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1874: Christian Church congregation pays tribute to long-time minister

Article accessed through the Hannibal Free Public Library's web site.

A handsome donation

A surprised minister and a happy congregation.

Hannibal Clipper, Dec. 26, 1874

At an early hour last evening a large number of the members and friends of the Christian Church in this city, assembled in the basement of the church, and brought with them a large supply of articles apparently intended to provide bounteously for somebody’s household. The various articles were tastefully arranged upon a table in the north end of the room, and about 8 o’clock a committee went to the residence of Eld. E.B. Challenner, and informed him that his presence at the church was wanted just then. Donning his hat and coat he accompanied the committee to the church, where he was received and escorted to the table, when W.O. Bashore, Esq., on behalf of the members and friends made the presentation in a short, impromptu speech suited to the occasion. Mr. Challenner was taken wholly by surprise, having received no previous intimation whatever that any movement of this kind was on foot. He thanked them for the kindness which had thus bee manifested for him; and assured them that while he prized the gifts for their intruinsic worth, the spirit of Christian love and friendship thus displayed was far more highly prized, and would be a source of joy and comfort to him while he lived.

The articles donated consisted of baskets of apples, potatoes, sacks of flour and meal, canned fruits, groceries, cabbages, preserves, jellies, butter, set of knives and forks, pair of splendid blankets, dress goods, a fifty dollar suit of clothes, and a sum of money. It is doubtful if there has ever been a happier meeting in that church than the one last evening.

In the same edition:

Wasn’t that nice?

That pleasant and genuine surprise to myself and family, in the basement of the Christian church, last evening. It is not often that nearly an entire membership can meet and spread a table and keep their pastor in profound ignorance till the very moment of presentation, but so it was in this case. And a rare table it was too.

For number of contributors and variety of presents in point of utility and value, for hearty good will and interest manifested by the entire large audience assembled for unfeigned pleasure and satisfaction with which it was done. – Never before have I enjoyed its equal, and it has been my good fortune to participate in the liberal offerings of a generous brotherhood on many similar occasions.

Brother Green shall no longer remain alone in his laudable boating. Come up, my brother, and let us compare notes – but wait till brother Tucker takes my measure. And now brethren let me say to you, one and all, the surprise was so complete, and great that I could not, then, in living words express my real feelings, and it is not in the power of the printed word to open my heart to you now. Suffice it to say, my heart is brim full at your magnificent deed. Many the same kindness extended to me be meted out to you by Him, who, in the language of Paul is “able to do for you exceeding abundantly above all you ask for think.” E.B. Challenner

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