First Posted: 9/29/2014
Members of Countryside Community Church came outside after worship service Sunday morning, Sept. 28 for a bell tower dedication.
Pastor Mark Terwilliger and Bruce Holden, head of the Bell Tower Committee, rang the bells while church member Luke Berardis led the people into singing songs of praise.
Newton resident Joe Griggs constructed the bell tower with bells from Newton United Methodist Church, Ransom United Methodist Church, Milwaukee United Methodist Church and Schultzville United Methodist Church, which were independent churches before the members came together as one congregation.
Griggs dedicated the bell tower to his parents-in-law, Eleanor Miller and the late Loren Miller.
“I’m very proud of my family,” said Eleanor Miller, who was in attendance at the event.
A plaque on the bell tower honors the Millers.
Starting in January 2014, Griggs engineered and designed the bell tower with the Bell Tower Committee, which includes Keith Eckel and Bruce Holden. It took him six weeks to build it.
Griggs also made a scale model of the tower for people to see what it would look like before completion. It was placed in Countryside’s vestibule. Each bell has a new clapper installed in it. The tower also has solenoids, which makes the bells ring. Gary Martenson, member of Countryside, placed the cement for the base of the bell tower.
Griggs was a member of Milwaukee United Methodist Church for 38 years and currently attends Countryside Community Church.
The bell tower is permanently situated on Countryside’s church grounds.
“What’s interesting to me is that these bells are from different churches,” said Terwilliger. “I’m impressed with the inspiration, drive and ingenuity.”