Note: This has been posted before, but I can’t recall if I made it public or just shared it with Creative Gene. Here is my offering for Those Places Thursday/October 20, 2011.
Tucked neatly on the shoulder of Gildersleeve Mountain is a beautiful white church with a back drop of lush green. If you walk to the end of the drive and take a peek down the road you just might see a huge body of water. Sure sounds like it is located in New England. Trust me when I say this spot is as beautiful as any in New England.
You ask, “then where is this lovely spot if not in New England?” This house can be found in an extension of New England, CT to be exact, it lies in the Western Reserve. You’ll find this house of God sharing the hill with another very important house of worship, that was built in 1836. Still have you guessing?
Our family home of worship is Old South Church in Kirtland, Ohio. The second church is The Kirtland Temple, built by Joseph Smith Jr. and his followers. It is located a few miles down the road from Old South. There are many stories that abound about the Temple, Joseph and his followers. Many of which you can find on the internet or at your local library.
My story begins at the Old South Church. This is where my parents attended Sunday School, where my grandparents worshiped. Mom and Dad were married here, I was christened here and even though we moved away to Arizona then back to Michigan. I have spent many Easter and other Sundays sitting in a pew or in the a class room of Old South.
As a child I remember this congregation having a rich musical back ground. Wonderful organists (okay I admit Nana played organ at one time and that I might be a bit bias here) and vocalists with wonderful voices. Inspiring and encouraging. I can’t recall the sermons, but I do recall two of the pastors, Rev. Messner and Rev. Snider
I said my final goodbye’s to four grand parents and an uncle from this sanctuary. They are all buried up the road at the South Kirtland Cemetery.
As of this writing I don’t know if I will ever step foot in this chapel again, but in my memories I visit it often.
The next place of worship that I recall while growing up can be found in Wayne Michigan on the corner of Wayne Road and Michigan Ave (US 12). Nestled in a typical old mid-western city, The First Congregational Church of Wayne. When we first attend this church in the late 60’s the church house was very similar to the one in Kirtland, the bell tower and steeple were a bit different it didn’t come to a point, but was a square steeple that came to four points. In 1970 the sanctuary was lost in a fire. The new building is beautiful, but it does not compare to the grace and majesty of the old sanctuary. Most of the religious training as a young person, that I recall, was gained here and of course from my parents.
I was member of the young choir for a season. I still remember the the organist/choir director Orpha Hutty. One of our classes did a film, in our “back yard” at the church about the Pilgrims which is something I have just recalled. Wonder whatever happened to that!
There is just one more house of worship that has been called home and to me it is my home church. Romulus Free Will Baptist Church is where I have been a member for twenty-eight years. My children grew up here. It is where I have been a teacher, treasurer, singer.
Several family marriages have occurred here. Our oldest son was married at home, by the pastor of the church at that time. Our Oldest daughter, Brother and Sister law were married at the church.
This church family is truly a family. We love and tend to each others needs as best as we as humans can. God has seen us through many trials and walks with our congregation daily. This story has not ended, but will continue to grow as I and my fellow brothers and sisters continue to worship the Lord here as he adds on a takes away. Our lives will forever be touched by the places in which we have spent time with our Lord.
Julie Hogston - Visit Website