Morrow County Reflections: Hicks Tabernacle drew large crowds

By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel

The Hicks Tabernacle, erected in one week was the site of services held for one month, from February 22 to March 22, 1914, on East Second Street in Cardington.

Evangelist Ira Evans Hicks conducted services in different cities from a tabernacle that was erected at each site by members of his entourage.

Arriving in Cardington from Dresden where he had conducted services, the tabernacle was built on the lot on the north side of East Walnut Street, then owned by Anne B. Vail, across the street from the Methodist church.

The 1,200 foot by 55 foot wooden building was roofed with rolled roofing and lined with building paper. It was lighted by numerous incandescent and some gas lights. It was heated by one furnace and seven large coal heaters. Wooden benches with backs provided seating for 1200 people

The ground was covered with straw and sawdust. There was also a choir loft that seated 140 people. The services did not lack for attendance as it was reported every night of the month-long program, attendance was 1,000 or more. Meetings were held every night except Monday.

Three services were conducted on Sundays. There were also daytime meetings. Although it was winter the inside temperatures stayed around 70 degrees.

Included as staff members with Evangelist Hicks were an assistant, a chorister and a tabernacle and personal worker. He had a crew that erected and dismantled the tabernacle at each campaign site.

At the close of the Cardington 30-day campaign, the building was dismantled, placed on railroad cars and shipped to its next campaign site, Chagrin Falls.

The local newspaper, the Cardington Independent, published weekly notes on the campaign during the duration of the visit.


August, 1947:

• The Reo fire engine coasted down a slight grade and over a 15-foot bank into the Mill Race at the rear of Long’s Garage one morning The old pumper had been moved outside the building to allow for the enlarging of the fire house by Charles Forrider to make room for a third fire engine recently purchased from the War Assets Administration.

Because of a faulty mechanical brake, Mr. Forrider had to put the truck in gear when he moved it. In some manner the truck was released from gear. Shortly after parking the fire engine, he discovered it was missing and a search revealed the Reo was overturned in the creek. It was pulled from the Mill Race later that day by Long’s Garage wrecker.

• Dr. Lowell Murphy and son, Michael, 5, escaped drowning in Lake Erie off of Cedar Point when the boy fell from a rubber boat. Dr. Murphy dove into the water but was nearly exhausted when he reached the rubber boats rowed by his wife and a 14-year old boy who had heard Mrs. Murphy’s call for help. In the boat with Dr. and Mrs. Murphy and son were the boy’s twin sister, Maeve, and a brother, James.

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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