By Rosie Moore
The little mission was located on East Vine Street, just a few doors away from South Duke Street, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I don’t remember when it was built, I do remember seeing photographs of a tree growing along the curbside, but it wasn’t there when I started going there.
I lived a block and a half from the little mission and one day while walking along a street a sweet Mennonite lady stopped me and asked, “Would you like to come to Bible School at my church?” I answered enthusiastically, “Yes!” and thus began my love affair with the Mennonites.
This area was in the Seventh Ward of Lancaster and consisted of many diversified cultures which included white and black Americans long with quite a few Greek, German, and Italian families. Many of these people were still feeling the effects of the Depression era, thus the little mission was in the right place at the right time. They catered to these people with food, clothing, a place to sleep sometimes but they also provided spiritual help when needed.
Going up the five steps to the double doors you would enter the small auditorium which led to the minister’s dais. A door on the right and one on the left led to the living areas, which consisted of a sewing room, kitchen, sitting area, two bedrooms, bath and a door in the back led to a small yard.
This was my home away from home. I learned to pray there, I learned to sing there, to read the Bible there, and learned to love God there. I made many friends there.
Years later when I married and moved away I took a trip back to see the little mission. I stared in disbelief when I arrived at my destination because it was gone! No little mission. The city of Lancaster decided not to preserve it, also there were no financial funds to remodel it. They paved a street over the area where the little mission stood which met another street. I thought to myself, there will always be nostalgic thoughts when I think of the little mission but they cannot pave the “precious memories” away from the hearts of many people who attended there—especially mine!
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