Golden Lampstands of Iowa - Marion

Marion, a city of 18,000 people, is so closely connected to Cedar Rapids that it is almost a part of that city. It was in 1951 that Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Borrett moved from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids, where Ronald was employed. For over eleven years they had driven 40 miles one way to Manchester, where they were in fellowship. In the fall of 1951, a contact was made by Mr. Borrett with a Mr. and Mrs. Childs of Cedar Rapids. Mrs. Childs was afflicted with the dread disease of cancer of the bone. She was also very deeply in soul trouble. She was fearful about walking so spent her days in a wheel chair lest she would fall and break bones. Here the home was opened for visits and weekly Monday night meetings were held. Some of the Manchester brethren were exercised about these meetings and gave help; also, Brethren H. Dobson or O.G. Smith gave help when in the area. One evening Mrs. Childs met the visiting Ronald Borretts with a smile on her face and the wheel chair stored away in the closet. With much joy she told of her salvation. She lived for several years to prove it was a real work of God's grace.
The Gospel seemed to move southward from Manchester; and in the summer of 1950 Mr. Smith and Mr. Elliott pitched their tent in Viola, Iowa on the lawn of the home of Fannie Brown. There was a good interest and a few found the Saviour, among them a blind girl, Ada Eiben, proving "That faith cometh by hearing the Word of God." Rom. 10:17. Later, meetings were held in an old schoolhouse. At this time Irvin and Ruby Toenjes and Lee and Leola Finn were saved. In 1952 meetings were held in Irvin Toenjes' home and a couple more were reached.
In 1953 Mr. Smith and Mr. Warke held meetings in Monticello and others were reached; also at Central City where Verle and Olive Smith, who had been saved earlier, lived. The gospel had reached quite a few souls--many of these were baptized and received into the Manchester Assembly. As more jobs were available in that area, other Christians moved to the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area; also the University of Iowa at Iowa City drew others.
The exercise in view of the gospel grew and the believers rented a large upper room in the Memorial Hall in downtown Marion; there it was that in 1957 the first regular Sunday night gospel meetings and a weekly prayer meeting began. The local brethren often enjoyed the fellowship and help of the Manchester brethren. Herbert Dobson from Chicago had a special exercise in the development of the work in Marion, and often came to give help and encouragement. Mr. Smith, too, oftentimes gave help, as well as others of the Lord's servants.
There was an increasing interest as more and more Christians moved to Marion. It was in March of 1962 that together they gathered as an assembly In Remembrance of the Lord in the breaking of the bread and drinking of the cup. The Marion brethren remind us that to a great extent, at the beginning, the meeting was a hive-off of the Manchester Assembly, with some coming later from the Hitesville, Stout, and Garnavillo assemblies and becoming a part of the fellowship.
The Lord has been pleased to bless this testimony to His Name which the following picture of the assembly shows so clearly. The lovely hail was completed in 1967 and is another lamp stand, a true lighthouse, built on a hill to warn passers-by of danger and telling them the way of safety. May It remain "till He comes and the day breaks and shadows flee away."

