Trinity United Methodist Charge
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Ten Commandments Plaque





    By Maurice L. Allman


At the regular Methodist Men’s Meeting, a friend of Crim, Cortez Tipton, suggested to the men that they should look ahead and prepare a list of activities that would benefit Crim Memorial Church.

 He indicated that each member should list a series of items that Administrative Council could consider.

 The monthly meeting was in the late summer of 2002. The lawns needed mowing and as one member was riding his mower on areas of rough terrain, the mowing member, was thinking about the daily news of a Ten Commandment stone structure that had to be removed from a court house. Many of us are concerned about the removal of the Ten Commandments from any structure and the removal is difficult to understand.

 The grass continued to be mowed, but a concerned member of Methodist Men, thinking of Cortez Tipton’s suggestion, wondered how many plaques of the Ten Commandment were hanging on the walls of Crim Memorial Church.

 This issue was brought to the attention of the Adult Class at Crim and from that class came a search in the class rooms for posters of the Ten Commandments.

 Question: How many poster or plaques of the Ten Commandments were in the Crim Memorial United Methodist Church and where are they located?

 Only one poster of the Commandments was found. Just one! It was on the wall of Beryl Curkendall’s class room for young members. It was a small poster about 10” by 16”, light green color with small illustrations, torn in the upper right hand corner, and taped to the wall, tilted downward at a height for young children to easily see. It was serviceable and far better than none at all!

 A class member of Crim volunteered to shop for some colorful posters for the youth and adult class rooms. The member and his wife shopped in a neighboring county store and found just one large and colorful poster of the Ten Commandments. We were invited to return the next week. That one was purchased to show the committee and it was approved. Monzel Anglin Jr. volunteered to make a frame and provide the glass. They also found and purchased some pocket size cards of the Commandments. This framed poster was hung in one of the class rooms.

 He and his wife returned the following week to purchase more posters. They described what they had purchased and were told that it was not available. “Can you order from your catalogue,” they asked? “I’m sorry, but we get this type of religious materials in heavy pallets lots and we don’t know what all will be included. Besides, that kind of material doesn’t sell very fast,” he said.

 Surprising? Somewhat hurtful? Yes, but realistically it made us more determined to follow Tipton’s suggestions.

 The class member budgeted a small sum of money to frame three more posters found in a store in another county. Moreover, the group expanded to include our minister, Rev. Alicia Rapking, and Holly Spruill, an artist. With team effort, Holly helped us select an appropriate size poster for our Fellowship Hall. It was to be three feet wide and four feet long for easy and pleasant viewing.

 It should be noted that in addition to regular monthly Administrative and Committee meetings, Crim’s Fellowship Hall serves more than our numerous church groups needing lunches, and/or full course dinners. With Beryl Curkendall’s leadership and assistance from Crim’s women, other community groups as Philippi Lions Club, Alcohol Anonymous, Barbour County Blue and Gray Reunion, Secretaries Day, Quarterly Conference, Heart and Hand, and 4-H Clubs enjoy the space and a good place to meet.

 Four colorful posters of the Ten Commandments were hung on the walls of three classrooms and one in Fellowship Hall. Other ideas are being discussed on how to “tell the good news” to the other one hundred churches in Barbour County.

 Rev. Alicia Rapking has been asked if a small group of volunteers from Crim could go with her to the Barbour County Ministerial Association and discuss with them what small step Crim has taken to acknowledge the need and value of the Ten Commandments being seen on the Church Class room walls.

 Could we go further? Could we meet with the District Conference and spread the possibilities in the Conference for the Commandments to be visible in all churches?

 Could the idea be presented to the Annual Conference of West Virginia?

 And is the need of renewing the teaching of the Ten Commandments in the National General Conference essential?