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Church Board



Restoration Plans


Brief History


Keynote Address



by Jody Bresch

The Mars Hill Church southeast of Ottumwa, Iowa was severely damaged by an arson fire in March of 2006. The Mars Hill Church Board sought the advice of the Iowa State Historical Society about proceeding with plans to restore Mars Hill Church. It was decided that enough of the church remained that it could be rebuilt, and it's historical integrity would remain intact.

So board member, Todd Smithhart, contacted a restoration company in Minnesota for initial bids to rebuild the historic log cabin church. Those initial bids came in at $104,000.00. The community and the board seemed to be of one accord. The plan was to raise the money it would take to rebuild.

Initially, we had volunteers step forward to help stabilize the building. An individual notified us that he had a log cabin house from the same time period the church had been built in, made with the same hand hewn logs, and that he would donate the logs from the house for our efforts if we would take the house down. Glen O'Dell did this job for us at a cost of $3,600.00.

Teresa Foster notified Jody Bresch that she had a historic barn from the 1920's that she would donate to the effort. When we investigated her offer, the lumber in the barn was in outstanding condition and Don Braumschreiber, Todd Smithhart, and Larry Crow salvaged enough lumber to replace the plank flooring and to replace the roof. Estimated value of this donation was placed at $5,975.00.

Funding Information


$1.230.00 rasied by E-Bay Auction of P. Buckley Moss Print.

$5,000-First Baptist Church, Ottumwa.

$2,300-Zion Church Donation.

$100-Floris Church Donation

$800-OHS Student Council

$150-Private Auction Toys

$2,757.62-Christmas Eve Offering, Oklahoma Heritage United Methodist Church

Total $12,337.62

Completed Fund-Raising Project:

$9,286.90-Auction Fund Raiser

$1,100-Fremont Lion's Club Breakfast

$533.00-Central United Methodist Church, Oskaloosa

Total $10,919.90

Donated Materials:

$5,975.00 Appraised Value of Teresa Foster Barn Donation For Floor and Roof.

$7,500.00 Appraised Value of Salvaged Log Cabin House Logs and Salvageable Logs from the The Damaged Church.

Total $13,475.00


$337.50 For Auction

$65.00 For Auction

$810.64 For Auction

$3,600-Salvage Log Cabin House

$800-Minn. Firm Travel Exp.

Total $5,613.14

Proposed Fund-Raising Projects:

*On-Going Pop Can Drive

Letters to businesses around the area to solicit donations - Completed

Contacting local and area churches asking them to take up a special collection for the Mars Hill Church - Completed

Soup supper and pie auction - Completed

Tenderloin supper - Completed

Hand-Hewn Log Pew Raffle - Completed

Christ's Church Benefit Auction - Completed

Fremont Lion's Breakfast - Completed

Central United Methodist Church, Oskaloosa - Completed

Festival of Lights - Completed

May 2008 Garage Sale - Upcoming

Ben Post Residence

1829 West Main Street

Ottumwa, Iowa

Treasurerís Report

January 8, 2008

Balance Forward - $5,109.65

Mars Hill Church account - $745.72

Balance - $4,059.65 (unencumbered)

$5,000 CD will mature 3/5/08

$10,000 CD will mature 6/5/08

Proposed Volunteer Work Day:

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007 9:00 AM - Completed

Mail Donations To:

South Ottumwa Savings Bank

Mars Hill Church Restoration Fund

320 Church

Ottumwa, Iowa 52501

or to

Joy Bramschrieber

Mars Hill Church Treasurer

13052 25th St.

Bloomfield, Iowa 52537

Other LInks

The Legend of Mars Hill

Mars Hill Church Burns (Ottumwa Courier, March 2006).

Restoration company brings hope to Mars Hill (Ottumwa Courier, June, 2006).

Mars Hills Auction A Success (Ottumwa Courier, March 2006).

Mars Hills Boards Board of Supervisors (Ottumwa Courier, January 2007).

Supervisors Put Support Behind Mars Hill Restoration Efforts (Ottumwa Courier, Wednesday, January 24, 2007).

Starting Work On Restoring Mars Hill Log Church (Ottumwa Courier, Friday, March 23, 2007).

Building and Rebuilding of Mars Hill Log Church (Ottumwa Courier, Monday, April 30, 2007).

Generosity Rebuilding Mars Hill Church (Ottumwa Courier, Friday, July 13, 2007).

Mars Hill Getting Ready to Reopen (Ottumwa Courier, Wednesday, May 28, 2008).

A New Start for Mars Hill Church (Ottumwa Courier, Monday, June 9, 2008).

Mars Hill Log Church Dedication Video (Ottumwa Courier, Sunday, June 8, 2008).

Jody's Blog

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