From Staff Reports
This past Sunday the Presbyterian Church in Prosper played host to past, present, and future members as they celebrated the church’s 135th birthday. They were joined in this celebration by Prosper dignitaries, members of the Prosper Historical Society, and many friends.
Following the morning’s worship service everyone gathered in the front yard for the official unveiling of a state historical marker commemorating the church’s service to God and community.
As the group gathered to see the historical plaque unveiled, Mayor Ray Smith said, "This is great. Wow! One hundred and thirty five years; that is just amazing. In government we talk about infrastructure a lot, because it is important to the city’s health and growth. As a city Prosper has been blessed with many good churches."
Bill Hays, a local historian and President of the Prosper Historical Society said, "This is a great day for the Presbyterian Church and all of its members."
Hays commented on the fact that the church been moved twice, once from Rock Hill Road to what is now the church’s front yard. Then in 1939 the men of the church dug a basement and then moved the church building on top of the new basement. It’s just amazing what people can do when they put their minds to it.
Pastor John Fowler introduced Joann Slaven saying, "Joann is one of the founding members of the historical society, serves on their board of directors, and is a good friend. She is also one of the people most responsible for making this marker a reality.
In her remarks before the unveiling Slaven said, "Getting this marker was a long time dream of my late friend Juanice Stanton. She was the one that got the process started and provided much of the information need for the application to the state for the historical marker.
"It was a long and tedious undertaking, but throughout the process she was constantly prayerful and always hopeful. Unfortunately God called Juanice home before the marker became a reality, but I am sure she is looking down at her beloved church and smiling as we dedicate this marker. This church truly is a special place and filled with special people."
Fowler then called on Gene Mullendore and Ethel Bell, both long time members of the church, to unveil the historical marker. Gene Mullendore’s husband Rev. F.K. Mullendore served as both mayor of Prosper and pastor of the Presbyterian Church.
Bell, a self-confessed Connecticut Yankee said, "I have always admired the way this church makes people feel welcome. There are so many really, really wonderful people in this congregation and I enjoyed my time here."
After the marker was unveiled and the pictures taken, everyone moved back inside for snacks, fellowship, and of course, ice cream cake.
Martha Hammers, one of the church members, commented as she was putting the finishing touches on the snack table, "It isn’t every day you get to celebrate a 135th birthday or anniversary and so we decided to celebrate this one in style."
Then after some fast mental mathematics she added, "Think about it for a moment, our country was just over 100 years old when a group of twenty-six faithful men and women started this church. That means we have been a church here in Texas for more than half of our country’s life."
Later, as it came time to say good-bye to family and friends, Fowler took a moment to thank all the members of the congregation for their faithful dedication and hard work saying, "This place and this congregation are special in every regard because you are all very special people. The Presbyterian church in Prosper has a long history but God is not finished with us yet and the best is yet to come."