HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Port Richey Community Church
The church building was originally the Port Richey School until 1920. Information on the history of the school can be found here.
An announcement in the New Port Richey Press on Dec. 2, 1920, reads:
The building, which was located at 7801 James Clark St. in Port Richey, was demolished on Aug. 30, 2005.
Port Richey Community Church (1985)
The following article was taken from a pamphlet titled “The Port Richey Community Church 75th Anniversary 1910-1985.” The writer is not named.
The property on which the building is located was deeded to David Hope & Nannie Yulee in 1876 by The President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, the property and building were acquired on March 29, 1906, by H. R. Nicks. In 1908 it became known as The H. R. Nicks Addition to the town of Port Richey. The building was used as a place of worship and a Community Building. In 1910, H. R. Nicks leased the building to The Board of Public Instruction of Pasco County which consists of D. E. Wallace, W. S. Larkin, & L. J. Sellers. In 1919, The Board of Public Instruction gave back a warranty deed to H. R. Nicks. The land and building were deeded to The Snyder Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in 1920. Some of the names of the early church officers were J.. H. Sheldon, Miss M. L. Bailey, Wm. S. Carpenter, H. R. Nicks, D. H. Clark, Henry Remling, Freeman Leach and Frank Luikart. The Pastor’s yearly salary was voted at $536.00. H. R. Nicks sold the building to the church group for $1000.00 in 1920. From 1910-1940, the St. John’s River Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church supplied pastors to the church where services were conducted 8 out of 12 months of the year. Itinerant Methodist pastors filled the pulpit and carried on the work of the church. Some of the pastors were Rev. Evenden, G. H. Northrope, H. H. Black, A. Yingst, J. Custard, A. C. Koser, and from 1933-1940 Rev. A. A. Holzworth was the Pastor. Some of the early members were Frank Luikart, Freeman Leach, D. H. Clark, Mary Clark. Grace Clark, Corinne Clark, M. L. Bailey, H. R. Nicks, Esther McMillen, Edith Oleson, Wilma & Carl Albritton, Sarah & Margaret Holway, Mrs. R. De Walden, Adeline Ost, Maudie Ozzle, and Floyd Tibbetts.
On Sunday, January 21, 1940 Rev. A. A. Holzworth introduced The District Superintendent Rev. George Farrar. Mr. Farrar informed the church group that church services would have to be changed and either held at 9:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. or they could all attend the Methodist Church in New Port Richey. To this proposal the members objected for they felt it would mean the closing down of the church. So officially recorded they held a number of INDIGNATION MEETINGS and decided to withdraw from the Methodist Episcopal Church and still carry on the services in the H. R. Nicks School Building. A committee was appointed of W. E. Randall, Maida Uzzle, Frank H. Edwards, Lydia C. Holzsheiter, Hilda Petterson, and George E. Woodward. They presented a letter to the District Superintendent, Rev. Farrar saying inasmuch as the Willing Workers group of ladies had maintained and paid for The Port Richey Church in full, then the said Willing Workers Group would pay the sum of $35.00 to the St. John’s River conference to deed the building and lots to them. Mr. Farrar replied that it was an error to think that the church was fully paid for and some money was still unpaid and due. But they would come up with a sum so that the Willing Workers could purchase the Port Richey property. On February 19, 1940, they said the amount needed was $500.00. The Willing Workers decided they would raise the money needed to purchase the church. On March 29, 1940 the group met and decided that the church would be named THE PORT RICHEY COMMUNITY CHURCH. On April 2, 1940, Mrs. J. A. Barrett as president of the Willing Workers of the Port Richey Church by warranty deed filed in the Pasco County Court House did purchase the church and property. To raise money to pay for the church, shares were sold as Capital Stock at $1.00 per share. Some of the active members then were Anna Fleming, Mabel Post, Addie Clark, Mrs. J. A. Barrett, Maida Uzzle, Geo. Woodward, and Edward Ost. We have reproduced for you on another page a copy of one of the shares. Motion was made in October, 1941 that the Pastor’s salary should be $4.00 per Sunday. A number of preachers have filled the pulpit during the years.
From 1947-1958, The Rev. Charles G. Holcombe filled the pulpit for the eight months time and was dearly loved by all. In October of 1959, Rev. George Mellby assumed the pulpit. In 1961, Rev. Clarence Jacobsen filled the pulpit for a while, in 1961 Rev. Mellby came back and stayed until he moved North in 1963. Rev. Samuel Robertson filled the pulpit until April of 1965. In May of 1965, Rev. William McCart was asked to fill the pulpit for a few Sundays and he is the present pastor. The blessing of the Lord has been on the church for many years. Some of the active members were Esther and Fred Howard, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Stone, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Beuker, George and Alma Palmer, Margery Blair, Jeanette and Warren Hewitt, Roy and Frances Oldin, Christine Millisor, Geo. Stevens, Martha Oelsner, Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Mutispaw, The Roland Hoopers, Iona Jarman, Vere and Mamie Sutherland, Raymond and Helen Lawrence, The David Willsamers, Myrtle Patterson, Roy Baker, Edith Jensen, Verla Hamilton, Doris Bowman, Frances and Pauline Eymann, Forrest and Isabel Wineland and others.
