Maiden Lane Church of God, Part 4: 1978 and on

As I mentioned at the end of Part 3, a new pastor arrived at the church in February 1978, just seven months before I left for college. Thus, the things that happened under his wing occurred while I was basically out of the church. I visited the church when I came home from school breaks, but the only way it continued to be a part of me was through historical significance, and the fact that all of my family members still were a part of it.

The pastor that arrived just as I was leaving stayed for nearly 20 years. During those years, he revived the wheezing patient and built it into something dynamic again. Also, a new music minister was hired, one who was outstanding in his abilities, and he grew the music program tremendously. They even had a Christmas program in which the choir sang in a giant Christmas tree--yes, the tree was so big the whole choir could fit into it. It was really an awesome thing to see. Also, during this senior pastor's tenure, all those old church buildings were torn down and a new building was built, one that was much more functional. Gone are all the little secret rooms and passageways, but the new building is much more practical and of course, modern. It was a long time before they ever got another youth minister, but to my knowledge they have consistently had one in recent years.

As I dropped in on the church during my visits to Springfield throughout my adult years, I could sense changes slowly occurring--changes for the better. There were so many new people that I hardly knew anyone anymore. The church seemed to once again be buzzing with life. Throughout the 1980s, nothing changed in the church services themselves, though. They continued to be uninspiring to me overall. The first time I really felt change in this realm was in the late 1990s when I happened to be at the church on Easter Sunday. I was amazed by how at last, the church service had become more contemporary and interesting. The point that really did it for me was when they had interpretive dancers with swirling banners in the aisles all through the church, dancing for one glorious song. This was a church that in my day couldn't even stand a little syncopation in a melody, couldn't stand a drum set, and in which dancing itself was an absolute no-no. Now all that ridiculous bickering seemed to be clearly in the past; the church had released itself from the shackles of nitpicking and learned that there are many ways we can worship Jesus. I was really happy to see the church that was dying in my formative years be revived to this glorious point.

I guess now Maiden Lane has both a traditional worship service and a contemporary one. I have not visited the church since they began these, so I don't know what it's like these days. But I'm glad to see that the church didn't die, that it didn't let the people who refused to change take over (actually, a group of them left and formed their own 1950s-forever congregation), but that people persevered to ensure that the church stayed relevant to the times without compromising the truth.

(I wrote the four parts of this series on Maiden Lane in the late 1990s for a website I planned to build, but never got the website built.  It is now finally appearing for the first time on the web via this website 10 years later [November 2009].)


IMPORTANT NOTE: As with all churches in this section, please remember the following points:

1.All descriptions of the churches reflect my own observations and interpretations at the time I attended; these descriptions are not intended to be objective. The main purpose of these writings is to reflect on the effect churches had on my spiritual journey, thus the focus is my experiences at the churches and not an objective reporting of the churches themselves.

2.Keep in mind that churches, like any organizations, change over time. The descriptions I list describe the churches at the time I attended, but the church could have changed immensely since that time, for better or for worse. These writings are not for the purpose of helping one decide whether the church is one they should or should not choose; the church may be completely different by now.

3.Any criticisms put forth in any of my writings on the churches are not meant to be objective criticisms to be answered by the church, but rather, they are merely my opinions of the church at the time I attended there, and how those experiences and my opinions of them shaped my spiritual journey.

Churches I’ve Regularly Attended is a sub-website of J Lee Harshbarger’s personal website.  To visit other sub-websites, click the links below.

All about music!  My Annual Music Awards, my music Hall Of Fame, and other writings about music and musicians I like are found here.../Music_Central/Welcome.html
An index to my writings about movies, books, and the media in general, such as news coverage and media bias../J_Lee_The_Media_Critic/J_Lee_The_Media_Critic_Index.html

My political and religious beliefs, and my commentary
 on society and politics.../Society_Central/Society_Central_Index.html

Photo albums from some of my travels outside of Michigan.  Eventually I hope to include travelogues too.

                     Various photos
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What does it mean to follow God?  What should the church be like?../Pondering_God_And_Church/Statement_Of_My_Religious_Beliefs.html

A list of all the churches I’ve attended, plus full stories about some of them. Churches,_Part_1.html


Stories about churches I’ve visited,_Part_2.html
The “Home” section: my front page, the descriptions for each of my sub-websites, and the descriptions of all the places where I hang out on the web.../Bananaleaf_Central/Front_Page.html