Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church

    4222 Mt. Clinton Pike, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 - 540-867-5117 -  Email

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Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church

Celebrating it's 275th Year !!!!!!!!!

January Courier entry:

The Steering Committee of the 275th Anniversary Celebration of Cooks Creek is planning a number of opportunities for celebration and learning about our early history, recall of more recent history, and renewing of old acquaintances during 2017. A Homecoming is being planned for Sunday, October 15, 2017. We would like to get this date out to current members as well as to family and friends who once had a connection to this church but have moved away or now attend another church. We need your help in getting the contact information for us to send them a Save the Date card and then a more specific invitation later. A box with index cards will be in the entrance to the fellowship hall and the sanctuary. Please take one for each of your children, sisters and brothers, friends, etc., who should get a Save the Date card, whether you think they will attend or not. We want to touch base with them.
Write the following on the index card:
Phone Number
Put the completed card back in the box or give it to Mary Ann Brown, Donna Kay Ritchie, or Bea Morris as soon as possible but no later than February 19, 2017.
Without your help, this would be an impossible task. Thank you in advance for making October 15, 2017, a true Homecoming.

February Courier entry:

Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church is celebrating the 275th anniversary of our 1742 founding during 2017, and we are excited about our history and longevity. On behalf of the Cooks Creek Anniversary Celebration Team, we'd like to make you aware of some of the activities and events that are being planned for 2017, and how you can be engaged and help. We want to celebrate our history with pride and, in addition, educate our members about the church history. We want this to be a joyous occasion for all of the church constituencies, including the Golden Fellowship, the Youth of the Church, Presbyterian Women, the Choir, the Men of the Church, the Session, Teams of the Church, and other groups, and we are encouraging all groups to use this anniversary theme in any programs that are scheduled for this year. Here are some of the general ideas and highlights so far: 1) Commemorate our history throughout the year with a major homecoming celebration scheduled for Sunday, October 15, 2017, and a luncheon after the service. We have even talked about planting a time capsule at this event. 2) Have a joint church celebration with Mount Olive Presbyterian Church, tentatively scheduled in the Fall of 2017. 3) Invite ministers who have been associated with Cooks Creek to provide a message on Sunday mornings with a luncheon to follow. We have secured the Rev. Don Bolls to speak on Sunday, April 30 and are in conversations with Rev. Emily Miller and Rev. Walter Canter to also return. Perhaps Reverend Evans would return later in the year to re-visit the pulpit? 4)Have a series of presentations on the history of our church conducted by regional church historians. 5) We have had a suggestion box placed in the church for you to give us recommendations on what you'd like to see happen, and we appreciate what we have already received. 6) Messages of historical significance will be placed in future church bulletins and upcoming Couriers. 7) Provide the church with updated addresses for your family members as we will invite them to attend events, especially the main celebration on Sunday, October 15. Feel free to provide that date to all of the Cooks Creek family. We are continuing to meet and plan, and would welcome input from members of the congregation. This is a celebration for the entire church and we want our people to be engaged and enthusiastic about our history and what we have done for the church community. With Reverend Evans leaving Cooks Creek, we are weathering another change, but we have dealt with changes for nearly 300 years and continue to move forward. Cooks Creek is made up of hearty souls who evaluate change as opportunities for positive results, and we have had a history of great leader- ship and a desire to work together. Let's celebrate our history in 2017! Cooks Creek Anniversary Celebration Team Wallace Brown Mary Etta Cornett Gloria Miller Bea Morris Nancy Myers

March Courier entry:

