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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

March 26, 2010


A month ago I received a call from the editor of Dublin Village News. He wanted to know about the earliest of the Dublin churches and wondered if I could help and I said that he had come to the right place. I told him that the earliest of the Dublin churches was this church, Dublin Community Church. When asked if I would write something about our history I said that I would be glad to do so.

Sometime in April, my article which relies heavily on the work of our historian Dick Termeer, will be in the newspaper. You can read it then.

Of course, in the article, I told how we began in 1811 and how the Methodist church began in 1808 and how the Presbyterian church began in 1815. I told of the terrible tornado-like wind which destroyed the Methodist church and heavily damaged the Presbyterian church. Relying on Dick Termeer’s writing I wrote about the three churches merging into one, called Dublin Community Church. And I mentioned Rev. Washington Gladden who inspired the merger.

It is an interesting history and I am proud to be a part of it. We can write about names and dates and tornados and how the little village of Dublin became the dynamic city of Dublin, but I still think it is difficult to actually imagine what this town must have looked like.

I mention in the newspaper article that the dirt road in front of our church in the year 1877 is now four-lane paved highway 161. Have you ever tried to turn west out of our parking lot at rush hour? (It’s hard enough turning east…with the flow of traffic. BUT, I will maintain that one of our greatest assets is that we are in the middle of the city with thousands driving past daily. Our Gladden Chapel is visible to all, and its steeple is an icon for the community…but I digress.)

I try to imagine just what Bridge Street (hwy 161) looked like without restaurants and trendy coffee & confection shops. Later I was on the City of Dublin website and I clicked on “history” and immediately saw a picture of Bridge Street. I imagine it was taken near the church and it is looking east, across the bridge over the river. I think the bridge is the predecessor to the current bridge. (When they built the “new” bridge in the 1930’s, they built it alongside the old bridge and then tore down the old one.)

The photo shows a home across the river where Tim Horton’s now sits. Behind it is a hill which is just farmland; today there is the auto dealership. The street is dirt. In place of Starbucks and La Chatelaine are barns and an old wooden wagon. On the north side are a couple of mailboxes about where J. Liu’s sits. Not a horse or buggy on the road. Just dirt.

It’s surprising how much more descriptive the photo is than mere words. It’s also surprising how that dirt road and little village could have turned into what we have today. And yet, in the midst of it all, Dublin Community Church still stands and remains vital to all who pass by.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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