On the Sunday before Memorial Day in 1989, the Oxford Presbyterian Church building in downtown Oxford was destroyed by a fire that leveled the building, with the exception of the bell tower.
This Memorial Day marks the 25th anniversary of the Oxford Presbyterian Church fire. The church will be remembering this tragic event by having a display of photographs, newspaper articles and artifacts saved from the fire available for viewing during an extended coffee hour after the 11 a.m. service on May 25. The community is invited to attend.
For two Sundays preceding the May 25 remembrance, there was a short presentation about the fire. On May 11, Dick Winchester talked about the church history as it related to the fire. On May 18, Chuck Deaver offered a firefighter's perspective on the fire that destroyed the building.
On May 25, Ed Jefferis will talk about rebuilding after the fire. Former pastor Ted Atkinson wrote a hymn about the church fire, and this hymn will be sung during the remembrance.
In observance of Memorial Day, Vern Ringler has assembled a community veterans chorus that will be singing at the 11 a.m. church service. Any area veteran who would like to participate in this chorus should contact the church office.
The last church service in the building on the day of the fire ended with the bell choir playing “America the Beautiful” from the balcony, so the bell choir will play this song—again from the balcony—during the remembrance.