By Elaine Henson
Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part III
In 1953, the growing congregation began planning for a new church building to replace the barracks church. Their first full time pastor, Rev. David Johnson, had a background in building design and construction, so he took a lead role in planning the new church. He designed a traditional cruciform, cross-shaped, floor plan and building with modern low lines, a Roman brick exterior and contemporary windows. Interior walls would be masonry painted concrete block. The roof was to be supported with arches and purlins laminated on the job from three quarter inch Douglas fir timbers.
Everything was put on hold until after clean up from Hurricane Hazel, which came ashore on October 15, 1954. Hazel is the only Category Four Hurricane to hit our area in all of the 20th Century to date. It came in on a lunar high tide, wreaking havoc and leaving much devastation.
On February 6, 1955, groundbreaking ceremonies were held with Dr. F. L. Conrad, President of the North Carolina Synod. Assisting him were Mrs. Ernest Lineberger of the United Lutheran Church Women and Miss Judy Lewis from the Kure’s Luther League. The barracks church was moved to the back of the lot and they laid out the foundation.
Again, the men of the church were the volunteer labor. The only paid full time worker was Bob Ford as Construction Supervisor with Rev. Johnson acting as advisor. Construction went quickly and soon cranes were lifting the arches and purlins into place.
Next: Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part IV