A service at the tiny Mount Olivet church is a sweet, wonderful, inspiring experience. The wooden planks in the floor are rippled and wavy, the small slatted wooden walls are showing their age, but the stories that old wood could tell us, would be amazing.
The windows were once again propped open with planks, and the cool springtime breeze wafted past me in the pew. An occasional bumble bee floated in on the breeze, but I figured all were welcome here.
The bees politely stayed up in the high ceiling area and left us worshippers alone.
The oil lamps are positioned around the perimeter of the room. I was told they used to have a larger lantern to light the night services. I would have loved to have attended one of those!
This tiny country church first opened it's doors way back in 1879. It is on the Historical Registry as the 'only remaining one room wooden Methodist church' in Gaston County.
The winds came some time back, and they blew this tiny church nearly off her foundation but she still stands firm. The rocks were replaced with bricks and mortar and she remains where she belongs. Keeping her place in history and firmly standing where she will, hopefully, well into the future.
There are plans underway to keep this tiny church restored and the cemetery kept up with, as well.
Contributions to this cause are always accepted. If you wish to donate to the preservation of this tiny church attached to our family and to my heartstrings, just contact Judy Shannon at 704-867-4713.
This year, Joe Carpenter presided over the memorial service and Reverend Richard Cloninger gave the sermon. It was a beautiful service.
Old timey hymns were raised to the glory of the Lord, with the help of Wilma Craig, playing the old style pump organ. We all sang heartily with Wilma kindly requesting that we limit the number of verses sung on each hymn, because her leg was 'plain giving out' pumping that old organ. Grin.
It just doesn't get any more 'old-timey' than that, folks.
I took in the sights and smells of the wonderful old church ,as we sat there on those scarred wooden benches.
I let my mind travel back in time to a simpler place, when life was slower paced. I think I would have enjoyed living in that time, but I would have definitely missed the air-conditioning.
An old framed portrait of Jesus hangs on the wall, behind the pulpit.
The spirit of our Lord was surely in that place.
The average age of those attending this service was about 75, I would say. This is a sad fact to relay. The ones that truly love this place are getting older, and we are losing them one by one. I heard of a number of those connected to the church that have passed in just the last year. I was among the youngest ones there. We are the ones that will carry the torch forward for this tiny church. I do not want this torch to be laid by the wayside. I consider this place my heritage, too.
I spoke with Wilma Craig, who has vast knowledge of the history of this tiny church, about our Welzia and his possible role in this church. He is not officially listed among those that pastored here, but I feel sure that he must have preached here a time or two. His heart was surely here, or he would not have wanted to be laid to rest here.
I went out after service and paid my respects to him and Isabell..as well as Great grandma Sarah Ellen Winters Arrowood. Surely they were all smiling down from heaven, watching the service from above.
The crowd gathered after the service outside, inside the white picket fence that surrounds the cemetery.
They served cookies and lemonade to all in attendance.
I thought it was lovely to gather among those long gone, in fellowship.