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IBEW will install lighting to Timmons Temple

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There was snow on the ground when Tilton & Sons of Carthage began moving Timmons temple in February using hydraulic dollies fitted with 80 wheels. On Monday, Tilton plans to set the historic building on footings in Silver Springs Park so that a developer can begin work on an apartment project.

There was snow on the ground when Tilton & Sons of Carthage began moving Timmons temple in February of 2014, using hydraulic dollies fitted with 80 wheels.

Timmons Temple could have new lights just in time for Christmas, thanks to electrical work planned Thursday evening in the historic church in Silver Springs Park, 1100 N. Hampton Ave.

The Springfield-based International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW 453) plans to install branch circuits, lighting and electrical components for HVAC Thursday, Dec. 15, 5-7:30 p.m.

The work will be provided through the IBEW 453 Journeyman Apprenticeship Program.

“IBEW believes in establishing partnerships that provide a win-win to the Springfield community and the IBEW union,” says Roger Mayfield, IBEW Business Manager. “We are so pleased to make this contribution. Our journeymen get real world experience, and this five-year program offers the Springfield community graduates who are highly-skilled electricians.”

The electrical work follows extensive interior improvements made earlier this year at Timmons Temple, including connection to water, sanitary sewer and electric service; plumbing, framing and installatation of new restrooms; and just this fall, new concrete steps, ramp and sidewalks. Much of that work has been donated through the Building and Construction Trade Council of Springfield and Vicinity, which coordinates work through apprenticeship programs.

The Timmons Temple Church of God in Christ served Springfield’s African-American community for more than 80 years before it was sold and slated for demolition in 2014.

A non-profit group, “Save Timmons Temple,” raised private donations to preserve the church and move it about 600 feet into Silver Springs Park in spring 2014. The church was preserved because of its historic significance as well as its unique stone exterior, including ornate rock sunburst patterns also found in retaining walls in Silver Springs Park.

The renovation is financed entirely by donations and in-kind labor to Save Timmons Temple, with the fund managed by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. When renovations are complete, the building will serve as an event center managed by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

Fundraising efforts continue for the building’s infill and renovation, including doors, windows, tuck-pointing and more. Nearly $50,000 more is needed to complete the $250,000 project. To make a donation, visit SaveTimmonsTemple.org.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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