Memories shared at UMC Unity Walk

CHURUBUSCO — Approximately 50 people from the Churubusco United Methodist Church walked to St. John Bosco Catholic church, former United Methodist Church, and then to the Christ Community Church, former Evangelical United Brethren Church, to share their memories of the church.

The Unity Walk on May 20 was in honor of the 50th celebration of the Evangelical United Brethren-Methodist churches’ merger when they combined to create the United Methodist Church.

“Decisions had to be made beforehand. The easy one was they would use the newer EUB church at the north end of Main Street and sell the Methodist Church. A new preacher would be found. A young married class was formed, and they chose the name of the Faithful Followers. As the years have passed, I couldn’t think of a better name for my beloved Sunday school class,” stated Phyllis Imbody.

“When the actual Sunday came for the Unity Walk in January 1971, I remember such a feeling of pride and good-will in our march down the middle of Main Street, which had been closed off for this walk. But the joy continued as we gathered in the sanctuary of that time, now Fellowship Hall. Both choirs joined in singing, under the direction of the elementary principal, ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ It brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps to my skin,” said Imbody. “It was a day to be remembered.”

Imbody wasn’t the only one recalling found memories of the original Unity Walk.

“I was present the day the Methodist Church and the EUB church joined to walk down Main Street to the new church,” said Dallas Parish. “One of the things I remember is that two of my children, DeAnne, age 10, and Darryl, age 9, carried the light from the Methodist Church to what was then the sanctuary, which we now call Fellowship Hall.

“My daughter remembers quite a lot about that day. It was a cold January day and she wore a red leather mini coat with a fuzzy type hat, complete with fur around the rim and furry balls on the end of the strings used to tie the hat. This was worn over a lace pantsuit. Her brother wore a navy-blue coat and black pants. DeAnne even remembers attending a meeting in the old church about a month before the walk. At the meeting, she said there was much talk about the church not having any youth, but that the EUB had a lot of kids. DeAnne remembers that she and her brother were the weekly acolytes at the Methodist Church because there were no other kids to do it. She remembers people saying the Methodist Church would die if something wasn’t done. A vote was taken at the meeting and the merger was approved. According to DeAnne, on the day of the walk, there was a ceremonial service at the church. She and her brother bound down the steps where a person handed them a bar with a light hanging from it. They led the procession with the two ministers, Reverend Pritchett and Reverend Kistler, along with the visiting district superintendent,” said Parish.

The May 20, 2018, re-enactment of the 1971 Unity Walk was a success, a blessing and full of memories as history was made again.

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