As the 100th anniversary of the congregation of St. Mark approached, the idea of commemorating the event with a quilt was proposed and a committee of interested women met during 1997 to discuss and design a quilt that would represent different facets of the history, membership, and programs of the congregation.
The first efforts envisioned squares representing the sacraments, the various committees and organizations, the educational program, and a panel with the names of all the pastors who had served during the first one hundred years. This quilt would have measured 90 inches by 108 inches. When it became evident that there was no single wall in the building that was large enough to accommodate such a large hanging, the size of the quilt was scaled down.
As with most projects conceived and carried out by a committee of volunteers, the enthusiasm waxed and waned. The 100th anniversary year of 1998 came and went and the quilt was far from finished. Eventually, a new design was drawn up that was more realistic and work began again. The finished quilt measures approximately 66 inches square and contains the following themes: A 3-part central panel representing one of the church windows: “I am the light of the world” and two panels, one on either side of this center panel with “St. Mark” and “1898 -1998.” The red velvet used for these panels came from the college hood belonging to The Rev. Paul Warfield that was donated by Charlotte Warfield. Below the central panel is a list of the pastors who have served the congregation during its first 100 years. Around the central panels, on two sides and the top, are the following symbols, beginning at the lower left corner, continuing across the top, and around to the lower right:
- The Hand of God
- Women of the E.L.C.A.
- Descending Dove
- Baptism Shell
- Lion – Symbol of St. Mark
- Luther Rose
- Alpha and Omega
- Communion Chalice & Grapes
- Fish (early Christian symbol)
- Tongues of Fire (Pentecost)
Around the perimeter of the quilt are 82 squares that have the signatures of members of the congregation. Material was donated by members to make these squares and they were pieced by several women. After the top of the quilt had been pieced together, a professional quilter was engaged to put the three layers together and machine quilt it. When this stage was completed, the binding was sewn on and a back panel added to identify the quilt. The quilt was ready for display in the Fall of 2003, six years after the start of the project.
This project was accomplished through the efforts of many dedicated members of the congregation who spent unnumbered hours to make it a reality. The following list includes those who helped make this beautiful piece of history– Helen Baxley, Suzanne Bux (original committee chair and accomplished sewer), Eleanor Cook, Jessie Ebischbach, Barbara Hamran, Pamela Hill, Nancy Hritz, Joan Knott, Liz Older, Mary Jo Pittman, and Louise Prior.