Years 1916-1955/56 When the present Sanctuary had been built in 1912, it was lighted with Kerosene lamps, some of which were hung in brass brackets on the walls of Cooks Creek. In 1919 a secondhand Delco Lighting Plant was offered to the church and installed. But in 1927, a new electric lighting system was installed. This same year it was voted to install electric lights in the Mt. Olive Chapel too. Look up in the choir loft on each side and also in the vestibule where you enter into the sanctuary, you will find the lamps in their brackets. They are used today on special occasions. A beautiful reminder of Cooks Creek Church sanctuary and how many lives were brightened by their glows. 1918-1926 November 24, 1918, the first Thanksgiving Day Service was held in our church. By 1921, a new Cemetery plot was bought across the road and in 1926 an iron fence was put up around the cemetery. A Harvest Home Day was observed each year from 1910 until 1923. Members of the congregation brought their produce from the farms; bushels of corn, potatoes, wheat, apples and more were sold. The money from the sale was used for a specified benevolent fund. Harvesting the gift of love for others has always been a part of Cooks Creek. In the early 1930's, Cooks Creek Church made apple butter for the Orphanage at Lynchburg, VA. The young people gathered the apples, women prepared them and the men helped with the boiling of the apples in large copper kettles. All ages worked together for the needs of children in the orphanage. In 1943, Mr. and Mrs. M.H. Myers presented the bell in the tower to Cooks Creek Church. This bell had been given to them by the Edom Presbyterian Church When the Edom church was dissolved by the Presbytery. After the bell was reconditioned by Presbytery, it came to rest and ring at Cooks Creek. The bell was rung seven times each Sunday morning at 11:00 am. This bell today is still located in the bell tower but it no longer rings on Sunday morning. Look up as you enter the main entrance outside the sanctuary and you might hear faintly, the memory of a distant ringing bell. In January 1945, Miss Sarah Lacy sailed to Brazil as an Educational Missionary from Cooks Creek. Sarah began teaching in the Gammon Institute in Brazil. In October 1945, the church began a Sarah Lacy Missionary Fund. The offering for this fund was taken twice a month in Sunday School classes. December found Cooks Creek sending $100.00 for purchasing Bibles and Testaments for the missionary in Brazil. Sarah Lacy was the daughter of Rev. Clarence Read Lacy, D.D. Minister. Rev. Lacy was the minister of Cooks Creek Church from 1928-1935. Miss Sarah Lacy resigned from the mission field in 1951. Sarah married Gilbert Miller and they had one daughter (deceased), and two sons. Sarah died June 12, 2012, at Sunnyside Retirement Community. Her husband, Gil, recently passed away on February 8th, 2017, at Sunnyside Retirement Home. Homecoming Day was held at Cooks Creek on July 20, 1951. The new electric organ and the newly erected Fellowship Building were dedicated at this homecoming. August 12, 1956, brought another Homecoming Day in which the congregation celebrated its 200th Anniversary. It had been 214 years since the church was organized. Attending the 1956 Homecoming picnic on the grounds were more than 400 persons. Former members from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, South Dakota and descendants of former pastors made it a very memorable occasion. Through these years at Cook Creek Church, families, with God and His many blessings, have given us many memories to enjoy. Praise be to God! Nancy Myers, CC Historian *Historical facts taken from Cooks Creek Presbyterians- by Kate McChesney Bolls and Bennett Harmon Powell THOUGHTS AND REMEMBRANCES Since we at Cooks Creek are celebrating our 275 years as an organized Presbyterian Church; I'm going to dare and maybe be somewhat philosophical and submit a few writings on some of the people who have been a part of our church family. But first, have you ever thought about how some person or persons have influenced your life? Why even God recognized that; read Genesis 1:31 which says God created the earth and said that it was good; but in chapter 2 He realized something more was needed for a complete creation so he made Adam and Eve and the billions since. I remember Mr. Bolls saying many times, When God has a task to be done He selects a person or a people to carry out the task. Think about how true it is in the make up of the Bible stories. Therefore in the first writing, I choose to dwell on the Pastors who have served Cooks Creek. Long before 1935, cooks Creek had a string of Pastors which I am sure served the church well; just observe their pictures as you enter the sanctuary and better yet, read about them in our history book; Cooks Creek Presbyterians-A Heritage of Faith by Kate McChesney Bolls and Bennett Harman Powell. Since all of the above were here beyond my memory and I'm sure most everyone else's at Cooks Creek, then I'll only write about, shall we say, more recent ones. Rev. H.G. Allen, 1935-1943 and 1950-1958 Certainly, Mr. Allen was a people pastor. He was easy to know, gave you the feeling he cared about you and the church in general. He was not only highly respected in the church but also in the community. In fact the church loved him enough that he was invited to return and serve a second time. His sermons were Bible based and much scripture was quoted, and were delivered with his unique style. Being raised in southeast Virginia, that southern accent was most pleasing! Visting in the homes, hospital, etc. was an important part of his ministry. During his time of service he served both Cooks Creek and Mt. Olive which required two services each Sunday morning, one following the other. Upon retirement he established his home in the Mt. Clinton Community. The Mt. Clinton School experienced a tragedy when a seventh grade girl took her own life, which the community felt was the bad teaching of a young teacher. Mr. Allen was asked to complete the teaching for that grade that year. He did so; calmed the situation and finished a successful year. The other members of his family were his wife Elizabeth, son Guthrie and daughter Betsy. Submitted by Wallace Brown

April Courier entry:

