“Perkin” Things Up at First Congregational Church

We here at The@trics are thrilled that First Congregational Church and their amazing pastor, Jane Cheek, were so willing to allow us to use the stage in their fellowship building, Perkins Hall, for our show. thrifTheatre was conceived to highlight the untold stories of seemingly normal (but secretly AWESOME) everyday items. Little did we know that the building itself we’d be performing in has such an amazing story waiting to be told, too!

As we were touring the space one afternoon, one of our directors, Karen Murphy, stumbled across this picture hanging on the back wall of the hall.

“In memory of – Capt. Robert M. Perkins, 1919-1944, while in active military service.”

 

Now, if you’ve been around the Prescott area, the Perkins name might be one you might have heard before – especially if you’ve turned onto the main thoroughfare out at Antelope Hills Golf Course. Intrigued, we here at the The@trics History Division did a little further research. Here what the First Congregational Church’s website had to say:

On November 25, 1894, the church purchased two additional lots adjacent to the one on which the building was standing. This constitutes the present property.

Construction of the Parsonage began in 1898 to the East of the existing church building, but within a few years the church structure was moved to the lot where Perkins Hall now stands and the Parsonage moved onto the old church site.

On June 26, 1904 the cornerstone was laid for the present church building and this church, which cost $10,000, was dedicated on October 15, 1905. The church was rebuilt in 1916 at a cost of $3,500 and at that time, the electric reed organ was installed.

Twenty ministers had served the church during the first fifty four years before the Rev. Charles Franklin Parker became pastor in February 1934. In June, 1938, ground was broken for the new Youth Center Building to the North of the Sanctuary. Through the generosity of the Perkins family, the building was completed and named Perkins Hall in memory of Robert M. Perkins, who lost his life in World War II. Perkins Hall was dedicated in 1955.

I’ve grown to love the little stage that sits in Perkins Hall, and am so thrilled that The@trics will be able to bring more theatrical performances to life there in 2013 with our showing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the end of our Shakespeare Workshop in April and our upcoming Pet Plays Festival which will occur in May to benefit the Yavapai Humane Society.

The Perkins funded this building to encourage fellowship and communion between members of the Prescott and Quad-City area community. They did so in loving memory of a son who gave the ultimate sacrifice to allow us to be free to express ourselves however we wish. That is a right we hold very dearly here at The@trics, and we can only hope we are honoring the wishes of the Perkins Family through the fun, intriguing, thought-provoking, local works that we are presenting, in hopes of bringing folks together. As we get closer to next weekend, the stage is certainly being set for that to happen.

So, Robert, this one is for you…

 

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