Cheyenne First Christian Church - History Part 2
In June 1952, Rev. Borgaard resigned. Rev Robert L. Bell arrived and preached on January 15, 1953. On Palm Sunday, 71 new members joined the church. Sunday School attendance was 540. On Palm Sunday 1955, the new sanctuary was dedicated. Weldon Borgaard began a long ministry as choir director in 1959. Rev Bell resigned January 11, 1961. Rev. Archie Stevenson began ministry on October 15, 1961. In 1962, FCC Cheyenne was honored as one of 60 congregations in the U.S. and Canada giving 10 to 15% of total receipts to Unified Promotion. January 1966 was the 40th anniversary of the church, and in October they made the final payment on the sanctuary and burned the mortgage. In 1966-67, FCC gave 25.1% for Outreach, with 24.1% given to Disciples Ministries.
The 1970’s began the “me” generation. Churchgoing had been decreasing. The Christian Action and Service Committee took boxes of cookies and candy for Christmas to the prisoners in the local jail. 1973 was a continental wide evangelism program called “Key 73”. The Disciples of Christ was one of 130 church groups participating. The men circulated tapes of each Sunday service to shut-ins. February 1974 was professional training for teachers and leaders of the church. October 1974 brought a new Allen digital organ. November 1974 Needs, Inc. occupied the second floor of the Education wing.
In 1975, the Year of Women, the board voted to have women serve as elders. A task force began to plan for the 50th Anniversary celebration: “FCC Remembers the Past – Prepares for the Future”. The three-month celebration began in October at the site of the first meeting. Writing the 50-year history was begun; fifty years of struggle and triumph. This was the mission statement: FCC accepts as its purpose a balanced program, including (1) a mutually supportive ministry to its members and their families; (2) a vital ministry of evangelistic ministry to non-members; (3) an outreaching ministry of service to the community and the world.
Rev. Stevenson wrote: “We are the beneficiaries of those who saw the need and the opportunity for this church and of all those, who for fifty years, have given their loyalty and their commitment of time, effort, and financial resources to help it grow in witness and service to the world. As we greet this future of God, time will tell if we have been faithful and conscientious in our preparation and support.” As you can see, this is only half of the history of this church, still only skimming the surface. Stay tuned for a later installment in a future Bell newsletter.