Thursday, April 15, 2010

Faith of Our Fathers

As I become older (and supposedly wiser), I enjoy looking back into our history and re-discovering some of the values that were held by our earlier generations. Indeed, I am becoming a member of one of those earlier generations myself. And what do I mean by values? I believe I am thinking about the good things in Life's Journey that mean something significant- those things that stick with you and those things that can get you through some tough times.

And so it happened on a recent trip that I noticed an historical marker on my way out of an overnight camp at Kerr Reservoir on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. On State Hwy 39 at Townsville, the marker stated:

"St. John's Episcopal Church. Parish established 1746. Present Building completed 1773 stands 200 yards West".

It was a beautiful, sunny, early Spring morning, and I could make the time. So, I drove over to the church. There, on this country road on the Piedmont of North Carolina, I stopped to walk around the outside of the church and take some pictures. I wondered what it would have looked like on a similar Sunday in Spring over 200 years ago.

Above image: Saint John's Episcopal Church, rear view; note the large shuttered windows. Click on image for larger view.

Above: The front of the church was quite unique- large windows, curved steps, giant cedar trees, and a bronze tablet on the right side of the church, above the boxwood bush, that read:

Saint John's Parish Church founded 1746, Williamsborough, North Carolina
This Tablet is erected by the North Carolina Society of the Colonial Dames of America under the auspices of the Vance County Committee, Henderson, NC, Friday, October 25, 1935, in honor of the reverend memory of those who in building the State founded it upon their faith in God,
"Faith of our Fathers, Holy Faith, we will be true to thee till death".
Saint John's Parish was visited in 1749 by Reverend Clement Hall who baptized 184 children.
First Rector, 1766
The Reverend Charles Cupples
Sent out by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, London.
First Vestry
(followed by a list of persons)

Can you imagine, my friends, 184 children being baptized on one Sunday. Now, that's a lot of Faith. I looked around the area from my stance in front of the church. Not much else was happening on this Thursday morning on the second day of April.

Post Note: Henderson is the county seat of Vance County, NC. I heard on cable TV, Solid Gold Oldies, that one of The Drifters (recall the tunes, "Under the Boardwalk" and "Up on the Roof") was born in Henderson, NC. They played such great music BACK then.

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