By Sam Wildow
PLEASANT HILL — The Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren recently held a 50th Anniversary Celebration, during which church officials opened a time capsule that had been placed in the wall of the church 50 years ago.
The celebration was in honor of when the church’s current building was constructed. The church building was dedicated on Aug. 29, 1971.
“We were able to have a celebration weekend in honor of that 50 years,” said Sharon Bledsoe, chairperson of the celebration committee.
Church officials removed the time capsule from the wall where it was placed 50 years ago. Pastor Nick Beam removed each item from the time capsule, which was a copper box, and held up the items for those to see during the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Also present were church members who had been a part of the church when the time capsule was placed in the wall, Bledsoe said.
“It’s really a neat snapshot of the church at that time back in 1971,” Church Historian Dawne Dewey said.
Dewey, who is the retired head of the archives at Wright State University, has been working the past year to gather and organize the records of the Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren.
“These are going to be really valuable additions to the church archives,” Dewey said about the contents of the time capsule.
The contents of the time capsule included a number of photographs, mostly black and white photos, with hand-written identifications of the people in the photos. There were pictures of the Sunday school classes, the old church building, and other members of the church.
“There were some other color photographs, maybe half a dozen, one with the church parsonage,” Dewey said.
Additional photographs of the church being built, as well the church’s procession from its old location to its current location, were included in the time capsule. There were also documents, booklets, newspaper clippings, church newsletters, and more.
“There was a copy of our hymnal that we currently use,” Dewey said. “They included a type-written history of the Pleasant Hill Church … It had early church history and then a timeline of the new church.”
The various documents and stories help paint a picture of what the church was like 50 years ago.
“It just really helps the church and the community know who we were,” Dewey said.
The contents of the time capsule will also help the church hold on to more of its history, with many of the photographs helping anyone who is tracing their lineage or looking for other information about the church and its members.
“I’m very pleased that the church was thinking ahead and placed some really important treasures or memories of the past in the time capsule,” Dewey said.