We were pleased to receive the following stories from Dan Nebert and his sister Rosella Nebert Grafton concerning their memories of the old Community Church which was on Garden Home Road and Royal (now 71st), where the one-story professional building is located.
I recall having attended a few religious services at the Garden Home Methodist Church.
However, my fondest memories were of the ping-pong table––in a room on the second floor (north end). With my classmates Dick Hyslin and Al Clerc, we were able to sneak in through an unlocked window on Saturday afternoons when it was too rainy to play basketball in the outdoor tennis court at the grade school. Usually there would be a Saturday game of “pick-up” basketball (two-on-two, three-on-four, etc.), sometimes as long as from 9 am until 4 or 5 pm. Some kids would go home briefly for lunch; many of us die-hards could survive all day, playing basketball while extracting enough energy from a midday Hershey bar (5¢) and root beer (10¢). Or bringing a sandwich from home.
Mostly in the wintertime, as I recall, around the years of 1949-52, when it was too rainy for outdoor basketball, we’d play “round-robin” ping-pong in the Methodist Church for HOURS––at least from maybe 1 o’clock after lunch, all the way until almost dinnertime. And, of course, our parents never queried closely as to how we had spent our afternoons. We never got into any trouble, and we never left behind any traces of food or garbage. Therefore, the church window at all times seemed to remain unlocked, so that we were always able to enjoy our rainy Saturday afternoon ping-pong games.
by “Danny” Nebert, 2015
Dan’s sister Rosella has a very different memory from about 1938 when she was about 8 or 9 years old.
Someone that belonged to the church asked me to a picnic at Oaks Park. I went and had a wonderful time. During the depression we didn’t get to go to places where money was spent. This was special for me. I was asked to go to Sunday School the following day. I went, hoping for something exciting. The janitor asked me if I would like to ring the bell the following Sunday. That sounded more fun than Sunday School.
The following Sunday I arrived early, climbed the stairs or ladder, grabbed the rope and swung back and forth, making the bell ring. WOW! Then I looked down and the janitor was looking up. I had a dress on. All girls wore dresses through the 1940s. I swung to the ladder or stairs, climbed down and ran out the door, jumped on my bike and pedaled home as fast as I could. That was the end of my church activities.”
by Rosella Nebert Grafton, 2015
Reviewed by Elaine Shreve, December 2015
From Warren Cook, Feb. 2010:
The Garden Home Methodist Church was the hub of youth activities in Garden Home. The Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) group was a viable youth organization that was very healthy up through the mid-1960’s at both the old church on Garden Home Road and 71st, and at the new church building on S.W. 81st South of Garden Home Road. The church closed as a Methodist Church in the 1980’s and it now a Korean Church and home of the Oregon Korean Foundation. Pastors (1950’s and 1970’s at the Methodist Church were Miss. Ethel Williams, Mr. John Wood, and Mr. Willard Norman).