Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grandmother's Church

Next Sunday is our family reunion #106.
It is my maternal Grandmothers family.
I am thinking about her church, since it Sunday, and next week we will gather.
Last spring when I was there I took some pictures of it's beauty.
This was the original church my Grandmother attended in Ashmore IL.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Hard to believe this small town of 785 had 2 Presbyterian Churches.

Most of my Grandmother's Aunt and Uncles were brought up the stairs for their funerals.
I think about all my ancestors who placed their hands on these beautiful doors to open them to the sanctuary.
The sanctuary looks like you just stepped into 1912
enough parishioners at one time to fill up a balcony
original light fixture hangs in the empty balcony
I find beauty everywhere I look.
My family sat in these pews for Christmas programs, High School graduations, 
baptisms, marriages and funerals.
They sang together in joy on Sundays and cried together here in sad times.
So many of these small town churches are shutting their doors.
I find it so sad, my heart breaks for the history they hold inside.

I am so lucky to say, that I too now have memories of happy times there.


I am hoping and praying they continue.
The minister of the church passed away in February, and if you 
know anything about small town life and small town churches,
ministers are few and far to come from.
I worry so about this beautiful church.
So as you go to church today, look around and discover the 
beauty of your church, the history of your church and think about those that came before you.
Think of the songs they sang, the smiles they gave each other and the tears they shed together.










13 comments:

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh what a beautiful church. I agree, it is so sad to see the churches close. Hugs, marty

Tete said...

I so enjoyed visiting your church this morning. LOVE the photos. I have never been in this one. Beautiful hand work on everything from the windows to the pews. Love those old curved pews.
We have an old family church like that in my family in southern Mo. It also has the cemetery where my dad's side of the family have all be laid to rest. My dad and uncle have both preached from the pulpit there, along with a couple cousins. I have sung with my cousins in front of everyone there. I have no idea of how many generations have attended that little white church in the country, but I am sure its many. Hot summer nights had the front doors wide open and all the windows and those old cardboard fans advertising the local funeral home and local restaurants and local gas stations fanning the air. Funerals were standing room only with the over flow standing outside the double doors or around the windows under the shade trees to hear the minister.
Here in Coles County with mom's side of the family, all funerals were done at Harper Swickard. Now they, too, have been sold and passed onto new hands. I can't tell you how many of the family have laid in there and how many times, one by one, the last generation have been laid to rest at Kickapoo.
Great post, Ann. Glad your reunion is next weekend. Looks to be cooler. Its 82 out there at 11 am.
Been out playing in the yard. Steve just checked the radar and there are a few pop ups happening, so maybe we might get a little rain. Next Sunday says 60%, if they don't change it by then. Storms are over by Decatur, so they could build and move in this afternoon. We just got done watering. Well, lunch here.

Susie said...

Ann, I wish you a wonderful reunion. When we had ours on the fourth, I made a point of kissing everyone there on the cheek, with hugs too. I think we need more family time...but when we all have families, it's hard to gather at times. Smiles, Susie

sweetvintageofmine said...

Ann, I so enjoyed my visit to your families church! Hope your reunion is the BEST yet and I agree, it's sad to see what is happening with the older clergy and the churches. It is a part of HISTORY and they must be SAVED! (Am I preaching? LOL!) Anyway, loved this post and reading about your family. From one sweetie to another~~~Roxie

Shelia said...

What a beautiful olden church! Love it.
Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday.
be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Thoughts for the day said...

Beautiful pictures, and oh the stained glass windows, if I could ever build a house I would put one in a special place and the pews, how many stories could they tell??

Lottie said...

Ann, thank you for sharing your family and photos of your family church. You brought a tear to my eye as I read your post today! The stained glass window was majestic! Thank you!

Shirley said...

Dear Ann, I so enjoyed this post. It is truly a love that you hold for your family and your community! The church is beautiful and I hope it can remain open and enjoy many more years to come..

NanaDiana said...

What a beautiful post, Ann. I certainly hope they can find a new pastor and the church can flourish for years to come-xo Diana

On Crooked Creek said...

Ann,
What a beautiful Church...and all the gorgeous wood, stained glass,and lighting!Memories and our loved ones are the truest blessings of life! Thank you for your sweet comment and visit recently On Crooked Creek. I do hope you'll stop by again soon, dear friend!
Fondly,
Pat

Carol said...

What a beautiful church. The sanctuary and stained glass are wonderful.
There is a church near us that has amazing stained glass, old beautiful sanctuary, and it's for sale, they are asking 127K.....unbelievable. Hope someone snaps it up to preserve it.

Debbie said...

So many churches are closing up.
Our little church up here is still going...but I fear it won't be long...the attendance is way down. We'll just keep plugging along.
Very nice post.
xxoo

mischy said...

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I love going to church. I always feel serene when I'm in that place. You have a wonderful family and its nice that you bond by going to church. Thanks for sharing this with us.