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Envious ministers of other faiths feared competition, as did an influential restaurateur who stalled completion of the church’s planned cafeteria as to not hurt his own business in town. His wish for a bowling alley went unfulfilled, and the rooftop garden on Seaman Hall was never finished.By 1927, the pastor’s 1,700-member congregation had a paid staff of six, including an assistant minister, directors of athletics and Christian education, a music master, and a secretary.On the third level there was a gym for activities and interactive play. 3, 1926, Pastor Seaman conducted the first services in City Church.There was no shortage of celebration for the grand opening; the next seven days had nightly Thanksgiving celebrations, eulogies, and dedications.The exuberant pastor proclaimed the opening events to be the climax of his ministerial career and the beginning of a revival of faith and brotherhood for Gary.Despite its beauty, the building had its fair share of detractors; Gary was still young and the building was constructed at great cost and stature for a congregation and town that size.
A ,000 support grant would provide for long-overdue maintenance to be performed on the building in 1945.
The congregation did not put forth effort to open its arms to blacks, Latinos, or eastern Europeans.
In addition, Seaman’s messages and methods were starting to rub his parishioners the wrong way. Seaman’s removal; disgruntled parishioners had him transferred involuntarily to an Ohio church.
Judge Elbert Gary, namesake of the town and chairman of U. Steel personally donated an ornate, four-manual Skinner organ to the church ().
The second building constructed on the property was known as Seaman Hall.