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Historic church focus of meeting

MAIDEN — The Lincoln County Historical Association is taking a show-and-tell approach in its quest to engage residents in the area’s history.
The Association’s quarterly meeting will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at St. Matthew’s United Church of Christ in Maiden. All residents — regardless if they’re members — are encouraged to attend.
The Association usually meets at the Lincoln Cultural Center but has chosen to hold this meeting at a site where history runs deep.
“We’re trying to give our members a more lively and more entertaining program,” said Jason Harpe, director of the county Museum of History.
The program will feature a talk by the Rev. Linn Finger, who has served as pastor of the church on and off since 1971.
Finger’s relationship with St. Matthew’s extends past his professional duties — the church was originally founded in the home of his great-grandfather, Michael Finger.
“It’s kind of a special place for me,” Finger said.
The church’s long history began in the 1820s, Finger said, and many memories and stories lie inside its walls and under the shade of its arbor.
Finger will speak about the church building itself, as well as the arbor and the old spring on the grounds.
The meeting and program will be held under the arbor, weather permitting, Harpe said.
The church’s original arbor was built in 1843 and was destroyed by fire in 1989. Soon after church members built a new arbor, exactly like the first.
Participants will also learn about the church’s spring and be able to walk to it following the presentation.
“There’s a number of things people can do after the program,” Harpe said.
In addition to Finger’s speech, the Lincoln Quilters will set up a display in the fellowship hall and the church will open its history room. Photos from the Clyde Cornwell collection will be on display, and Harpe hopes participants will be able to identify some of the unknown people for a coming book. Food will be provided by Becky Shelly.
The Historical Association currently has about 350 members, Harpe said. Membership level is based on the contribution to the organization.
Finger said the program has the potential to spark a curiosity in people who haven’t been interested in history in the past.
“I think this might make somebody a history buff,” Finger said.
“People ride by these places everyday and have no idea what they’re looking at or the significance of what they’re seeing. There’s a great history all around us in Lincoln County.”by Alice Smith

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