Temple Methodist Church in Versailles to be rededicated
On Sunday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m. the Tyson Temple United Methodist
Church in Versailles will celebrate its 70th Anniversary with a
rededication ceremony. Reverend James Byerly of the Tyson United
Methodist Church wishes to extend an invitation to the public to
attend this very special celebration, and to honor, once again,
James H. Tyson, co-founder of the Walgreens Drug Store, for
his endowment to the community.
Reverend David V.W. Owen, assistant to the Bishop of the Indiana
Area United Methodist Church, will preside over the ceremony and
deliver a message during worship service. Following morning services,
a pitch-in dinner will be served in the Fellowship Hall. After dinner,
there will be a Power Point presentation and a time for folks to
share their memories of the church. Anyone wishing to share a special
memory or pictures, please submit them to the church office by May
On Sunday, May 16, 1937, the Tyson Temple Methodist Church at Versailles,
erected through the munificence of James H. Tyson of Chicago and
former Versailles resident, was dedicated to the Glory of
God and to the memory of the donors mother, Eliza Adams
Tyson. Mr. Tyson and members of his family were present and he became
the first member of the new church. He had been a member of the
Methodist church at Chicago and transferred his membership to Versailles.
The ceremony, in which he reaffirmed his faith, was in the charge
of pastor, Reverend John T. Redmon. Mr. Tyson was baptized at Versailles
on September 6, 1868.
A distinctive feature of the church is its aluminum spire, 65 feet
in height. The polished aluminum cross at the top of the spire is
approximately 100 feet from the ground. In 1937, the copper roof
was the second of its kind in the nation.
The ceiling of the sanctuary represents the blue of a cloudless
sky. The stars are so placed as to represent the sky as it appeared
the night of his mothers death. The bell and the pulpit of
the old church were utilized, although the pulpit was refinished.
The pews, made in Batesville, were built of Ripley County timber.
Wood was eliminated and not a single nail was used in the construction,
except for in the furnishings. The materials used include concrete,
terra cotta brick, and glazed and glass brick.
This great gift was the first of many community projects funded
by Mr. Tyson. Other early projects were the water and sewer systems
for Versailles and the erection of Tyson Library and Tyson School
The generosity of James H. Tyson is celebrated each year on September
14, Mr. Tysons birthday. The citizens of Versailles gather
for a birthday party in his honor and vote on which of the submitted
project for the year should receive funding from the Tyson Foundation.
The event is open to the entire community.