Day 4 – Our Resident History Buff!
Meet Phyllis Penny, a pillar in the Fountain Street volunteer community. Her years of experience in the Archives and Properties Committees have made her an incredible resource for anyone wondering about the history of FSC. Thank you, Phyllis, for sharing your story with us!
I have been a member of FSC since October, 1953. I joined shortly after I graduated from college and I was starting a career in teaching. My first volunteer work was singing in the Choir. Soon after I joined the Choir I became the Choir Librarian. In 1956 I was married and by 1960 we had started a family. I stayed with the Choir but turned the Librarian position over to another person. At this time I joined Community Guild, which gave me chances to help with church activities, serving dinners, (our kitchen was a real money maker at that time), and working on projects to make money for the Women’s Association. I also served a term on the Governing Board. All of this continued for me until 1979 when I found that my life was just too busy. My parents needed more help. I was teaching school and I was working on some graduate studies. I quit all volunteer duties at the church and just enjoyed the Sunday Service. In 1991 I retired from my teaching position so I jumped back in. I joined Schweitzer Guild, became an Officer on the Women’s Association Board, did another term on the Governing Board, and served on various committees. In 2001 I was asked to be on the Capital Renovation Committee for the redo of the sanctuary when the new organ was installed. That was a wonderful experience. I worked with people who were very dedicated to keeping our lovely church safe and beautiful for further generations. When that Committee was finished, I agreed to serve on the Properties Committee and serving on that committee led to my becoming the Chair of the Archives Committee. This Committee and the Properties Committee are my main focus at this time.
Building the archives has been quite an experience. We started in 2003 with a committee of eight, and we worked each summer for about seven years pulling out boxes from a small room behind the chancel, sorting and organizing. This group had great fun learning about our past and the plans for the future. Some days we did more reading and sharing than sorting and organizing, but we had such a good time. Some of those Committee members are now gone and some are no longer able to help, but we once again have a great team with a couple of younger members. Other groups before us had done much good work, but there just wasn’t enough room for them to arrange the materials. In 2010 we were given a room on the lower level and the FSC Foundation gave us money to buy library-type shelving. Our archives, (which still need a lot of work), are becoming more organized. We hope more friends will join us and continue the care of our wonderful history.
Serving on church Committees and activities is a great way to get to know and make friends with many different people while you help your church grow. I have found that keeping busy with the different groups has helped me make friends with many people of different ages. I learned so much from the women in the Women’s Association and the men on the Building Committees have taught me much about this place. Now the young people are showing those of us who are older how to use the new recording devices.
I knew FSC was the place for me in 1953. It is still my church home and will always be.