle...just to mention the ones I can remember.

I do remember that one year in the summer, Frank and Linnie Gwynn had a party for the choir. I believe they served us fresh peaches, cake, and ice cream. So even though we were small and not too "professional" we were appreciated by some anyway.

Christian Women's Fellowship (CWF) met in the daytime and since I was working at the time, I could not attend. [I did attend after I retired.] CWF did a lot of things for the church. At our annual Chili Supper [held on the Monday night closest to St. Patrick's Day], the CWF had a bazaar table that took in quite a bit of money. Velma Baker always contributed many craft items that she spent all year making. Many others donated crafts and other items as well. Velma was always in charge of the bazaar table and one of the other ladies helped out.

Hazel Falk, as long as she was alive, was always at the door collecting tickets and money for the chili. Frank Gwynn made the chili. We generally ran out before the night was over, but he would not make any more than usual, because that is what his recipe called for. Many years Del Cul donated all the hamburger for the chili. Anna Scherer, after she moved to John Knox, always sold tickets at John Knox and brought a bus load out to the church for chili. We had so many people that we had them waiting in the chancel and they would send down people as there was room. Phil Danhauer kept the people in the chancel entertained with slides of church activities. George Ziefle spent most of the night directing traffic in the parking lot. It was a money making project, but a great fellowship was enjoyed along with the hard work. We still continue our annual Chili Supper and still have great fun and fellowship as well as hard work.

Phil and Rosie Danhauer are the only members still attending Longview Chapel that were when Jack and I started attending. I have many wonderful memories of all those who have gone to their great reward and feel great sorrow for Bertha Bishop and Virginia Ziefle who are both still alive but are in care centers.

I am glad our church has grown and that we have so many young couples and children. I think that was my greatest concern when I started at Longview Chapel because we had so few young couples and so few children. It is wonderful to see how enthused the children are and I know that our future is in good hands.

I believe it was in 1975 that we had a fire at the church. The church was struck by lightning and while it was being repaired we had church services at the Mansion. One winter we had no heat for a few weeks and we had services at the Longview College.

Our first full-time minister since I have been attending was Gerald Brown. He had been a part-time minister for a few years but then we hired him full time. His wife Susan also sang in the choir. He had three children…Patricia, Mark, and Bobby.

After Cecil McGee, we had Herbert Davis...then Gordon Masters and Gerald Brown. After Gerald we had Bill Butts. His wife, Marlene, was our Choir Director, and really helped our choir grow.

It was Frank Gwynn who wanted us to change our name to Longview Chapel Christian Church. I am not sure what year that was changed, but it was voted on and we have been Longview Chapel Christian Church from that day to this.

Some of my fondest memories are of the special music the choir sang for Easter and Christmas. We had good times rehearsing and performing. Even though at times we were so small we sometimes had guest singers come to help us out, it was still a joyful time. Of course, after the Christmas Candlelight service we also had Santa Claus who visited us in the Fellowship Hall. That was always special too.

Note: This memory was shared at our 85th Celebration in November 2000 as one of those from our longest attending members.

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