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"The Little Church By the Park"


category : Historic Churches
In 1909, a little white frame church was built on an acre of ground donated by Ernest and Mary Love. It was called New Hope. Around the year 1920, country people began to have automobiles and went to town quite often. They thought it was time to join the town Evangelical Church, so the New Hope Congregation requested to become a part of the Cozad Evangelical Church. In 1921 the little white frame church was sold for $500.00 to a new group called The Christian Science Society and moved to Cozad on 10th Street north of the Cozad City Park.

On the day it was moved to town, it passed the home of Ernest Love where he lay very ill. He had given the land for the little church and he loved it dearly. As the church passed the house, his family lifted him up to the window so he could watch it go by. It had served its day. The world had entered a new phase, the era of speed and the automobile.

The first Christian Science Society services held in Cozad were around the year 1896, at the home of James S. Beardsley. In 1921, services were moved to the first official edifice, the little church that had been moved in on the north side of the park. It was called the Christian Science Society Church connected with the Mother Church in Boston.

The "Little Church By the Park" is a good example of early churches and early church philosophies. When it was New Hope Evangelical it was the center of most social activities. Not only were there services on Sunday and Wednesday nights and weddings and funerals, but it was used for Ladies Aid Society, Quilting Parties, Potluck Suppers, Box Social, birthday and anniversary celebrations and all types of parties that did not include dancing. When it became a Christian Science Society Church, the service became more austere, and it was never used socially, not even for a wedding, and funerals were never held in the church.

The Cozad Christian Science Society church began to lose membership in the 1970s and eventually closed in about 1981, but it had been an active church for sixty years. The building was purchased in 1983 from the First Church Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts by the Robert Henri Museum and Historical Walkway Foundation so that it might be preserved as one of the earliest churches in the area and one that was consistently used from 1909 to 1981 by two congregations. It will be used as a chapel and meeting place for small gatherings, and will be known as "The Little Church By the Park".


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