Hosanna Arch

May 22, 2013

On Mother's Day, the First United Methodist Church in Reno, Nevada celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Hosanna Arch, an architectural icon gracing the sanctuary located at 209 West First Street in Reno. Dedicated on Mother's Day in 1943, the Hosanna Arch features the sculpted likenesses of 52 children who attended the church in the early 1940's. The children's faces, along with palm leaves and lilies, were sculpted by San Francisco artist Alice English, working from photographs which were recently discovered in the church's historical files. As reported in the Reno Evening Gazette in an article dated April 8, 1943, the arch is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world.


The discovery of the original photographs prompted Richard Drath, a member of the local congregation, to begin researching the children in an effort to find them and determine where their lives have taken them over the past seven decades. Of the 52 children depicted in the Hosanna Arch, 29 were successfully located. On Sunday, May 12, 2013, several of those individuals, along with family and friends from around the country, joined the church's congregation for the 70th Anniversary Celebration of the Hosanna Arch. Stories of the 29 found 'children,' along with then-and-now photos have been compiled in a brochure.