Mr. Long was not forgetting what he considered to be his Christian duty regarding an organized church in his new city. But it was not until the summer of 1923 that he could respond favorably to a number of letters he had been getting saying that an interdenominational community church would be best for a new city that could not afford, at the outset, to support a number of small denominational churches.
The Community Church was formally organized on October 21, 1923, and held its first services in the temporary Community House. Nine months later, with the auditorium in the new Community House available, Sunday services were being attended by nearly a thousand people.
It was undecided for a while whether the Community Church should construct its own building or wait and dissolve as soon as the various other denominations could get along on their own. Mr. Long felt that “such a building will contribute so greatly to the spiritual requirements of the whole community. I have concluded to give to the Longview Community Church such land as will be needed.” He also donated the first $25,000 towards the $89,500 needed to build the church.
The building committee envisioned an elaborate group of buildings, providing facilities for social and religious services seven days a week, built in an oval island formed by dividing Washington Way. This was too grandiose even for Mr. Long, and he said the church would have to settle for the corner on Washington Way and Kessler Boulevard.
Mr. Long also provided a set of chimes for the towers. There were 22 bells, the largest, the key of E, weighing 2,000 pounds, and the smallest, F sharp, weighing 475 pounds.
From “R.A. Long’s Planned City,”