There is an ebb and flow to small congregations that is almost magical. This morning, we watched the song leaders and musicians change out without missing a beat. The pianist got up in the middle of a song to become a singer, the organist took over, when he went into a coughing fit, the drummer, who came into the service 45 minutes after it started and began drumming mid song took over, and then, suddenly, the drummer became the organist. (The original organist held on as long as he could — and was brought at least four glasses of water (increasingly hot, I think — maybe tea at the end), and some mints or cough drops, but I think he has the nasty clingy upper respiratory ook that’s just hanging on and on, and it was too much in the service this morning.
There were little dudes with tambourines who ended up on the mics at different points, singing with the congregation during the about hour and fifteen minutes of worship and praise, that was a medley of songs. Michal suspects the organist usually leads, but this morning, his voice largely gone, the deacon was leading, and the musicians kind of following along. The organists and pianist were interesting, and the music was rolling and . . . and fun. I think there’s much to be said for jazz organ, and all three musicians seemed to be playing on the fly.
The congregation’s obvious enthusiasm and love of the music was apparent, and the whole package made Farmergirl say, on the way out the door, “Do you think maybe we could go to ECOR every other Sunday, and attend this church, too?” We think she really likes small congregations. This one started with a dozen people besides us, and ended with about a half dozen more who came in at different points.
The building has a white marble cornerstone that reads from 1964, but the cornerstone doesn’t match the style of the building (which has exquisite woodwork, the style of which was long gone by the the 60s), so I looked up the records on the county assessor’s site, and found that the church was built in 1904, which was much closer to my original guess. It is a gorgeous building, with beautiful woodwork, and rounded pews that mirror the half-circle balcony. If you get a chance to go there, it’s worth it just for that. (1912 E 1st Ave, just off the Altmont exit, on the northside of the highway, at the intersection of 1st and Magnolia).