Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our Church

Are you attached to your church? Pictured below is our church. (All photos can be enlarged)


I used to be a Roman Catholic but when I married my husband, who is a Baptist, I said we all worship the same God anyway, so I was baptized and became a member.

Anyways, for a little back ground, the First Baptist Church was organized in 1843 and was led by a new seminary graduate and meetings were held in a small house. A lot was purchased on 1853 and our church was built and completed on Thanksgiving Day in 1854; the cost was a whopping $5,000! It has gone through a lot of different Pastors and there was even a time where the door was closed due to inability to support a minister. For nearly three years the congregation worshiped with the other village churches until they hired a student who later was ordained in our church. During this ministry, the membership grew and they were able to install colored windows. In 1899, a baptistry was installed and in 1921 the church was wired with electricity. Additions, remodeling and repairs were done through the years.

The longest Pastor was Rev. Darius M. Ratcliff, who served for 27 years! During his ministry, he was responsible for organizing youth groups, purchasing a new organ, new restrooms and various improvements and repairs. His pastorate ended in 1959.

My parents-in-laws attended this church and so did their parents. They were pillars of the church, taking on responsibilities like cleaning, fund raising, serving in different committees, etc. Sometime in the 70's my husband painted a mural on the wall of the baptistry (pictured below) sadly enough, this painting is now peeling and is screaming to be re-painted. He used my mother-in-law (MIL), father-in-law and a few good friends as models for some of the figures. He is not too happy about the painting and said he painted it when he was younger and was lacking experience then.


It was also in the 70's when my hubby designed and installed this stained glass window. (pictured below) It is sitting on top of the front door. He also designed the new church steeple that replaces the old one which was torn down for safety reason. There are a lot of memories in this church. My hubby was big in "eating wood" when he was a baby (after he got his teeth), his teeth mark is in one of the pew because while seating on his parent's lap he would chew the pew in front. And at home he would kneel in front of his bedroom window and chew the window sill while watching his friends go to the movies; because he can't go so he would chew the wood instead. My husband was first married in this church also. It is sad because the last of the original family generations remaining who attended this church is my husband. We even have our "own" pew.
My hubby and I are officers of the executive board since 1983 and along with other God loving and dedicated church members, we do most of the planning and work in whatever our church needs.


Most of the members are elderly and dwindling ... we are trying to build the church's membership but younger generation these days prefers to worship in a more interactive service. I hate to see its door closed ... because over the years, I got attached to this small but warm and friendly church.

15 comments:

Mari said...

It would be sad if your church closes. It is so much a part of you and your family. You have put so much labor and love into it. Hopefully, the next generation will take care of it, and get more members; or create...as in multiply.

Have a lovely weekend.

Marina Capano said...

Hola Nance! thanks for your comment in my blog! lovely post!

xoxo

Tracy said...

Hi, Nance! Your church us so pretty--such a clean, lovely architectural building. And so great to hear the history of the place. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for stopping by...I'm slow to get here to see you--such busy days until we leave for our trip--LOL! Happy week ((HUGS))

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Magandang Umaga Nance,

Salamat for visiting me :) Your church is beautiful :)

Ingat,
Dena

Becky said...

Hi Nance,
I am not attached to a church now but have fond memories on the one we attended when i was young.

Nona said...

Ang lungkot naman, kapag laging nakasarado. Ang dami palang memories ng church niyo nance. Good thing kasi hanggang ngayon inaalagaan niyo pa rin. That's nice. And the painting is not bad huh. :)

Scooterblu's Whimsy said...

Great post and what a beautiful old church! I love your account of the family history attached to the church! ~Rhonda :)

I'm hosting a give-away in celebration of my 100th post. Come by and enter if you get a chance! :)

caryn said...

wow, that's really interesting! thanks for sharing the history of your church with us! ;-)

Chris said...

Nance, I am definitely attached to my church! I come from a Baptist background and am still Baptis through & through. But when we moved, I started attending a more contemporary style church with my daughter and I love it now. (The music took a little getting used to.)

Have you considered a Bus Ministry? Reaching young, unchurched families who can then grow up in the church as a "new generation"?
Just a thought...

I'll add your church to my prayer list. It is so beautiful & has so much history. I'm sure God wants it to remain open!

Blessings, Chris

Mother Nature said...

Your hubby is quite an artist.

Vk-mahalkaayo said...

thanks for sharing about your church.....

it is great to hear n know the history.

ganda pa ang church nyo, at malinis.

B.J. said...

I have just read your past post about First Baptist Church. Rev. Darius M. Ratcliff was my grandfather. I was pleased to learn more of the history of the church.

B.J. Johanningmeier
Houston, TX
Daughter of Betty Ratcliff Downs

Nance said...

Hi B.J.
Small world! of all the thousands of blogs, you found mine! ... and my 2008 post! thanks for your comment!

B.J. said...

Nance,

Is the church still open?

B.J.

Nance said...

B.J.
Yes, it's still alive and open and we have another pic of your grandfather downstairs, in the basement. I can take a picture and send it to you if you want. Are you on facebook, by any chance? my email is NGelder@aol.com