So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord. You know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless I Corinthians 15:58 1955-1965 The Church on the Move In 1955, the Cooks Creek Church sold the cottage at Massanetta Springs. It was moved to another lot and a new cottage was built on land east of the auditorium. Youth Camps, Men and Women‘s Conferences, and Bible Conferences, saw the cottage occupied for weeks and weekends during the summer. The cottage was sold on April 13, 2011 due to inadequate attendance and maintenance concerns. But in our memory there lie many joyous and spiritual times at the cottage. In 1958 the Cooks Creek congregation voted to adopt the rotary system of Elders and Deacons. The Session was to be composed of 12 elders, divided into 4 classes of 3 elders each to serve a four year term of office. The Diaconate was to be composed of 16 Deacons, 4 in each class and to serve a four year term of office. Elections would be held in November. The congregation felt that this would allow more men to have the opportunity to serve as an officer. Today the session uses the unicameral system of 15 men and women who hold a 3 year term. The year 1959 brought about the arrival of a new minister. Rev. Allen Richard (Dick) Bolls, and his family of a wife and 2 sons, moved into a new beautiful manse. The manse, a Cape Cod two story house, was located on 33 West. It was paid for and dedicated in 1959. This was not the first manse building. Three ministers of Cooks Creek have resided in the Route 33 West manse; Rev. Dick Bolls, Rev. Rod Spillman, and Rev. Larry Kline. The manse was sold around the year 2000. 1961 was the year that Cooks Creek employed the services of a Seminary student, Marvin L. Simmers, who assisted Rev. Bolls at both Cooks Creek church and our sister church, Mt. Olive Chapel. We have been blessed through the years to have Rev. Donald Bolls, son of Rev. Dick and Kate Bolls, Rev. Emily Miller, daughter of Ronald and Gloria Miller, and Rev. Walther Canter, son of John and the late Deborah Canter, graduate from seminary and enter the ministerial realm. Rev. Donald Bolls has been a Presbyterian minister for 35 years in the Pennsylvania area and as of 2014 he is at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist n Munhall, PA. Rev. Emily Miller is Director of Recruitment and Administration at Louisville Presbyterian in Louisville, KY. Rev. Walter Canter is the minister at Blue Ridge Presbyterian in Ruckersville, VA. From 1963 to 1965 the Building Planning Council submitted plans for a new Educational Building and recommended action to be taken for renovating the existing Education Building as well. In addition to classrooms, there was to be a Library room and Prayer room. A Sanctuary Committee consisting of 2 Elders, 2 Deacons, and 4 women, were elected in the Spring of 1964. They were to study the needs and submit to the congregation suggestions for improvements in the sanctuary. The church was on the move. In the year 1965, a new Education Building had been completed, the Fellowship Building had new heat and a new coat of paint. The Sanctuary Committee continued its improvements to the sanctuary and the future of Cooks Creek looked bright! From 1965 to the present day, no one has compiled and written the continuing history of Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church. Informative articles and pictures of Cooks Creek activities and events have been compiled by the many historians of Presbyterian Women. The new History Room, added with the New Fellowship Hall in 2008, has many artifacts and memorabilia of our history on display. Our heritage of faith through the promises of God continues. The congregation of Cooks Creek is made up of people who are warm and friendly with a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. Reflecting their concerns for one another, the church continues with a caregiver group of lay pastors and many other mission programs. Active programs for outreach include; The West Rockingham Food Pantry, Feed the Flock, Mt. View Elementary School Back Pack Program, Open Doors for the homeless guests who are sheltered for two weeks during the winter months, Church World Service participation through the Women's Program, Dick Miller Fund and numerous other outreach programs. The Golden Fellowship, CW circles, Music Program of an adult choir and handbell choir, Sunday School for youth and adults of all ages, and Bible studies, are all a part of the life and work of the church. Our staff, consisting of an Administrative Assistant, Sexton, Treasurer, Choir Director, and Organist, provide the strength and support to keep our church in a well functioning manner. At the present time, the church is searching for an Interim Pastor to be a servant leader for and with them as they seek an installed Pastor. A former Cooks Creek pastor, Rev. H.C. Allen wrote; May we not be satisfied to rest upon the achievements of the splendid yesterdays of the life of the church and the labors of our fathers. Our noble spiritual heritage should ever be the inspiration challenging us to a higher and purer living and a more devoted service to Christ and His church Cooks Creek Presbyterian church, as a community of believers, has a rich distinguished past and a challenging future to spread God's Word in the service of the Lord. Historical facts taken from Cooks Creek Presbyterians by Kate MaChesney Bolls and Bennett Harmon Powell. Nancy Myers, CC Historian