If one were to page through the photos of our Sunday School Program in the mid 1950’s, you will see that every nook and cranny of the sanctuary, annex and social hall was filled with Sunday School children and adults. Within the sanctuary, many classes met in various areas of the balcony, their teachers trying to maintain the interest of their students while contending with noise traveling from one class to another. The Sunday School had become more than a complement to our church, it had become a vital component. After years of planning and construction, the October 18, 1964, dedication of the New Sunday School Complex was the culmination of the dedicated financial support from a vibrant congregation. Through multiple campaigns, incredibly generous donations, the grace of God and professional participation from accommodating contractors, we completed the new addition costing $144,341. In today’s dollar value, that amount would equal $1,195,500. While some may have considered this a lofty dream, the Jordan congregation considered the expansion absolutely necessary. Those on the building committee who exerted endless hours of their time and talent included Ken Feinour, Sr. (Chairman), Harold Shellhammer (Secretary), John Duddek (Treasurer), Charles Faust, Harry Kemp, Charles Kistler, Paul Kressly, Elmer Kuhns, Robert Kuhns, Sr., Willis Kuhns, Howard Lichtenwalner and Righter Shriner. Samuel Bond (father of a respected member, Curt Bond) acted as the Architect and Harold Blacker oversaw the construction. This fine building provided multiple classrooms having air walls including one area that boasted an operational Fireplace, an abundance of washrooms (well beyond the two comfort stations and outhouse that existed previously), a dedicated pastor’s office, choir room and nursery. The exterior design complimented our historic church building and the discriminating eye would appreciate how the arched porch post facade mimics the arches incorporated within every church balcony window. The west end exterior wall of the Sunday School addition was completed having only stucco in lieu of brick in anticipation Jordan could easily expand in the future. Within 10 years, the mortgage was paid in full. Indeed, Jordan was blessed to have a new facility that supported Christian education at Jordan.
In 1983 a committee was formed to redecorate our sanctuary and narthex in celebration of Jordan’s 250th anniversary. This extensive renovation was initiated and completed under the watchful eyes of Mr. & Mrs. Bill Weber (Co-Chairpersons), Mr. & Mrs. Donald Beach, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Demarest, Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Feinour, Mr. Dale Hahn, Mr. Gilbert Keller, Mr. & Mrs. Sonny Laudenslager, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Miller, Mr. Jim Morgan, Mr. & Mrs. Karl Schleicher, Mr. John Thirion and Mr. Bruce Stettler (General Contractor). The Ecclesiastical Arts Dept. of Fortress Press was hired and submitted plans for the renewal of the narthex, sanctuary, and chancel while being diligently respectful of the history of Jordan. Through the outpouring of faith and the generosity from many members, beautiful items in our renovated Sanctuary were purchased and memorialized. Within one year over $116,000 was pledged toward the final renovation costs of $165,000. On November 24, 1985, the Jordan congregation celebrated the reveal of a new altar complete with refurbished railings and stairs, and a gorgeous canopy over the pulpit highlighted by the glorious Reredos (decorative backboard beneath the canopy) which remains the focal point of our classic renovation. New historically influenced brass chandeliers and sconces were added, antiphonal organ speakers installed, narthex enhancements including cabinets and half circle window were added, carpeting was laid and the complete rebuilding of a critically fragile ceiling required the immediate attention of our contractors. During the renovation, the painting that had graced the wall behind the pulpit was carefully removed and relocated to the Memory Room wall where it remains and is appreciated today. It has been claimed that a historical painting had been discovered behind this canvas, hidden for decades and forgotten. If one were to remove the current Reredos, a portion of this undated image may be revealed. The Rededication Service was officiated by Reverends Ralph Eberle, Donald Brown, Willard Weida and Edith Roberts (Assistant to the Bishop).
By 1990, a level of excitement was intensifying at Jordan as our congregation had made the commitment to add a massive addition to the west end of the Sunday School building. The committee comprised of Larry Hahn (Chairperson), Curt Bond, Tom Daniels, Janet Firestone, Glenn Hahn, Linda Honald, Mr. & Mrs. Willis Kuhns, Sonny Laudenslager, Ronald Leabold, Dave Mancke, Harold Shellhammer, Bruce Stettler and Barb Thirion. The committee spent close to two years scrutinizing the plans and blueprints. The committee visited a plethora of churches and college field houses that boasted large multipurpose gathering spaces. The check-off list for essential components within the addition included: enlarged administrative offices, a fellowship hall large enough to accommodate large gatherings, a well-equipped commercial kitchen, Sunday School rooms, a conference room, ADA bathroom facilities, an elevator providing barrier-free access to all floors, additional parking and a platform from which concerts and productions could be appreciated. The building offered two entrances where all could enter with ease, a critical component of this addition. The original price tag of $1.6 million was deemed excessive by the committee resulting in several components being removed or diminished, allowing for a savings of $300,000. If this facility were to be built today, the price tag would be $2,379,130. The completed Family Center complex was and continues to be a respectable gathering area within the vast Jordan Valley. In addition to our congregation enjoying this enhanced space for our use, there are a plethora of community organizations and clubs that are enjoying our Family Center on a regular basis. It is not unusual to drive by our facility to see our center being occupied by our community most nights of every week. Sharing some interesting facts about the construction of the new addition, the expanded footprint of the Family Center encroached over several historical graves. The decision to relocate select gravesites was published in all required publications notifying the public of our intentions. The church received no objections to this process in large part due to the age of the graves. Reinterring these graves was conducted with respect and reverence overseen by Pastors, funeral directors, contractors and witnesses. Another fact worth sharing, the south wall of our Family Center has been built to meet the criteria of being earthquake resistant, a requirement our contractors were compelled to accommodate. This area of the Family Center has been designated our gathering location in the event occupants within our church were under the threat of high winds, tornado activity or earth tremors. A contemporary enhancement incorporated within our facility was the rug design that had been chosen and installed on our Family Center floor. In 1992, this was considered a revolutionary new concept for college field houses where basketball, volleyball and soccer was played on a regular basis. The rug material, being of a dense nature, has performed well for all the sports activities within our facility and has provided us with a lower decibel level during our gatherings. Local and recognized bands have used our facility as their recording chamber, in large part due to the impressive acoustics. Our impressive Family Center facility was dedicated on September 22, 1992.