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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Landmark Baptist Church - Indianapolis, IN

My father was the Pastor of Landmark Baptist Church for over 30 years. He started his pastoring in a little converted house. They then moved to a large church on the corner of Raymond St. and Perkins.

My Father wrote this:

The City of Indianapolis brought an end to the old church building. Raymond Street, a major east-west artery in Indianapolis, was widened to four lane, which came about the middle of the old building. The city offered us a ridiculous price and wanted us out immediately. We had no choice but to get an attorney and things dragged on and on. Before it was over four lanes of Raymond Street ran up to both sides of the building with a little detour around it. We even made the newspaper as the church in the middle of the road.

We were in a bind and had to build a building, quickly! We scoured the south-east side of town for land to build on. Nothing. We could not find a thing. Then, the land beside the old building became available. From then on things fell in place, well sort of. We wound up with three acres of ground a full block wide on Raymond street. We floated a $150,000 bond issue, got the plans drawn and went to work. Space will not permit me to go into even a few of the major problems we had. As a sample, our contractor went bankrupt with our building unfinished, a recession had hit and we were not able to sell all of our bonds, and, creditors were hounding us for the unpaid materials the contractor had used in our building.

The day finally came when we had to be out of the old building. We had held an auction and sold everything out of the old building we did not take with us. Like the stained glass windows, kitchen cabinets, light fixtures, etc. We moved out one day and the next day the building was gone!

We moved into the new building on the first Sunday in November 1974. There were no windows and no ceiling in the building. We had plastic over the holes and two propane heaters that sounded like jet airplanes. We were still not warm. We put a piece of plywood on some concrete blocks for the pulpit and our old pews were on bare cold concrete floors. I have no idea how the people stood it that fist winter.

Of course we were meeting in an unfinished building. The building inspector came by one day and threatened to put me in jail if we had church in the building again. I told him to be there at 10 o'clock Sunday morning, because we would be there. Well, he didn't show up, and, as a matter of fact, I never did see him or any other building inspector after that.

The next couple of years were spent trying to finish the building. Our people worked night after night. Very slowly it took shape. I thank God for such faithful people. It took years but we finally had a beautiful new building.

There are many fond memories of the new building and again I would not even attempt to list the people that came into our lives, most of them for the good.

My father was right when he said there were fond memories. I remember not only having my grandmothers there, I had many grandmothers.

Even though I was born an only child, I had many friends that was as close to me as brothers and sisters. Friends even today that I still have a close relationship with.

I was never a perfect child. I was a spoiled child. Not only by my parents and grandparent, but by the members as well.

I remember way back when, my father and his best friend at the time dressed up as women, for a costume party. It was so funny. If I find those pictures, I will post them.

My father was the pastor for over 30 years, he never asked during his time for a raise. When he left Landmark to go to Macedonian Missionary Service, he was making 12,000 a year. He worked on everything. If something broke he would fix it. My father knows how to fix about anything.

The church was broke into on several occasions, there was one time that sticks out in my mind. This person broke out a back window and climbed in, for what ever reason, one of our janitor closet door had a handle lock on it, but it was installed backwards and I guess this guy got spooked and locked himself into the closet. The He must have kicked that door for hours trying to get out. When he did finally get out, the then took one of our large coffee makers and took a crap in it. I guess that was pay back for his sore feet.

There was this cold icy winter Wednesday night, when all was quite, actually we was getting ready to go to night service. A very large crash sound was heard. I ran to my bed room window excepting to see a crash at Raymond and Perkins St. There was nothing. I was really surprised. We all got ready for church, and headed out the door. The church was right next door to our house. When we got to the church, we saw a car sticking out of our church building. My father and I ran for the building. My mom and grandmother went back to the house to call 911 and start calling everyone not to come to church.
My father and I ran to the car, the man was laying over on his door, his face was up. The door to the car was locked and we couldn't get in to the car. The car was still in drive and the the motor was still running. As we were trying to get into the car to get the guy out, the fire department pulled in, we guessed that someone else called them.
The fire department got the guy out and tried to revive him. They sent him to the hospital. The Fireman said that it was a good thing that no one was in the church at the time.
We found out later that he had a massive heart attack and died at the light, drove over the ditch and up into the building.

The high school class had a contest, and the the captains that lost, had to eat their lunch on the roof of the barn. And that is just what they did. There was several contest like that. It was quite fun to watch.

We had a special guest on time, if you remember him, His stage name was Cowboy Bob. He was on the t.v. every day, He brought his horse with him. I actually have a picture of me on his horse.

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