Covenant Methodist Church
Plans Anniversary Month
Spinning department employees Vesta Lewis (front), and Lydia
Davis look over altar furnishings in the small chapel at the West
entrance to the Arthur M. Dixon Memorial Educational Building
of Covenant Methodist Church. Right; Hoyt Hardy of Cotton Twist
ing opens the door of the outdoor sign and schedule board on Frank
lin avenue. These persons are among many Firestone employees
who are active members of Covenant Church.
Down In 1957
Although the figures are grim,
there are some heartening notes
growing out of the 1957 accident
fatality rate in the United States.
Statistics from one of the
country’s leading life insurance
companies show that deaths from
accidents in the United States
totaled close to 94,000 last year.
This is approximately 1,000 few
er than in 1956. It was the first
time in three years that the
number of fatally injured show
ed a reduction, the total having
increased from 90,000 in 1954, to
nearly 93,000 in 1956.
Provisional figures indicate
that the accident death rate in
1957 was 55 per 100,000 popula
tion, or near the level of the all-
time low reached in 1954.
MOTOR vehicle accidents ac
counted for almost 38,500 fatali
ties last year, also about 1,000
below the 1956 toll. By a sizeable
margin, motor vehicles continue
to be the leading cause of fatal
injuries, accounting for some
two - fifths of all accidental
Researchers saw encourage
ment in the data for 1957, which
indicated that for the first time
in three years the annual death
rate per 100 million vehicle miles
showed a decline.
Fatal injuries suffered in and
about the household also showed
a reduction of 1,000 over the 1956
figure. The number killed in
such mishaps in 1957 totaled ap
proximately 27,000. On the other
hand, fatalities in public acci
dents other than those involving
motor vehicles increased to
about 16,500, or around 500 more
than in 1956.
Accidents growing out of and
in the course of employment
were responsible for about 14,500
deaths in 1957. Of these, 3,000
involved a motor vehicle, this
latter figure also being included
in the total for motor accidents.
The only exercise some people
get is jumping at conclusions.
A calendar of special events
during the first four weeks of
March will honor 61 years of
history at Covenant Methodist
Church in the Firestone com
The Rev. G. W. Bumgarner,
pastor, has announced that on
the first four Sundays of the
month, services will be led by
At the 11 a.m. worship hour
March 2, the Rev. N. C. Williams,
a former pastor of the congrega
tion, will preach the sermon.
On March 9 another former
pastor, the Rev. J. C. Grose, will
lead the regular morning wor
ship service. At 3 p.m., Bishop
Nolan B. Harmon of the Char
lotte Area Methodist Church will
officiate at a ceremony placing
the cornerstone of the Arthur M.
Dixon Memorial Educational
Building, first completed unit of
the church. He will be assisted
by Dr. James G. Huggin, super
intendent of the Gastonia Dis
trict of the Methodist Church.
An open house, to which the
general public is invited, will be
held from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
At the 7 p.m. service March 9,
a “Timothy’' of the Covenant
Church, the Rev. Ralph Kaylor
of Durham, will deliver the ser
On March 16 and 23 other for
mer pastors of the church are
scheduled to lead the services.
Church was organized in 1897,
with the first meetinghouse on
Airline avenue. In 1907 a house
of worship was erected at 805
West Franklin avenue. This
building was razed in 1955, after
the present educational unit was
under construction. When the
congregation occupied this unit
for the first time about a year
ago, the Church name was
changed from West End Metho
dist to Covenant Methodist.
The newly-built unit was nam
ed for the local benefactor who
gave $25,000 toward its construc
tion. This portion of a building
project to cost in excess of $300,-
000 contains classrooms and
other modern Sunday school fa
cilities, a kitchen, recreation
area, and lounges. A special fea
ture of the new structure is a
small chapel, used for Sunday
school assembly programs, and
sometimes for weddings, funer
als, and special worship pro
At present, the recreation area
is being used as a place for the
More than 35 years ago Mr.
and Mrs. J. F. Whitener came
down to Gastonia from their
farm home at Waynesville, N. C.
The work she chose was a job as
a spooler in the mill here. And
for all those years, she kept
faithfully to the task—^right up
to her retirement early this year.
