Residents of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, can be excused if they don't recognize this church under construction in the mid-1960s.
Signal Crest United Methodist has undergone several additions since this photo was snapped in 1964 when a new education wing was being added to the church at 1005 Ridgeway Ave.
This photo was made a few years before a large, peaked-roof sanctuary was built at Signal Crest UMC in the late 1960s, which remains the church's signature space today. The smaller, A-frame structure, shown here, is still part of the church's roof-line.
An article published in the Chattanooga Free Press on June 24, 1964, notes that the $36,000 education wing was nearing completion and scheduled for opening by August that year.
Part of a multi-year master plan for building out the facility, the 1964 construction included five large classrooms, a kitchenette, storage space and a permanent church office, according to the newspaper article. Architects for the building were Derthick and Henley, and construction was by T.U. Parks Construction.
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The history of Signal Crest UMC dates to several years earlier, when a group of worshipers began meeting at the Signal Mountain Masonic lodge on Sept. 15, 1957. The church was chartered with 94 members in late 1958, and the first services were held at the church's present site in 1960, according to published reports.
An article in the Times Free Press in 2011 noted: "Members broke ground for the first building on the present site in 1959 and began hosting services there in 1960. The church added classrooms in 1964, broke ground for a new sanctuary in 1968 and added more classrooms and office space in 1984. An elevator and porte-cochere were added in 1996, and various capital improvements were made ahead of the congregation's 50th anniversary in 2007."
In 2011, when membership was reported at 1,030, Signal Crest added a $2.4 million, 9,700-square-foot addition called The Crest that included a gymnasium and multi-purpose worship area.
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