Building the Fellowship Hall
By 1954 the congregation realized that the Hut was no longer sufficient for all the church functions. The idea of adding to the existing sanctuary was considered, but many members of the congregation did not believe that they could raise the $20,000-$30,000 (in 1950s dollars) was needed to expand the facilities. However, the reverend Jackson was confident it could be raised. He “seemed to have been the only one who had no doubt at all,” according to “A History of the United Congregational-Christian Church,” compiled in 1960 by a group that included Ruth Strong and Hilton Goulson.
On Sunday evening, December 12, 1954, after a week of nightly meetings under the direction and guidance of Mr. Le Roy Eide from the Board of Home Missions, 25 men from the Church called on members of the Church in an attempt to raise the $20,000 for the proposed new addition. As the canvassers came back to the Church for their final reports, it was a most joyous occasion for many, because it became apparent as the men came in that the drive would meet its goal. It not only met its goal, it exceeded by more than a thousand dollars. Bill Alexander, in his final report to the Mission Board, had this to say: “On Sunday, after a moving and beautiful service in our Church, the men making the canvass calls had dinner and a final meeting with Mr. Eide. Just before we started out, a group picture was taken that shows far more than mere photography usually reveals. It shows what was in the hearts of the canvassers. It is a picture of a group of vitally alive and dedicated men. Everyone in the group looks completely happy and is at peace with himself. Each one seems to be saying ‘I am doing something for others and it is a truly great feeling.’ Nearly every man who has seen that picture has exclaimed, ‘Why that is the best picture I have ever seen of myself.’”
The new fellowship hall was dedicated in 1956. It not only provided a kitchen and assembly area for the entire congregation, but also Sunday School classrooms that were later used during the week by the Chapel Hill Day Care Center.