A visit to The Gathering Place

What was once the Arcadia Congregational Church is now a beautiful old church called The Gathering Place, and local residents are proud of it.
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 11:52 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2023 at 12:38 PM CDT
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ARCADIA, Neb. (KOLN) - It was once the Arcadia Congregational Church, but now a beautiful old church in town is called The Gathering Place, and local residents are proud of it.

We caught up with Terri Pierson to learn more about it. “This church started in 1888,” Pierson said. “It continued to function as a church until August of 1997, when the congregation got too small. They turned it over to the local boosters in Arcadia. There was a board formed to take care of the needs and expenses of the building, and it became The Gathering Place.”

The building is the only one on main street in Arcadia that is prior to the 1900 era. “All of the other buildings here on main street were either destroyed by tornadoes or floods at one time or another,” Pierson said. “We have a historical sign out front, and just the fact that it has the old stained glass windows and other features make it unique. You don’t see this much anymore.”

“We had the stained glass windows redone,” Pierson said. “We had Kruse’s from Hartington take them down, take them to their factory and put the original colors back in them again. We are tickled to have all of the stained glass windows matching, and back to their original colors. This place is open to the public, and we encourage people to have events and weddings here.”

The church has a couple of unique features to it. “For one, we have the original Bible from the church, and it is on the altar,” Pierson said. “The opera seats in the church are also interesting. There is a place underneath the seats where you can hang your hat. You can put your cowboy hat or fedora under the seat, off the floor, to keep it clean.”

Local residents are excited The Gathering Place or the old Arcadia Congregational Church is still standing, and they say preserving history is important. “I think history is important,” Pierson said. “Current generations need to know what their family histories were. My parents were married in the parsonage of this church. The last two weddings we’ve had in here, the groom’s grandparents were married in this church.”

If you are driving through Arcadia, be sure to stop by the fascinating old Congregational church, and if you would like to book a wedding, you can call Terri Pierson at (308) 202-0292.