The Davis County Historical Society is inviting the public to a “Cross Lighting” Ceremony at the Savannah Christian Church on the grounds of the Davis County Historical Complex at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1.
The cross on the exterior of the church was replaced Nov. 9, and will be lit for the first time on Dec. 1 by members of the former Ladies Aid Society of the church.
Prior to turning on the lights at 5:30 p.m., church memories will be shared, a Davis County High School Quartet will perform Christmas carols, and refreshments will be served.
Cherri Casteel of the Historical Society says the ceremony will be a tribute to the many members of the church throughout the years.
The following is Casteel’s summary of the church’s history:
The Savannah Christian Church has served the community since the late 1800s.
Around 1887, Brother Dan Hastings was the minister. He lived in Floris and drove a team of horses on Saturday to Savannah, staying with the Henry Fixes. Meetings were held on Saturday evening, Sunday morning and Sunday evening. He returned home on Monday.
The current Savannah Christian Church was built in 1902. The land it was built on was purchased from John and Jane Graham for $25. The people came to church by way of horse and buggy. At the time of the dedication, Bloomfield Christian Church’s minister, Rev. Wickizer, preached the dedication sermon. Among the early ministers at the Savannah Christian Church was Rev. M.F. Hartley.
The church’s Charter members included: David Sanderson, Mr. and Mrs. James Melvin Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Tom Botts, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Botts, Carolyn, Alma and Maude Tillison and Mrs. I. Dabney.
In 1952, a basement was excavated under the church and a heating system installed. These improvements were dedicated by Brother Quentin Johnson, minister at that time.
Many events were carried out in the church. Such as: Sunday school picnics, vacation Bible School, annual Easter breakfast, and the annual Christmas programs.
The church also had a ladies organization that raised money for the church by having food stands at household sales and auctions. The name of the organization was “The Savannah Ladies Aid”.
The population of Savannah, as well as the church congregation, decreased throughout the years.
By June of 1998 the few remaining members voted to offer the building to the Historical Society rather than close the doors and letting it deteriorate.
The final service was held on Sept. 20, 1998.
The church was then moved to the vacant corner lot at the Museum Complex.
Some of the furniture is from the original church, but much of it has been donated by people from other churches.
The Savannah Christian church still serves the community. It is a place to hold funerals, weddings and many organizational and social meetings.
Several deceased members of the Savannah Christian Church had memorials made to the church, even after it was moved to the Historical Society.
Part of the 150th celebration was the unveiling of the two stained glass windows designed in memory of Ronald Brunk, Ray Fort, John Dale and Gleam Dabney and Estell “Dutch” and Hildred McMains.
The church is maintained by members of the Davis County Historical Society, and on Nov. 9, the old deteriorated cross on the front of the building was removed and a new one installed by Brett Warning, Wally Fowler, and Will Farley.
The remaining ladies of the Savannah Christian Church Ladies Aid Society will have the honor of turning on the lighted cross at the conclusion of the Dec. 1 dedication ceremony.