NASHUA - The 61st Annual Marriage Reunion at The Little Brown Church in the Vale will begin on Aug. 3 with the Pastor's Reception hosted by the Rev. Jim and Vicky Mann at 7 p.m. The church is located two miles east of Nashua on Iowa Highway 346.
Call the church office at (641) 435-2027 to enter the sixth annual "The Church in the Wildwood" Talent Competition or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 2730 Cheyenne Avenue, Nashua, IA 50658; pre-registration is requested to enter this competition. Organizers said this competition must be in the form of a musical number or poetry or something of similar form and must include a rendition of the hymn "The Church in the Wildwood." The winner will be presented with this year's Pitts' Award. Refreshments will be served at the reception.
Sunday's activities on August 4 start with registration at 9 a.m. at The Little Brown Church in the Vale. An old-time hymn sing will begin at 10:15 a.m. One of the highlights of the worship service held at 10:30 a.m. will be all of the "brides and grooms" reciting the Renewal of Their Wedding Vows.
A luncheon will be available.
Bob Miller, a magician, of Rochester, Minn., will perform on Sunday beginning at noon on the entertainment stage. Prizes will be awarded for the couple married the most years, the bride and groom most recently married, and the family coming the farthest distance and more.
The Old Bradford Pioneer Village Museum that is next to the church will be open to the public on August 4, at no charge.
Organizers said the events are not limited to people who were married at The Little Brown Church.
The Little Brown Church in the Vale is known over because of the hymn "The Church in the Wildwood." Dr. William S. Pitts was inspired to compose this song in 1857 after visiting a vacant lot in the village where the church now stands. It took the congregation four years, from 1860 to 1864, to complete the construction of the church building on this vacant lot because all the able-bodied men of the community had gone to fight in the Civil War. There was no church building when Dr. Pitts wrote the hymn and the congregation of the church did not know that this hymn had been written when they painted the church with mineral brown paint. This congregation was organized in 1855 and over 73,700 weddings have been performed in this "little brown church" throughout the years.
For more information about this weekend's activities or about other events held at the church, call the church office at (641) 435-2027 or visit their website at www.littlebrownchurch.org.