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The Little Church in the Pines
39446 Road 434
Bass Lake, CA 93604
Services Sunday at 11:00 AM
Map Location HERE.
History - 1948 to 1951
(Extracted from notes by Dorothy Wilson)
First services were held on December 4, 1948 at the Ponderosa Pines Theater building (now Good Ol’ Daze). The sermon by the Rev. Leland R. Faith was “The Church for Every Road.” Rev. Faith had been ordained in 1936, having previously served in Denver and Buena Vista. The theater was not sufficiently heated for the cold winter, and services were soon moved to the Fountain Room at the Pines Resort. Claude Williams, owner of the Pines Resort, had made a cabin available to Rev. Faith and the resort facilities available to the new church. A Board of Trustees was formed with brothers C. L. Patterson, Ray Bennett, Stanley R. Wilson, Jack Kimbro, Bob Clayton, Van Long, O. G. Carroll, and Mr. Olson.
A Woman’s Guild was formed on Feb 23, 1949. They held a pot-luck-dinner at the Pines Dining Room on March 25, with some eighty residents attending. The Pines needed its rooms for the approaching tourist season, and the church moved back to the Ponderosa Pines Theater. Easter services were held there on April 17 with 150 persons in attendance, many up from the Fresno area. For Mother’s Day there were 125 at the service. After July 1 the Catholics from Madera began using the theater, and there was a conflict with the Sunday School.
Claude and Grace Williams donated the lot where the present Little Church in the Pines stands. A large tent was purchased, and services were held there. Funds were soon being donated to build the church, followed by many fundraisers. The tent was improved with a wooden frame and doors at the front and rear; sawdust was added to the floor. With the first hard rain of Winter the tent roof could not hold the water, and the congregation moved back to the Fountain Room at the Pines.
With the tourist season of 1950 the church again met in the tent. Easter Sunday brought rain and snow with only 45 in attendance. Rev. Faith resigned in in May to start the Little Chapel in Fresno. After a series of guest ministers, Rev. John W. Runyon became permanent pastor in October. Mrs. Runyon started a choir. With the coming of winter, services were moved back to the Fountain Room.
Ground was broken in February 1951 for the new church building. Many further donations were made of goods and labor to supplement the funds already contributed. Construction continued when weather permitted. The first services were held in the new Little Church in the Pines on Mother’s Day, May 6.
The Little Church in the Pines is interdenominational. The slogan was, “A Church for All the People.”
Click photos to enlarge
Membership List - 1950
The first membership list is the handwritten signatures of the members on salmon-colored paper dated Jan. 1, 1950. The following includes typed lists dated March 13, 1950 and December 7, 1950
Last update: December 1, 2013
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