Desert Devotional Programs

Mr. Litchfield collaborated with Rev. Ostergren and they created the Desert Devotional Programs that ran through March and April from 1950 to 1959. This springtime tradition of holding interfaith spiritual programs at the Open Air Chapel at Rancho La Loma was open to the general public.

It was Mr. Litchfield who felt strongly that inter-denominational services would “promote a closer fellowship among people of different churches and creeds, in the belief that the crucial needs of mankind today call for a more inclusive brotherhood of all men.”

The services were sponsored jointly by The Church at Litchfield Park and the Phoenix and Arizona Councils of Churches. Layman and religious leaders from across the nation were invited to speak, and music was performed by many different choirs, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of Salt Lake City, Utah.

One Sunday there were over 2,500 people at the service. This program flourished until 1959, the year Mr. Litchfield died.

Arthur H. Zieske Fellowship Hall Dedication

Arthur H. Zieske Fellowship Hall was dedicated in April 1951 and named for the first chairman of the newly organized 1938 Church Council. At the time Mr. Zieske was the vice president of the Goodyear Farms operations.

Great care was taken to make the sanctuary, the Colonnade, and Zieske Hall appear to be one building, including the cowbell lights at the doors. Zieske Hall was the church social hall with a stage.

Then in 1974 the stage was removed for partitioned classrooms and a large storage area was built out the south side for the Thrift Shop sale items. In 1993 the leaded glass window was inserted, titled “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” During the 1985 sanctuary renovation Sunday services were held there. Renovation in 1997 created the pastors’ offices and a conference area.

Clarence Arnold Dockery, Fifth Pastor

Rev. Dockery was called in May 1958 and resigned in August 1960. There is no information about his education or denomination. He was the pastor when Mr. Paul Litchfield died in March 1959. He conducted the service held here at Rancho La Loma and then traveled to Akron, Ohio where he assisted with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company memorial service. He is pictured here up at the Open-Air Chapel at Rancho La Loma with Mrs. Litchfield’s sister Mary and an unknown couple.

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