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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lasting Beauty

Bazinga and I went for a long walk today. It is so beautiful outside I couldn't resist. I took my camera along because there are some very beautiful old churches and buildings here in our little town. Some are still in good shape some are not. Some are being rebuilt, some were destroyed in a fire a few years back.

The history of a town is found in its buildings and especially churches. Small towns in particular were and many still are very centered around their churches. The church was the meeting place, community activities were planned and carried out there. The church as a community center even more important in towns where the school was in another town. 
The Presbyterian church built in 1902

The Sunday School room

Rossville has four churches that were built in the early twentieth century. Two of which are still churches, two are not. It always makes me a little sad to see an old church that is no longer a place of worship, no matter what religion it housed.  It is so easy to imagine the people that once filled the building with laughter and tears. You can see their faces as they watched their babies being baptized , their children being married, and their parents being eulogized. You can still hear the songs of praise being sung by the choir. You wonder how they would feel about their beloved church now being an antique store. 

Not sure when this was built, now an antique store
Built 1903, now the Rossville Historic Society

As years have come and go, and times changed what looks like it used to be a fairly prosperous town at one time has become less so. Many have moved away. Businesses have closed. The churches still stand. The architecture is unmatched now. Churches, mostly because of financial restraints are found in many different forms now. Some are in prefabricated buildings, some are even in strip malls. The beauty going by the wayside. Churches have more important things to spend the every dwindling sums of money that come in through the collection plate. Most congregations, I'm sure, would prefer to have a glorious church, but understand that the services provided are more pressing.

The Methodist Church, built 1903

Even the churches with the resources to build the church that they want can not compare to the simple beauty of the old churches. No matter how grand and ornate the new building is, it is never as welcoming as the old brick country church. 

And once again my camera has freaked out on the date in these photos, they were all taken today, March 19th, 2011, not thirty years from now.

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