(Photo by Dan Whitney)
Congregation member Frank Brodale asked Pastor James Steen if he could draw a model of the Bethlehem church to scale, and get a committee together to build a replica of the church to use as a float. Steen thought that sounded like a great idea.
The project got underway this past winter and several congregation members have donated their time, talent, and material to this project.
Harold Peterson took an old farm wagon he had, and removed the box, leaving a flat rack , upon which the model church would sit. Brodale drew up a plan for the church, using a 2/3" to 1 foot scale. Pat and Lynette Hyndman took digital pictures of the stained glass windows in the church, and enlarged the pictures to the correct size to meet the scale being used. Kent Wenck did some specialty sawing, provided the building in which the float would be constructed, and will be building the bell tower. Dale Cline did the scroll sawing required; Robert Allen worked on the roof (which has asphalt "shingles" , closely resembling the color of the actual church shingles) ; Roger Mummert and Denny Allen have done work on the flat rack to make it more sturdy; and Carolee Cline provided artistic advice and suggestions to the builders. Congregation secretary Cheryl Hasenwinkel contributed a variety of clerical skills, such as getting the lettering for the float.
In addition to the stained glass windows and asphalt roof, the wooden church was painted to resemble the bricks of the church. Dale Cline was responsible for doing the stenciling to achieve this appearance. Working lights were installed, contributing to the effect of the "stained glass" windows.
The crew has been working on the float for several months, and have only the bell tower and "landscaping" to finish. Brodale feels it should be ready in time for the Sesquicentennial parade - its "maiden voyage", if you will.
The completed structure, a labor of love, will be 8' x 3'5" x 3.'5" , and should be a part of Cherokee parades for years to come.