spring 2009 big plans



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by Jody Bresch

The Mars Hill Church Board voted to do some landscaping around the newly rebuilt log cabin church. There was discussion about putting in a sidewalk and a widened conrete entrance into the church. That project was completed in the fall of the year.

Another project finally became reality this fall as well. The board had long researched plans to put in a surveilance system at the church. Finally, around the middle of October, a camera was installed over the front entrance to the church. It is a motion activated program hooked up to a computer system. It was exciting to realize this long-term goal had finally been realized.

A concrete pad for a port-a-potty has also been installed behind the church. It's large enough for a handicapped accessible port-a-potty. It is finished and will be available for the 2010 annual meeting.

Chinking is going to be an ongoing maintenance issue for the board and plans have been made to chink again before snow flies. Another interesting development has been the influx of lady bugs that have found their way into the church. Board members are removing them by the trash can full. We can only hope frost will put an end to this chore at least until Spring when a new horde of the little insects will probably emerge.



by Jody Bresch

Fire. Church. Mars Hill. These were the words people heard in March, 2006, on TV.

Devastation, heart broken, disbelief, who, why -- these were the thoughts of Mars Hill Church board members that day. How bad is it? Is it a total loss? Can it be rebuilt? If so, how, and at what cost?

Then they met to survey the damage. Where could they start?

But, start they did, contacting a Minnesota company that appraised the damage and estimated the rebuilding cost. After many meetings and much prayer, they made plans. But God already had plans of His own. There were people on the board who stepped forward to begin the fundraising auction. God had people waiting in the wings to join with the board. People came forward to help with different fundraisers, food, raffles, band concerts, and an auction was planned.

An architectural draftsman offered to draw up plans and take measurements of the structure before it was taken apart. There were many more who wanted to help, and help they did. Every time something was needed, God had someone who somehow stepped forward with a donation of material or money to help with rebuilding cost and labor.

The board put in much time organizing things, arranging the fundraisers and getting the word out about what was happening and when.

But it was you, the people who showed your love and faith that the church would be rebuilt, by your attendance at fundraisers, auctions, raffles and soup suppers, byyour support and attendance and donations.

The board is now gathering information, pictures and stories about Mars Hill so we can compile a book about Mars Hill and the people who knew it in the past. We as a board are looking for any information that is out there that you would be willing to share. Photos and articles will be scanned and will never every be out of your control. If you have any, please contact someone on the board.

A garage sale fundraiser is planned the first part of May. We will start taking items after April 15. We can pick up or the items can be brought to 1829 West Main Street. We are asking that no clothes be brought. They do more good taken to the Salvation Army Store.

The following work still needs to be finished: Windows to be made and installed; a door to be constructed and hung; ceiling boards put up; flooring; landscaping; fencing; and a security system installed and completed.


The annual picnic meeting and rededication of the church is planned June 8. The service will begin at 1:30 P.M., rain or shine. Senator Sennis Black will open the ceremony. Jr. R.O.T.C., Ottumwa, Iowa will perform the Presentation of Colors. The National Anthem will be sung by the Living Waters Quartet. The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Senator Becky Schmitz. Senator Keith Kreiman will give the Introduction of Special Guests. Lt. Governor Patty Judge will present the Medal of Honor to John Donaldson. Senator Dennis Black with give a brief history of John Donaldson. The Ottumwa American Legion & V.F.W. will give a 21-Gun Salute. Jerry Fitck will give the Presentation of the Flage. Sgt. First Class Jeff Six will perform Taps. Dedication of Grave and Benediction will be by Rev. Henry Lippert.

Then the church dedication service will begin with a Call to Worship and Acknowledgements by Don Bramschreiber. Then there will be a hymn led by the Living Waters Quartet. Don Bramschrieber will lead a Rededication Responsive Reading. Rev. Dave Albert will give a brief Meditation and Prayer. Tom Shadonis and the Living Waters Quartet will sing Tom's "Mars Hill Song". Jody Bresch will give the Keynote Address, followed by a hymn led by the Living Waters Quartet, and Rev. Henry Lippert will give the closing Benediction.

Many things are in the planning. This is a day which you won't want to miss!

Benjamine Post, Treasurer

Mars HIll Board

Donald Bramschreiber, Chairman of the Board

The Legend of Mars Hill

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

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

Jody's Blog

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).

Mars Hill Church Home Page