Photo of the Week
July 15, 2012

This is another great photo from  Ron Armstrong.  The scene is the first permanent home of the  Cristobal Union Church.  The photo caption reads, "Union Chapel, Cristobal, November 1913.  This was a great moment in Canal Zone history that the Union Church finally had a permanent home.

From a publication titled Christian Cooperation at the World's Crossroads written and privately printed by The Union Church of the Canal Zone in April 1950, the following is mentioned in this book.

Excerpt from a letter addressed to Chief Quartermaster, Lt. Col. C. A. Devol, November 14, 1911, would indicate that the earliest beginnings (of  the Union Church) were housed in a I.C.C. Chapel-Lodge. A letter, signed by the church's Executive Council's Chairman and Secretary, reads in part: "The Union Church building at Cristobal, having been converted into a criminal court, we understand that one of three temporary location will be made available for the Union Church work, namely: The Y.M.C.A., the public school or the old court building. There are serious objections to all these location for permanent church work."

After enumerating the objections, the letter concludes with -

"Inasmuch as church buildings are provided for employees of the Canal, at other towns on the Zone, and that Cristobal is a permanent town, and that there will always be a necessity for a church, for the benefit of Canal employees, we respectfully ask that a small permanent church building be provided, conveniently located, to properly take care of the Union Church organization."

The book continues with this summary: 

At a meeting of the Executive Council, held on January 8, 1912, it is recorded that the Committee on Church Building Construction reported that the new Church Building being built would be 35 by 68 feet, with 11 feet fitted for use of the Primary Department of the Church School, with an office for the pastor in addition. There is supporting evidence for the belief that , unlike similar buildings in other communities, this was not a Chapel-Lodge; but that it was devoted entirely to the use of the Cristobal Union Church.

Thank you Ron for another great photo.

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