Don’t Forget Me
This beautiful old structure has taunted me in online galleries for almost two years. After numerous attempts to contact other photographers, locals, area historians and every satellite map I could get my hands on, it was good old fashioned wandering in the woods which finally brought me to this glorious old church. Construction was completed in 1890 in a rural community just outside of Gainesville, FL which has since come and gone. This church ministered to a citrus farming community which flourished until the mid-1900s. Most memories of the small town are long gone but a few skeletons like this one still stand, reminding us of the people who built, lived and communed there. The church has been abandoned since the 1950s.
The stained glass still glows magnificently and a small organ stands inside as though its congregation might show up at any moment. There is some structural damage to the front tower although this building is in better condition than most buildings of its era. About 2 years ago, a local preservation effort was started and some monies were raised to fortify the structure, mainly the roof. On my visit, the original roof was still on, although the building was surrounded by building materials which I assume (and hope) are being used to stabilize the foundation and further protect from weather elements. Fortunately, the buildings location in the middle of nowhere has saved it from a vandalized fate but has also isolated it from visitors who would appreciate such a fine historic structure. I can’t help but imagine the final sermon delivered on the altar and the last person who shut the door and locked it. Still standing all these years later, what role could a building like this play in contemporary times?