The Marston Memorial Historical Center has entered a new phase. The Historical Center held a dedication for the Zahniser Chapel on Friday October 13, 2017 and the first half of renovations is now complete. The Chapel is designed to replicate an early 20th Century Free Methodist church. It is named for Bishop Arthur DeFrance, Rev. Jacob Jay, Rev. Edmund Smith, Rev. Ralph Allison, and Rev. Archibald Howard McElrath Zahniser. These five Zahniser brothers each become Free Methodist ministers in the late 19th Century and left a legacy important to the FM Church.
Dr. Howard Snyder, a grandson of Jacob Jay Zahniser, welcomed the people gathered to see the dedication and spoke about the Zahniser family legacy. Dr. Mindi Grieser-Cromwell, Chair of the Committee on FM History and Archives, read scripture. Then Cathy Robling, MMHC Director, gave remarks regarding the Center and the process that has led to the renovations. Bishop David Kendall spoke of the importance of knowing Free Methodist history for the present and future of the Church. To conclude the ceremony, Dr. A.H. Mathias Zahniser, grandson of A.H.M., gave a prayer of dedication.
It is an exciting time for the Marston Memorial Historical Center. We are extremely happy for this portion to be complete, but there is more to come. In addition to the chapel, a new, expanded library has been built. Additionally, a space showcasing the Light and Life Hour will also serve as a recording studio for Light and Life Communications and for Free Methodists to tell their stories for our oral histories project.
Donations are coming in to finish this project and to also fund items such as library shelving, display cases, projector, screen and more. You can partner with us and give online or mail a check to Marston Historical Center, 770 N. High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214. Thank you in advance for helping us move forward.
To get to know the Zahniser brothers better, you can read an essay entitled “Essay on Five Zahniser Brothers” by Dr. Marvin Zahniser, grandson of Ralph A. Zahniser. You can also view video of the ceremony here or by clicking the image below.