St. John’s Baptist Church

Worship | Sundays @ 10:30am

Goings-On in the 1970’s

There were lots of activity at St. John’s during the decade of the 1970’s. Some of this activity included the following:

The Craft Class was extremely active. A Country Carnival was held in the fall with games, crafts, food, and talent shows. Money raised from the Carnival were used for needs outside of the budget. In 1976, roller skates were purchased, and a schedule set up when skating was allowed in the gym. With the opening of the gym, the Youth organized basketball games. There were also softball games.

The Youth met on Sunday nights for discussion groups (Roundtables) basketball, skating, and other activities afterward. There were fun events such as square dancing and movie nights. There were Youth Retreats every year and the Senior Class took a trip to Florida in the spring, and ski trips. In 1976, the Youth held their own version of the Olympics with track and field, soccer basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics. They went to Carowinds after it opened in 1973.

The XYZ’s (Extra Years of Zest) was formed for active older adults. They met monthly. They also went on trips to Old Salem, and the Southern Living Show.

In November of 1970, when Sesame Street was first shown on PBS, Ruth Rogers encouraged parents to watch with their children. In other years, the fifth graders studied about community and went on a walking tour of the neighborhood and toured the “inner city” and the fourth graders visited the Bethlehem Center (this was before it rented space in the church)

Men of the Church met monthly. In 1970, they held a Ladies Night supper (no mention of who was preparing the meal). NC State basketball coach, Norm Sloan spoke at a Sportsman’s’ Night dinner. There were golf tennis tournaments. In 1971, Dr. Broach wrote that those in the golf tournament “had a ball and some shot good golf” The Family News article said they “tore up the Larkhaven Golf Course with most of them taking large clumps of sod from the green before they hit the little white ball. Cries of anguish resounded across the fairways”.

Summer fellowships were held in the summer at various members’ homes, divided geographically. The Salt Shakers program was begun in 1978.Bob Lasater organized camping trips Churchwide family picnics were held.

There was a continuing emphasis on learning. Family Life Conferences were held at the church. There were adult retreats at Montreat. Family Bible School for the entire church family was held several years. Skip Anderson and Jonnie McLeod presented a seminar of drug abuse. Other topics included Terminal illness and Death, a series on different Protestant denominations, A Dynamic Family, and the Christian Conscience. On Sunday evenings, there were programs in a Great Decision series in which various world issues were discussed such as Soviet-American tensions, The People’s Republic of China, Human Rights and Foreign Policy-Hope for the World, A Demanding World and Shrinking Resources. Ethics and Business and Ethics in the Media. Other speakers included Mrs. Bertha Maxwell, Director of Black Studies at UNCC, John Belk, Mayor of Charlotte whose topic was “Charlotte 1973”, Leighton Ford (Billy Graham’s brother-in-law). And Dr. Dean Colvard, President of UNCC. A Singles Class was formed for those ages 30-50, who were widowed, divorced, or never married.

The Library Staff hosted book reviews in the library. In March 1979, the church held “Roberta Workman Day’ to honor her dedication to the Church Library. (She was the grandmother of Laura Solitario)

There were also discussions about on the statewide referendum on liquor by the drink to allow an airing of all viewpoints (Not until 1978 was a law passed allowing counties and municipalities to all the sale of liquor by the drink on a local option basis. Prior to that restaurants could only sell beer and wine; they could not serve mixed drinks. However, “brown bagging was allowed.)

On the other topic of concern in the community-the changes occurring in the school system with the introduction of busing to address the issue of segregation. Dr. Broach wrote- “We must confine discussions to the issues, rather than the persons involved, protect the right of dissent, and discourage any defiance of law, and accord the right of free speech and opinion to all our neighbors. Our duty is a concern for all children.”

Administratively –

In 1973, the decision was made to print the Family News and worship bulletins in-house, rather than by an outside printer, resulting in a yearly savings of $2,000. In 1973, in reaction to the oil embargo by OPEC to those countries supporting Israel with its war with Egypt over the Sinai Peninsula, the church began taking steps to reduce the consumption of heating oil and electricity with lower temperatures, diligence in turning lights on and off. In 1977, when the church was notified by Piedmont Natural Gas to decrease use by 35%, Sunday evening and Wednesday Family Nights were discontinued during the month of February. A church van was donated by a church member in 1976 to provide transportation for the various groups going on trips.