Twelve of those years were
spent at work before Firestone
came to Gastonia. When she fin
ished the last 23 years here.
Overseer O. K. Forrester had
words of praise for a job well
“You’d have to look far and
wide to find a person more de
voted to a job,” he remarked,
after handing her a gift from her
fellow workers in Spooling.
WHEN Mrs. Whitener went
home that day, she had plans
that would suffice to keep her
worship assembly room. The
sanctuary, next planned unit of
the construction program, will be
joined to the present wing. It is
planned to accommodate 400 per
sons. A balcony, which would
add 100 more seats, may be add-
ed after that.
busy indefinitely. Unlike many
people who retire, she finds no
room in her schedule for travel
“There’s too much to do at
home — with a large garden,
flowers, trees and shrubs to look
after.” Then she mentioned her
hobbies of crocheting, em
broidering, and canning, pick
ling and preserving fruits and
vegetables from her and Mr.
Whitener’s two acres at 1401 Lin-
To give you an idea of the
changes Mrs. Whitener saw dur
ing her employment here,
the early days spoolers traveled
at the rate of about 500 yards
of yarn a minute. Now, they clip
off some 1200 yards in the same
time. Likewise, the warpers that
in the old days did 75 yards a
minute now do better than 1,000
yards a minute.
Open Road Calls When Camellias Bloom
In the mid-South climate of the Carolinas,
winter moves in but for a brief stay. Come Feb
ruary, Spring has its banners out, heralding Na
ture’s season of resurrection and the long months
of outdoor living ahead.
The Travel Service of Plant Recreation has
marked the February calendar as a gala month
at resort areas of the Tar Heel and Palmetto
states. What’s more, there is a long list of places
and events all over the two states, and worth
considering by the Firestone traveler.
FEBRUARY brings a gorgeous display of ca
mellias to the gardens and plantations along the
coast of both states and as far inland as the
Sandhills and the Piedmont. Chief among camel
lia centers are Wilmington, Southport, and
Charleston. At Wilmington, the 15th annual Ca
mellia Show will be staged February 22, 23. Noted
beauty spots in this area are Greenfield Park,
Orton Plantation and Airlie Gardens.
Travelers going along US 17 are invited to stop
at the former colonial capitals of Edenton and
New Bern, with their stately homes and public
buildings surrounded by spring blossoms.
Further inland and on the way back to Gas
tonia, maybe you’d like to stop for a look at the
famous Jugtown Potteries. Here visitors may see
the Jugtown Ware being produced by centuries-
old methods. The pottery is in operation Mondays
through Fridays and is open to visitors on Sat
HISTORIC Charleston and vicinity are worth
a visit in February. Here are world-famed
gardens offering unforgetable sightseeing. Among
the well-known gardens are Middleton, Cyprus
and Magnolia. A folder, “South Carolina’s Famous
Gardens”, is yours by writing to South Carolina
State Development Board, Box 927, Columbia.
GOING AFAR in February? Florida and its
West Coast? The zenith of the Tampa winter sea
son is reached in the Gasparilla Festival, to be
staged February 10-15. The fete is highlighted by
a rip-roaring invasion of “pirates” who come up
Tampa Bay in a full-rigged ship with her yards
and masts streaming colorful bunting, and beauty
queens decorating the rigging.
Besides the invasion of “pirates,” there is a
colorful parade reminiscent of the Mardi Gras in
New Orleans. Later in the week there are fancy
dress balls, a children’s parade and festivities in
the Latin quarter of Ybor City.
Stay on after the gala celebration and you’ll
find much to interest you along the West Coast
from Clearwater south more than 150 miles to
Ten Thousand Islands. There are sports, famous
restaurants, maritime museums—and more.
In the Tampa area, hotel and motel rates vary
according to quality, location and other factors.
But in general, the rates are somewhat below
those in more glamorous resort areas of Florida.
Overseer O. K. Forrester presents a gift to Mrs. J. F. Whitener
at her retirement. In the box; Two fancy bedspreads.
Two Acres: Plenty Of Work
For This Spooling Retiree