Linn Manor Care Center
A desire on the hearts of a number of the Lord's people for a Christian nursing home in the Midwest became a reality when Linn Manor Care Center opened for business August 27, 1979. In the late 60's there was occasional mention of a Christian home at Bible conferences in Iowa and Wisconsin. Interest grew and in the early 1970's there were several meetings for interested persons at the Garnavillo and Hitesville Bible conferences. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls area seemed to be centrally located and several buildings were considered but nothing seemed quite suitable.
In 1974 the General Hospital in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, came up for sale, and with the encouragement of Herbert Dobson, a corporation was formed to purchase it at what seemed to be a reasonable price considering the needed modifications. A number of obstacles came up and negotiations ceased.
Discussion turned to construction of a new building, and the brethren from Cedar Falls looked at a new development area that had desirable features. However, again many obstacles, including the development of a street and utilities, the size of the home, and the availability of qualified administration remained unanswered questions.
In June of 1976 four acres adjacent to the Gospel Hall at Marion, Iowa, came up for sale that was purchased by Robert Weber and Grant Hagen with the possibility of a home in mind.
Interest grew among assemblies and data collected from a survey and letters of support were compiled in a proposal requesting a permit to build a 20 bed home and for a possible addition in the future. This request was denied because of an oversupply of existing beds and pending permits to build in Linn County. It seemed the Lord had closed the door again; however, contact was made with a contractor who had a permit to build in Linn County. It turned out that he was definitely interested in building as he had made two previous attempts to build in Marion and had run into difficulty with acquiring land and rezoning. The way was made clear when the city of Marion approved rezoning for the four acres on the condition that the plan of improvements for sewer, water, sidewalks and street were accomplished.
A non-profit corporation Grand Haven Homes Inc., was established as well as an Advisory Committee from area assemblies to give advice and guidance for the home. Gifts from individuals and assemblies as well as many low interest loans were received as the Lord laid it on the hearts of many to give. The response was such that all expenditures were made on time, and it was not necessary to acquire a bank loan or give a first mortgage. "With God all things are possible," Matthew 19:26.
Building plans were revised to a 44-bed intermediate care facility and construction began November 13, 1978. Negotiations were made with the general contractor and framing contractor to allow us to provide laborers for back filling footings, covering sewer pipes, grading for pouring cement, carrying lumber and putting plywood on the roof, insulating and many other jobs from time to time. There were many hours of volunteer labor by Christians, (some who drove over one hundred miles) and credit was given toward the contract price. In spite of extreme weather conditions the walls were raised, trusses were set near the end of December 1978 and the shell enclosed early in January. From time to time a number of sisters came along and served potluck dinner to all the Walkers. Truly we have to say "What hath God wrought?" Numbers
There were many decisions to make during construction, such as picking out colors for brick, shingles, wall paper, paint, optional equip-merit for various departments, etc. A number of sisters came in and helped hang wallpaper and cleaned the building.
The time came to organize departments, assemble operation manuals, find required consultants, negotiate contracts for various ancillary services, hire necessary staffing, and prepare numerous paper compliance details for initial inspection by the State Department of Health for licensing. The following people organized departments and assumed the beginning responsibilities: Administrator, Grant L. Hagen; Secretary, Pat Hagen; Accounting, Robert Weber; Activity Coordinator, Joan Weber; Health Service Supervisor, Myrna Ferris; Dietary Supervisor, Corrine Borrett; Housekeeping, Maintenance, and Laundry, Nathan Borrett. A number of other Christians filled responsibilities as nurses, nurse aides, cooks, dietary aides, housekeepers, and volunteers for the activity program. As the home has grown many others have shared in the work and assumed the continued responsibilities.
Business began August 27, 1979, with uncertainty as to how many of the Lord's people would take advantage of the new facility. Bill Ismay, Elmer Brandt, Mae Smith, Maude Hultgren, Louis and Amanda Brandt, Jost and Emma Hoseli, Irva Davis and Millie Carrow took up residency the first three months. Since then occupancy has grown to a peak of 28 during the summer of 1984 and is currently at 25.
The residents enjoy the daily reading of the scriptures, singing a hymn after each meal, Bible quizzes, Bible studies, inspirational writing, hymn sings and many other activities along with the day to day care for their various needs. Most of the residents enjoy being able to continue assembly fellowship and/or hear the ministry and gospel broadcast from the Gospel Hall over the PA system in the front lounge. The trip to the Gospel Hall is a short 60 feet from the north door of the home. An elevator was installed in the Gospel Hall for wheelchair accessibility to the auditorium level.
May the Lord be pleased to continue to preserve and bless this labor of love to the dear Christians in need. The Lord will recompense each one who has so willingly shared in the work here. The residents who are the beneficiaries of this kindness cannot repay it which is a picture of Luke
14:14 "And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." Matthew 25:40 tells us that, "In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Hebrews 6:10 tells us, "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister."

For any who have a new or continuing interest in the home, correspondence can be directed to: Linn Manor Care Center, 1140 Elim Drive, Marion, Ia. 52303 Phone (319) 377-4611.