May 15, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
The Ward Chapel AME or African Methodist Episcopal Church was pastored by Reverend Alvin Haskin in May of 1879. The first chapel was a wood framed building on the corner of 9th and Jefferson Streets. There was a coal stove in the center of the church to provide heat. At first the worshippers had a small pump organ, but as the congregation grew, they acquired a piano. The parsonage was a small five room house located at 208 West 9th Street. The women of the church were active in supporting the church. They sold dinners for 35 cents and soda pop for 5 cents a bottle at EVERY gathering or celebration. The “Windows Mite Missionary Ladies” whose name was later changed to the Arry Williams Missionary Society met on Wednesday afternoons. During the winter months they quilted and in the Spring they would have a dinner and bazaar and sell their quilts. In the late 1920’s, the church was remodeled to include a balcony and improvements were made again in the 1930’s. In 1966, the property at 908 North Jefferson was purchased and this became the church parsonage in 1971. The old parsonage was razed in 1978 and the site became a church parking lot.