Carole Mikita reporting President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has probably overseen more building and restoration projects than any other church president.
On Sunday, he will dedicate several buildings in Kirtland, Ohio.
Kirtland was the church headquarters from 1831 to 1838. At that time some two thousand Latter-day Saints lived here. Historians call it the most signifigant seven years in the history of this Church.
Today, it's a peaceful, little town in northeastern Ohio, near Lake Erie. 172 years ago, Kirtland became a bustling headquarters for Latter-day Saints.
Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley/ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "KIRTLAND WAS A GREAT, THRIVING COMMUNITY AT ONE TIME... AND WE'VE TRIED NOW TO RESTORE IT..."
Planning, design and construction have taken nearly 25 years. The schoolhouse has been rebuilt on its original 19th century foundation. There is now a replica of an historic sawmill with period-authentic tools. The Newel K. Whitney store was the economic and even spiritual center of the town.
Kathie Purmal/ Lake Co. Historical Society Exec. Dir. "FOR THE CHURCH, WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY WALK BACK IN TIME...BUT, FOR US NON-CHURCH MEMBERS, AND FOR THE HISTORIC COMMUNITY AT LARGE, IT'S A WONDERFUL RESOURCE "
Karl Anderson/ author "WHAT WE SEE HERE IS THE RESULT OF BOTH COMMUNITY AND CHURCH WORKING TOGETHER FOR BOTH OF OUR BEST INTERESTS..."
Kirtland was also the site of the first Latter-day Saint Temple. On Pioneer Day 1992, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang there, invited by The Community of Christ Church, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ. It still owns the building and the property but through the years, the two faiths have formed a friendship, they share a common heritage. The dedication of newly-restored buildings, is a tribute to those early church members and a coming full circle.
Pres. Hinckley "AND TO THINK THAT WHAT'S HAPPENED SINCE THEN, HAS OCCURED, IS A MIRACLE, REALLY IN MANY, MANY WAYS
President Hinckley will be here this weekend, to speak to local church members Saturday night, and dedicate the newly-restored buildings on Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow, we will tour those sites and bring you much more on EWN throughout the day, join us then.