PCM History: The 1970's
The 1970's started with Rev. J. Keith Cook beginning to serve PCM as pastor on January 15, 1970. Just prior to Keith's arrival, PCM's membership grew dramatically primarily due to the closing of Trinity Presbyterian at 83rd and Maple. Trinity had closed because they were unable to secure pastoral leadership. Keith started a "informal and free style of worship" that included him wandering up and down the aisles during the service, rather than remaining behind a pulpit, as well as "banter back and forth during the course of the service." As Keith put it, "[it] works here but it wouldn't work everywhere. It's opened a lot of people to us and has beome a style of life for us. Young families have accepted it and like it."
By 1975 when PCM celebrated its 10th anniversary, membership had grown to more than 500. Each week PCM would average 70 to 78% attendance of church membership compared to the national average of 30-35%. The congregation grew so much we started to have two services on Sunday! With this growth came more financial strength. We were able to expand our paid staff to include a full-time secretary and a part-time Christian Education Director. With the increase in membership, Pastoral responsibilities became such so we even tried to come up with the funds to hire a second pastor, but that would have to wait. But we could not wait on our plans to increase the size of our building to accommodate the needs of our growing congregation.
In April of 1975 a second building campaign was organized to add what is now our sanctuary and to expand classrooms and our nursery. An additional 4.85 acres were purchased at $21,700 an acre (The original 10-acre parcel was purchased at $2,200 an acre!).