Mortgage Burning at St. Mark’s Church

August 28, 2017

Nearly two decades after St. Mark’s Church was built in 1889 for $85.000 the building’s mortgage was paid off. To celebrate, the mortgage was burned in a large gold-plated bowl at the altar on April 25, 1909, which also happened to the Feast of St. Mark.

The church’s congregation filled every pew and rejoiced as wardens Dr. N.G. Burnham, and E.M. Spearhawk burned the document. A choir sang a special Te Deum composed by organist G.O. Wilkins while the church’s interior had been decorated with palms and Easter flowers. Earlier that afternoon children took part in the rejoicing by singing an Easter cantata.

It had been a long struggle to pay off the mortgage but the parishioners kept chipping away it, being liberal as they with pledges and offerings that also contributed to church’s expensive operating expenses.

At Easter service two weeks prior, Reverend Dr. John Houghton announced that the balance and interest were exactly $4160.20. He asked for offerings and pledges to help clear the mortgage and the money brought in totaled just over $4,000, and there was enough cash on hand to make up the small balance.

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