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Church observes centennial
• Dedication of bench, 8 p.m., Aug. 8, Library Park. Dessert to be served.
• New Year's Eve bash, 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., North Valley Christian School gymnasium on County Road 12
For more information, call 865-2453.
It was founded by Swedish immigrants a century ago, and has prospered into a large and active ministry.
Orland Evangelical Free Church celebrates its centennial this year.
"We are excited," the Rev. Walt McCann said Monday.
The church was founded by four Swedish men who traveled from Nebraska to explore Oregon back in 1909, said publications secretary Maryann Edmonson, who researched the church's history.
However, their plans went awry, she said, and they ended up in Orland after meeting a Norwegian gentleman on a train who told them about the area's agricultural potential.
So they headed to Orland and decided to stay, moving their families out to California in 1910.
In the beginning, the families conducted church services in someone's home, Edmonson said, but decided to build a church in 1912. Construction began that November.
It went up at Swift and A streets. Later, the first building was lifted and moved across the street when the foundation of the current church was built.
The original church is the Church of Christ building on A Street.
Edmonson said the main building of the current church was built in 1921, and was added to through the years with the last put on in a 1953 renovation.
Today its congregation numbers 290, she said, and it has 94 members who help govern its activities.
"It is a good feeling that God has sustained this church for 100 years in this community and that it has grown and prospered. We are looking forward to another 100 years," the Rev. Anton van Straaten said Monday.
He said church members, staff and parishioners hold "to timeless truths and values while embracing 21st Century culture."
Business manager Jesse Huffman said the church is moving forward with plans for additional expansion.
And van Straaten said it is an old church with a young congregation.
This week it started up its "Real People" camp for children in the third- to sixth-grade after a five-year hiatus.
The camp meets at Lake McCumber near Shingletown.
There also is a vacation Bible school and other youth programs along with sending missionaries to Europe, the Middle East and other locations around the world, officials said.