Final Testament

Final Testament

Deep in rural Alabama sits this incredible structure, like a dog-eared page reminding us of a very old book. Built in the decade just before the Civil War, this Presbyterian Church was probably built by slaves from a nearby plantation. Imagine how much the world around this place would change in just a few short years and how different life would be for its congregation.

Notice the four separate entryways, required for men, women, and slaves to enter separately. The small doorways to the sides of the main doors leading up to the slave gallery, still in tact today, but inhabited only by a large and less than friendly owl.

Untitled

[View of the ‘Slave Gallery’ from the pulpit]

The Greek Revival style building is surrounded on both sides of this idyllic property by just over 30 graves, dating from 1843 to the most recent in 1955. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, it is now privately owned and being looked after as best as possible by its current owners who placed a new roof on the building in the past 5 years. The front doors have been stolen, along with some other wood, and fixtures, but the structure is largely void of vandalism or significant structural damage.

Untitled

Standing in front of a place like this one, somewhere down a dirt road, and far from home, I still can muster up a connected feeling to the people who built it and lived their lives on this property. The woman who might’ve stood here in 1853 and myself, standing here 162 years later have very different lives, but it makes me smile to think that we both got to stand in awe of such an incredible structure.

[SW Alabama, c. 1853]

Untitled

http://Untitled

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “Final Testament”

  1. Roger Pocock says :

    Reblogged this on Windows into History (Reblogging and Links) and commented:
    Suggested reading – some amazing photos, and I love the ‘dog-eared page’ metaphor. Reblogged on Windows into History.

    Like

  2. Amy Saab says :

    What a treasure! I wish you would have gotten some of the gravestone images. I saw them in the background. A lot of interesting information used to written on the stones. Thanks for sharing. ~amy

    Like

  3. Louis Stark says :

    What a lovely Church I did not knw that slaves attended the same Church. Thought they had their own building separate Church. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  4. Audra says :

    Where is this structure? I would love to see it in person one day. I keep coming back to your post… such a gorgeous site.

    Like

  5. Rod says :

    It’s a beautiful church. The design is almost identical to the Robinson Springs United Methodist Church in Millbrook, AL. The Millbrook church shows a small steeple, but has the same four door entrance with the slave gallery upstairs. The Millbrook church is still active and some of the members are eighth generation descendants of the founders.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_Springs_United_Methodist_Church

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Julia rew says :

    Is the church named Elizabeth prys. Church. If so it has been moved to the university of west Ala. Livingston. It was put back together just as it was. The college has many of the old rotting buildings on their campus to preserve them. It is something to see. They have an old coveredbridge that is on the campus for years.

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Final Testament | Doctor C J's Blog - May 11, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: