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Psychic Science Spiritualist Church
Building History

Written by the Reverend Herbert Ray Worth in November 2001 (Revised January 2004)

The former Herman P. Lieber residence, located at 1415 Central Avenue in Indianapolis, has been the home of the Psychic Science Spiritualist Church congregation since its official dedication on March 15, 1942.

The building was acquired through the efforts of Dr. B.F. Clark and Dollie Clark who did extensive research to determine an ideal location and setting for the church. The passing years have confirmed the accuracy and validity of their comprehensive groundwork, planning and vision for the future.  Designed by architect Mr. Vonnegut, and constructed in 1909, the residence and the carriage house at the back of the property are fine examples of Tudor Revival style.

Brandt Steele, a versatile young architect and designer (1870-1965) and son of well-known Indiana artist T.C. Steele, was delegated to design and complete the buildings interior. This included the selection of all materials - selecting various fine quality woods, designing the beautiful stained glass windows, fireplaces, beveled mirrors, light fixtures, book cases, and stairways.

The Psychic Science Spiritualist Church was founded by the Rev. Bessie Woodworth, October 28, 1923. In early January of the following year, Mrs. Woodworth was called to the pastorate of a church in Chicago. At that time Mrs. Dollie Clark, a sister of Bessie Woodworth, and Dr. B.F. Clark assumed the leadership of the new Psychic Science Spiritualist Church. During the next nineteen years the congregation met at various locations including the home of Dr. and Mrs. Clark before the building at 1415 Central Avenue was acquired.

Dedication of the new church building was a gala occasion! The principal speaker was the Rev. Joseph P. Whitwell, president of the National Spiritualist Association. Church dignitaries from various parts of the country attended. The platform was the center of numerous colorful floral pieces. Special music was presented. The Rev. Joseph P. Whitwell commented in his lecture that the sanctuary was in the shape of a letter "V" for victory. This was a popular and much-used slogan during World War II.

Dollie Clark served the church faithfully for a period of thirty years. A kindly, compassionate lady with several phases of mediumship, she was respected and revered by those who knew her. Her earthly ministry came to an abrupt end in the fall of 1953.  Traveling to an out-of-state Spiritual meeting on a foggy, rainy night, the automobile driven by Dr. Clark collided with another vehicle. Dollie expired a short time later. Dr. Clark, although injured, recovered to live an additional four years.  It was during this time that he and Mrs. Glenna Wood were married. Glenna would survive to serve the church for thirty years. The last ten years of her life were spent in an Indianapolis nursing home. She passed to spirit in March 1993, three days prior to her ninetieth birthday.

Psychic Science Spiritualist Church is now in the Old Northside Historic Area. There has been a resurgence of refurbishing many of the homes in the area along with plantings of shrubs and flowers reminiscent of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We still enjoy the peony garden on the southern portion of the church grounds which dates back to the initial landscaping - also a rose bush that blossoms each spring, sending forth a delightful fragrance which binds the past with the present in a treasure trove of precious memories.

Psychic Science Spiritualist Church, located at 1415 Central Avenue, has served the city and community continuously since 1942. Weekly services are scheduled Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings with readings on the second Saturday of each month.

We extend an invitation for you to attend and worship with us.  May God bless you and guide you on your daily path.

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