On January 20, 1963 Holcombe Hall was dedicated in memory of Rev. & Mrs. Chas. Holcombe. Since 1965, the church has been completely remodeled. The interior of the sanctuary was completely changed. The platform was moved to the opposite end of the building. New windows were installed, new wallboard was put up, the floor was carpeted and a new drop ceiling was installed throughout the building. A sound system with adequate speakers was put in, and an air-conditioning and heating system was put in. This was greatly appreciated and really added to the beauty of worship in the building. New hymnals and a new organ were purchased and later on new choir robes. As an addition to Holcombe Hall a larger kitchen was made to better help in the Fellowship services and the pot-luck suppers. A new electric stove, a new refrigerator, kitchen cabinets and a stainless steel sink were added. A choir room with two new restrooms was added and a large storage room. A Pastor’s Study was provided with a Canon Copier Machine and a new Electric Typewriter to assist the Pastor in the preparation of sermons and bulletins. Beautiful new cushioned pews are in the sanctuary and were provided for by the donations of friends and members. The outside porches were replaced with concrete bases and wrought iron railings. A new lighting system, part of it donated, was put in throughout the entire building. The building was completely re-wired and made a great deal safer because of this. Around the building, a circular blacktop driveway and parking facility was made. The outside of the front and one side of the church was landscaped by a donation from a member of the congregation. The entire structure was covered with aluminum siding which makes it a rather attractive building. New drapes were hung throughout the building. New metal folding chairs were recently purchased and this helps in the work of the Christian Service Fellowship meetings once a month from September through May. They have taken the place of the Willing Workers group and they area a vital part of the church work. Every Christmas 10-12 needy families are provided with a Turkey & Grocery order amounting to about $70.00 per basket. We have occasional Pot-Luck Suppers and this helps in making us just one big happy family. We have, we feel, one of the friendliest churches in the area. Microphones to help the hearing impaired are at the pulpit, new offering plates and stands, new lighting fixtures, altar furniture are all gifts in memory of some loved one.
The work of the Port Richey Community Church has been carried on without ever having an indebtedness. We are unique in that we do not pass offering plates during the service, but Pastor McCart reminds us that the plates are at the doors as we leave and the contributions always meet the needs to carry on the church work. When a need arises and money is needed, the Pastor tells what is to be done and donations start coming in so that we can pay for every project when the work is completed. This has proven to be a very satisfactory means of taking care of the work of the church.
A few years ago we began the World Missions project… combining Home and Foreign Missions all under one. We started out with a monthly budget of $55.00. This considered a large sum to give to Missions since we had never done anything like this before. We are greatly indebted to Rev. and Mrs. Glenn La Rue, retired missionary members, for taking care of this until they moved from the area. Now Mr. and Mrs. John Hoyt see to its efficiency. In 1984, over $10,000 was contributed for our World Missions Project. We are now giving contributions to Overseas Missionary Fellowship, The South American Mission, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, The Sudan Interior Mission, Clearwater Christian College, Camp Gilead of the Childrens Bible Mission, D & D Missionary Homes of St. Petersburg, and Rev. Arthur Neetz a missionary to the Jew. We feel this has helped a lot in God’s blessing on the churches ministry.
We have a Sunday Worship Service at 10:30 a.m. and from January through April we have a well-taught Bible program for those who are interested. Occasionally we have a Sunday Evening Service with some well-known Musical group and these seem to be appreciated. We feel that we have a well-rounded ministry in the area.
Pastor Bill McCart and his wife Dot are happy to be a part of this wonderful church. We hope that this Seventy Fifth Anniversary service will be a blessing to you.
The present church board is made up of the following members: – Chairman – Neal Sleeper – Vice Chairman – William Walstrum – Secretary – Billie Nelson – Treasurer – Julia P. Morgan – Members at Large, Stanley Lachut, John Hoyt, Rev. William McCart, Donald Liomin, and Harold James.
LIST OF ACTIVE AND INACTIVE MEMBERS
Rev. William and Vivian McCart, Roy and Belle Baker, Billie and John Nelson, Josie Spillane, Muriel and Ernie Krautwurst, Mabel and George Smith, Verla Hamilton, Doris Bowman, Marie and Alfred Krallman, Pauline and Frances Eyman, Hazel Hoffman, Lillian Bauer, Myrtle Patterson, Thelma and Rollin Elmer, Mikey and Charley Moore, Irene and Neal Sleeper, Mary Morganthaler, Philip Morganthaler, Wendy and Martha Rose, Lorene and Kenneth Reed, Betty and Bill Wallstrum, Maxine and Don Liomin, Edith Jensen, Trudy and Fred Herrscher, Blanche Gough, Merle and Mary Naugle, Emil and Ruby Huber, Anna Schive, Dorothy May, Frank and Miriam Purinton, Fred Goepfert, Charles Potts, Fannie and Andrew Hicks, Elma Jean and Chester Pelz, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hartzell, Pearl Watkins, Rita Livingston, Clarence and Dee Rogers, Emmeline Ellis, Bernice Baily, Peggy and John Hoyt, Berniece Booth, Doris Dallier, Sadie Harshbarger, Priscilla and Stanley Lachut, Florence Sterling, Grace Bronner, Esther and James Carr, Rebecca Chapman, Pat Greenan, Julai P. Morgan, Amanda and William Holgate, Ella Miller, Mary Lambert, Anna and Harold James, Allie Wilson, Esther Howard, Kathryn Neukam, Mildred Schelper, Fannie and Merle Prichard, Grace and Plan Titus, Lenora Waite, Lora Whitney, Isabel Wineland, Nerah C. Wilson, Caroline Ahlander, Mildred Anderson, Garrel Sheets.
The Church Organist and Choir Director is Berniece Booth. Assisting in Communion… Bill Walstrum, Don Liomin, John Nelson, Frances Eyman, Head Usher … Alfred Krallman, Missions Treasurers …John and Peggy Hoyt, Pastor … Rev. William McCart.