January 22, 2010
- FIRST CHURCH IN THE WORLD TO COMPLETE THE PUZZLE
- FIRST GROUP IN NORTH CAROLINA, USA
Members of the Mills River Presbyterian Church & Community Friends
- Mills River, North Carolina, USA.
Assembled between 08 January 2010 and 22 January 2010.
The Team: Jane A.; Robbie A.; Bob A.; Judy A.; Bertram A.; Lisa A.; Shirley A.; Cyrus
A.; Jim A.; Chris B.; Dave B.; Jaiden B.; Jim B.; Lois B.; Billie B.; Morgan B.;
Gabe B.; Joanne B.; Alice B.; Rick B.; Bill B.; Sue B.; Dorothy C.; Melissa C.;
Sarah C.; Sherry C.; Carey C.; David C.; Imogene C.; Lia C.; Mike C.; Susan C.; Mike
D.; Cindy E.; Doug E.; Curtis F.; Ben F.; Sonia G.; Ruth G.; Judy G.; Makayla G.;
Sam G.; Sherrie G.; Darlene H.; Jeannie H.; Gary H.; Pete H.; Ruby H.; Heidi H.;
Stephen H.; Betsy H.; Liz H.; Chelsea H.; Cyndie H.; Tracy H.; Ann J.; Maxine J.;
Ron J.; Michael J.; Betty J.; Leola J.; Nick J.; Chris J.; Mallorie K.; Tom K.;
Janie L.; Roz L.; Doris L.; Wally L.; Dean M.; Jeanette M.; Kenneth M.; Delores M.;
Bea M.; Carolyn M.; John M.; Kyle O.; Lisa O.; Carol P.; Charlie P.; Dottie P.; Abby
R.; Noland R.; Regrina R.; Andrew R.; Helen R.; Wayne R.; Kay R.; Dea S.; Fred S.;
Joyce S.; Letha S.; Ray S.; Lois S.; Trish S.; Deta S.; Larry S.; Susan S.; Maggie
T.; Charles T.; Ella T.; Carolyn T.; Bill T.; Jeff T.; Helen U.; Jorja U.; Jo V.;
Sarah W.; Jessica W.; Estelle W.; Mary W.; Cynthia W.; Sharon W.; Annette W.; Dan
Y.; James Y.; Matthew Y.; Sarah Y.; Tanya Y.; Vance Y.; Kathy Z.
The puzzle assembly was sponsored by Mills River Presbyterian Church with an invitation to the
community to join in the fellowship. The puzzle was assembled in the social hall of
the 150 year old church. Our stated goal was to be the first entity or the first
church in the State of North Carolina to be successful in assembling the puzzle.
The four section packets were opened and the puzzle assembly began at 7:00 p.m. on
Friday, January 8, 2010. The complete puzzle was joined together and finalized at
1:02 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 2010. The total elapsed time was 330 hours 2
Initially, for the first three days, we were operating on a 24-hour per day basis
for anyone who chose to do that. We soon found that only a few puzzlers wanted to
go "round the clock", so we adjusted our operating hours to accommodate those who
worked and those who had to attend school. We chose to keep the clock running so
that we would have a total elapsed time that was accurate.
We had people who signed up for the four teams that represented the four sections of
the puzzle totaling 142 individuals. Some of those individuals spent one or two
hours in their assembly participation while others were true puzzle fanatics who
were available at all times. Puzzlers came not only from our congregation but from
our nearby community as well as surrounding counties and represented all walks of
life. Even so, there was a true sense of camaraderie, enjoyment, and teamwork from
all participants. Additionally, active participants ranged in age from 7 years to
retirees in their 80s.
The first portion to be completed was section 4 of the puzzle whose team leader was
the church's secretary, an avid puzzler. It was completed at 5:02 p.m. on Saturday,
January 16th, 2010. Many of those team members immediately moved to assist other
The second portion completed was section 1 at 8:56 p.m. on Monday, January 18th,
2010. Again, those puzzlers moved on to assist other sections.
The third portion of the puzzle to be completed was section 2 at 5:11 p.m. on
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010.
Section 3 of the puzzle was judged by most of those assembling that section to be
the toughest of all, even though many of the puzzlers had come from the other
completed sections. The final piece for section 3, a large star in the sky, was
inserted by a 7 year old boy, the descendent of one of the church's founding
families, at 6:03 p.m. on Thursday, January 21, 2010.
Joining the sections was scheduled for a time that allowed puzzlers and the media to
be notified so that our community could be given an opportunity to join the
We were very gratified by the number of people who came throughout our assembly to
view our process and progress whether they chose to participate or not.
Due to the heightened interest the assembly of this puzzle has created in our
community, current plans are to frame and mount the completed puzzle in our
fellowship all to be viewed by future visitors.
Click the image below to see a video of this 'Worlds Largest Puzzle project':
* Video of the puzzle assembly
* Website of the Mills River Presbyterian Church