The Brailey Union Church will be celebrating its quasquicentennial on Sunday, Sept. 18. A quasquicentennial marks a period of 125 years.
In the late 1800s, a group of people met to organize a committee to build a meeting house. January 16, 1897 is the first written record of the church. Sunday nights in a school house is where it all started. There was a weekly prayer meeting which was held in different homes.
Some of the first people were the Perkins, Mooneys and Ribbles families.
The first church building was dedicated as a “Church of Christ in Christian Union,” to be owned and controlled by the people in the neighborhood in which it was built.
The building was built on the Arnold Meintzer farm on County Road EF. The building was open to all orthodox denominations for services.
In 1907, C. E. Brailey petitioned to move the building to its present location. On October 29, 1907 permission was given by vote to move the building to 5571 County Road 3.
The Brailey’s Ladies Aid Society was organized on July 2, 1924. The aim of this group was to work for the benefit of the church. After 66 years of faithful service, the last meeting of this society was in December 1990.
Over the course of time, the building was expanded and a basement was dug. The parsonage was built in 1945 by the hands of many faithful volunteers. The Grange hall next door to the church building was purchased in 1986. That building is used for AWANA games and store, and the pastor’s office.
AWANA was one of the most successful programs Brailey offered the community. It was organized by Pastor Jerry Smith in 1984 and continued until 2012.
The church experienced some hard times in the years since, but last year began AWANA meetings again. There were 14 children in attendance every Wednesday night. AWANA follows the school year, running from September until the last week of April. AWANA is for children from kindergarten to sixth grade.
The church hopes to reach teens in Swanton too. The Youth Group meets every Sunday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. They share snacks and laughs together to begin the evenings, spend time singing and then have a time of Bible study. They finish by building relationships through different games depending upon the time of year.
The people of Brailey Union Church have invited community members to their services on Sept. 18. Sunday school begins at 9:30 a.m., Worship Service at 10:30 a.m., luncheon at 12 p.m., and Afternoon Service at 2 p.m.