Thursday, November 9, 2017

Summer Hill Baptist Church

On my Deep South road trip I made a stopover in Georgia at a medium-sized town southwest of Atlanta called Newnan. My journal says that I identified a number of birds and also observed the local folk in the McDonalds parking lot. I made a drawing of this little church with its mismatched turrets - after all, the Cathedral of Chartres also has mismatched steeples - and wondered who worshipped there. Friendly Google shows me their website, and tells the story of the African-American congregation at Summer Hill. This church is no longer in use and may have been demolished during road construction. They have a bigger, neater church to use now but it doesn't have mismatched steeples.

Tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 7 1/2" x 4 1/2", July 2, 2003.

1 comment:

Texchanchan said...

My mother just finished doing a project on a church that looked very similar to that - "carpenter gothic" she called it. The church in question kept business meeting notes from about 1813 to about 1869 which are available in copies from an archive, all written by hand, of course. She read them all. We were surprised to learn that the church was mixed black and white - mostly white - it was Baptist. But one man of color, probably a "servant" (slave), was even called to preach. At some point after the war the African-Americans formed their own churches and now as far as I know it's just white, but I could be wrong. If not, that would be a recent thing. Their meeting notes include such things as sending a couple of the brethren out to talk to Brother So-and-so about his drinking, and actually throwing a woman out of the church for mistreating a "servant," and another for adultery. That church, in Mulberry, Tennessee, is still meeting in the old building that looks a lot like the one in the picture.