The church was almost full July 16, 2016, the last Sabbath of the Redfield Seventh-day Adventist Church located in Redfield, South Dakota. People came from North and South Dakota, and Nebraska to honor the dedication of the remaining members who had kept the church open for several years.
Marvin Martsching, of Omaha, attended to reminisce. His wife, Allayne, taught school at the Sunrise Adventist Grade School located adjacent to Plainview Academy in Redfield from 1972 to 2000, over 28 years. When the academy closed in 1965, members of the church met in the grade school. They started building the Redfield church in 1970 and held the first service in August of 1980. Marsching said there are three of the six building committee members still living: Vickee Anderson, Delbert Stotz, and himself. Those who have passed are Jim Lalone, Alice Pierson and Russell Anderson.
Because more people are moving to urban centers, the size of the congregation had dwindled to six people, two of whom are widowed and two with non-member spouses.
Merrilie Wooledge, head elder, was honored during the service for her leadership, being a fairly recent convert to Adventism, by another recent convert, Cindy Schultz, who is the treasurer of the group. Wooledge told of the “Fruit Man” (Russell Anderson) who brought an evangelist brochure to her door during a time of discouragement in her life. Her “Road to Emmaus” Sabbath School discourse followed the thought of the “low road, which leads to the Upper Room experience.” She encouraged the members to look expectantly toward their Upper Room experience through the closing of the church’s doors, explaining, “The church is not a building but a body.”
Member Phyllis Spears read three poems she had written, I Stood at the Foot of the Cross, Can a Church Die? and Searching for Me, which included the words, “He wants me, but I need Him.” She prefaced her remarks with, “I am one of 30 children; half, step and full. There are only three of us left.” Two other members, Janice Dickhaut and Candace Whittet, led the music.
Gordon Samelson provided a poem he had written, which was published in June 14th’s Truckstop Ministries News entitled The Master’s Promise.
The small congregation provided a fellowship meal following the service, which lasted for several hours, as people were reluctant to disband.