By Angie McDonnell
This July marks 100 years for the Lindsey Memorial Presbyterian church, set in motion years ago by Rev. E. J. Lindsey, a missionary to the Indians, who had a desire to establish a Presbyterian church in Martin, SD, the county seat. He began with small services held in a school house. By 1914, funds poured in from those affiliated and nonaffiliated in various proportions. Those who were unable to donate money, donated their time and effort. Later that year, the first chapel was built. On July 1 and 2 of 1917 the Presbyterian church became official. On April 5 of 1926 the church was officially incorporated under the name Lindsey Memorial Presbyterian church, after its founder.
Just four years later, in 1930, a new church basement was completed and it was decided that the old church was to be remodeled to make for a manse. An all day service held on September 19, 1949 conducted by Rev. John Giesbrecht. Mervin Lindsey involved the laying of the corner stone for a new church, which became dedicated on May 7, 1950 and is currently still used today. The current manse was built in 1958, after much discussion and hard labor.
Since then, numerous events pertaining to the church have happened and various pastors have served. Its grown in its own ways and has seen both easy and difficult times.
In celebration of the 100 years, Saturday, July 1, 2017 an open house will be held at the Lindsey Memorial Presbyterian church from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Later that evening, in the Martin City Park and in conjunction with the fourth of July celebration, the church will be providing cotton candy, a fish pond, and face painting, free of charge.
On Sunday, July 2, 2017, services will be held at the church itself beginning at 10:00 a.m. Former pastor, Ben Whitfield, will be in attendance and the choir will have their own special presentation of songs through the ages. Afterward, a shared meal will be provided at the new American Legion. Everyone is welcome to join and stay for another unique program following the meal, entailing recognition of the 100 years and the sharing of the history of the church to make for a memorable celebration.
“It’s not just a church celebration, its also a community celebration,” says Betty Olson, inviting all to take the time to attend and be part of the honorable, remarkable, and historical events.