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Archive of: Religion

Better Babies Conference May 1929

The Pantagraph and Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, sponsored a three-day “Better Babies Conference,” May 7-9, 1929. Seen here are participants gathered around the registration table at Second Presbyterian. Seated is Nellie Motherway, president of the Holy Trinity School Parent Teacher Association.

Unitarian Church of Bloomington 209 N. East St., undated

Unitarian Church, undated.

Seen here is the old Unitarian Church in downtown Bloomington. This building was torn down in late 1959. Today, the downtown PNC Bank occupies this site.

Mennonite Church of Normal 908 S. University St.

Old Mennonite Church, undated.

Seen here is the old Mennonite Church of Normal when it was located on South University Street. This photo is undated, but the fact that University Street is unpaved tells us it goes back a few years!

Father Ric Schneider Named 2016 History Makers Honoree

Since Father Ric Schneider arrived in Bloomington to become the pastor of St. Mary’s Parish 23 years ago he has built St. Mary’s into an institution that contributes to the well-being of the entire community, serving the needy regardless of faith.

Lost Church First American Baptist of Normal

First Baptist Church in Normal, 1972.

Once Normal’s oldest church building, First American Baptist was located at the northeast corner of School and Mulberry streets. It was built in 1870-1871, making it 130 years old when it was torn down on September 26, 2000.

American Passion Play Behind the Curtain, 1963

American Passion Play, 1963.

The American Passion Play, staged in Bloomington since 1923, is the oldest such retelling of the story of Christ in the nation. Seen here are last-minute preparations during the 40th season, which opened on Sunday, March 24, 1963.

Fourth Generation American Passion Play, 1961

American Passion Play rehearsal, 1961.

he American Passion Play, staged right here in Bloomington, is the nation’s oldest such staging of the story of Christ. Seen here is five-year-old John Aldridge during a rehearsal. His parents Jack and Carol Aldridge were also Passion Play performers. And appearing in previous seasons were both his grandmother and great-grandfather.

Second Presbyterian Church block Pre-Parking Lot Mania

Aerial view of the Second Presbyterian Church, undated.

This undated aerial shows a section of the east side of downtown Bloomington prior to the loss of much of the built environment to surface parking lots. Everything in the L-shaped blue box is gone, replaced by surface parking for State Farm Insurance and Second Presbyterian.

Lost Treasure of Bloomington First Church of Christ, Scientist

First Church of Christ, undated.

Designed by Bloomington architect Arthur L. Pillsbury, this Classical Revival-style First Church of Christ, Scientist featured a Greek temple entry and a copper dome, making it one of the most distinctive buildings in the Twin Cities. It was located at the southwest corner of Prairie and Monroe streets (Monroe no longer runs between East and Prairie streets). The church remained the home for local Christian Scientists until 1979.

American Passion Play Backstage Laughs, 1954

American Passion Play, 1954.

Every spring Delmar D. Darrah’s theatrical retelling of “the greatest story ever told” is brought back to life on the local stage. The American Passion Play tells the story of Christ and his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. The former Scottish Rite Consistory Temple has served as the play’s home for all but one season. Seen here are actors (left to right) Stanley K. Norton, Gus Winker, and Walter Berg at a late March 1954 rehearsal.

Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church Bloomington, June 9, 1940

Baptist Church, 1940.

Founded in October 1865 as South Hill Baptist Church, Mt Pisgah Baptist Church has played an important leadership role in the local African-American community for 150-plus years. Seen here is Mt. Pisgah’s previous home at 701 S. Lee St., which the church built and opened in 1915-1916.

Halloween Traditions

These place cards were among many Halloween party favors found in 2009 residing in a wicker trunk in the attic of the Lewis Green Stevenson House at 1316 E. Washington Street in Bloomington.

Although there are several theories regarding the origin of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, its roots can be traced back to the ancient Celts of Ireland and Northern England. The Celtic New Year begins on November 1st and the festival of Samhain (pronounced “sow-win”) is celebrated on October 31st to mark the end of harvest and the beginning of winter.

Halloween Party, 1939 Holy Trinity Parish Kindergarten, Bloomington

Holy Trinity Parish Halloween party, 1939.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church's afternoon kindergarten class enjoyed candied apples among other treats during this Halloween Day 1939 party.

Photo of the Week, 109: American Passion Play, March 1956

American Passion Play, March 1956

Conceived by Bloomington resident Delmar Darrah, this local production of the American Passion Play is the oldest continuously performed Passion Play in the United States.

Photo of the Week, 49: Church League Hoops, ca. 1916

Photo of the Week, 49: Church League Hoops, ca. 1916

This photograph, circa 1916, shows the church league basketball team from Grace Methodist Episcopal (now Grace United Methodist) Church in Bloomington.

Photo of the Week, 30: Gertrude Fifer and Grandson Joe Bohrer

Unitarian Church, Downtown Bloomington. Easter Day, 1932.

Photo of the Week, 28: Waaaaaa!

Seen here are Sisters M. Eligia Trumper (right) and M. Aloysia Plum in the newborn nursery at old St. Joseph's Hospital, back when it was located on Bloomington's west side. Note the stork in the back corner and the Christ Child statue opposite Sister Trumper.

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