From the Heritage Room—
A few more notes about St. John’s in the decade of the 1980’s—
In addition to mission activities, the members of St. John’s participated in tennis and golf tournaments, went on camping trips, played softball and basketball, and enjoyed roller skating in gym. There were Family Fun Nights during the summer which included attending baseball games and the Summer Pops. Neighborhood Fellowships were held with members hosting other members from nearby neighborhoods. The XYZ’s (Extra Years of Zest) went on several day and longer trips, including Shatley Springs and Nashville. The Country Carnival was held every fall. There was a church trip to the Charlotte Hornets versus Atlanta Hawks game in 1989- the Hornets first season. There were Men’s Fellowship dinners with speakers, including David Thompson. Roman Gabriel, and George Shinn.
The Arts Committee stayed busy with play productions including “Never Too Late’, “The Apple Tree”, “Love and the IRS”. “The Good Doctor”, “Main Street Hotel”, and “Don’t Drink the Water”. There were Christmas pageants including “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and drama presentations on Good Friday morning, usually directed by Nancy Nixon, followed by breakfast. Under the direction of Al McClanahan, there were concerts by all the choir groups, adults, youth, and children. In 1980, Al presented a program on old hymn tunes from an old hymnal, “The Sacred Harp”. This program also included a discussion of shape note singing. The choirs of St. John’s and Myers Park presented join concerts. The choir held “Summerfest” music programs.
The Youth went on retreats to Camp Cheerio, Summer Camp at Ridgecrest, and Summer Music Camp at Meredith College. The Deacons went on retreats to Camp Caraway. The puppet team was started in 1980. Under Rev. Nancy Morris, both Worship Education and Discipleship Classes in the Children’s Department were added.
Church pictorial directories were done in both 1982 and 1985. In 1984, the church purchased a “microcomputer”; in 1989, the office began using a desktop publishing program for all printed material.
In September, 1989, Hurricane Hugo came through Charlotte damaging trees and roofs and knocking out power in a lot of neighborhoods. Church members held clear fallen tress cover damaged roofs, served a warm meal on Sundays, and provided emergency supplies as needed.
In 1989, at the end of the decade, plans were underway for a building addition which would provide space for a new Fellowship Hall and kitchen, a nursery and weekday school rooms, and five adult classrooms or conference rooms. The plan also included the expansion of the parking lot and the relocation of the church offices to what is now the Lasater Hall area. (The last item was eliminated from the final plan). The adult Sunday School rooms on the lower level would be upgraded, the third floor youth and (and at that time children’s) spaces and a connecting walkway added between the third floors of the Sanctuary building and Chapel Building. (For some reason, the third floors were not connected when the Chapel Building was built in the early 1950’s). The church voted to allocate space in the new building for MMAE’s, the forerunner of Hospitality House. This is the space above Broach Hall, now leased to Charlotte Family Housing.