The Antrim United Methodist Church is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the basement addition to the church.

It's a small haven of worship and rest, nestled among trees and fields in the southern part of Stafford County. The Antrim United Methodist Church is like a postcard, representing numerous small country churches in Kansas.

Antrim has a small congregation, only averaging from 25 to 35 during the school year, even less during the summer, with a pastor, Nathan Gist, that has to share his time with two other congregations.

But for this congregation, the number attending is not as important as time to fellowship together.

And now, it's time to celebrate. The church was built in 1899 but this celebration is for a different anniversary. In 1917, the original building was raised off the ground and a basement was added to give the church more room, said congregation member Virginia Russell.

On Sunday, Aug. 27, at 5:30 p.m. the congregation will gather for a basket dinner at the church to celebrate the 100 years since the church got its basement. The gathering will start at 5:30 p.m. with the meal at 6:30 p.m.

As part of the 100 year anniversary, the church basement has undergone a bit of a face lift to make it more efficient for the congregation. The facelift was made possible through generous donations, Russell said.

When the basement was added, farmers, who were not carpenters, built steps to the basement that were kind of helter skelter with widths that both large and small.

In the 1940s, a women in the congregation decided to paint the piano pink. It was a unique compliment to the later orange carpet in the basement.

For the update, the Miller Brothers from Sawyer reworked the stairs so they are the same size and uniform. The piano has been painted white and is now a lighted dessert bar.

The kitchen area had dark paneling but is now painted a lighter shade of brown. The kitchen cabinets have been repainted and some of the more worn units have been replaced. One of the best additions to the basement was an island with plugins for more convenience.

"The outlets were the big thing," Russell said.

Two old sinks and two old stoves were removed and replaced with one new unit each.

At the basket dinner, the latest Methodist Women hand made dresses bound for Haiti, Ghana and the Navajo Nation, will be on display. By the end of the year, the number of dresses the ladies have made for this program will reach 100. The dress program has been going on for six years.

Also on display will be hand made quilts for babies.

Antrim Church services are held from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. The service includes announcements and greetings, a song, a prayer, a lesson, joys and concerns, the sermon, hymns, an offering and the Doxology.

Russell has a special attachment to the church. The church was started by Roger Russell's parents and grandparents. Roger is Virginia's late husband who passed away on Oct. 30, 2016.

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