Remodeling of Church Completed

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, August 9, 1914:  Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Our church is fixed up at last. It’s quite a satisfaction now to look around and admire the pretty walls and ceiling. It was pretty warm today. The seats had been varnished. Was afraid I might stick fast, but I didn’t. Came home and found Ruthie a lazying around in her room. Her excuse was, ‘twas too hot to go to church.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I bet the pews in Grandma’s church were shinier than these . . . Hmm, now that I’m thinking about it, Grandma said “seat”, not “pews”. Did she mean pews, and was just using imprecise language?

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The remodeling of the McEwensville Baptist Church took a month and a half. At the beginning of the process, on June 22, 1914, Grandma wrote:

Had quite a time at rubbing and washing today, and it wasn’t here at home either. We are going to have the church fixed over, and it was necessary to wash off the walls. One girl upset her bucket of water off a step ladder. Had to laugh. I was up near the ceiling, and my laughing made me dizzy. Came down off that ladder and staid down. Didn’t want a fate like the bucket.

The remodeled church sounds lovely with pretty walls and ceiling—and shiny varnished seats. Yet, I feel a twinge of sadness, because I know that the church will soon begin its final decline since, in 1939, in her History of McEwensville, Agnes Beard wrote:

 The Baptist Church, a brick edifice, has fallen into ruins, there being no members in or near the place to keep it in repair.

30 Responses

  1. Too hot to go to church….I wonder how that excuse went over with her parents?

  2. The church building may have had seats instead of pews. I have been to many old country churches that have individual seats or theater style seats. We have theater style seats where I worship.

    • I don’t think that I’ve ever seen an old church with seating quite like you describe–but I bet that her church had individual/theater style seating.

  3. What a pity the church has fallen into disrepair as it clearly meant so much 100 years ago.

  4. I recently took pictures of a now defunct old country church. Beautiful in its decay. Not sure how some old churches thrive and others don’t.

  5. In 25 years, the church went from thriving to having no members at all? That seems odd–I wonder what changed.

    • It seems odd to me, too. Maybe the church was just too small to survive. . . or it combined with another nearby church. . . or there was some sort of disagreement between church members. . . or the minister and the congregation didn’t see eye to eye on things. . . or. . .

  6. So sad about the church falling into disrepair. I remember those hot Sundays sitting in church….fanning with one of those little paper fans with the wooden handle and an ad for a funeral home on the back side!

  7. I really like these entries. She give more detail that in some of her others. You can see her humorous side. Sad about the church, though.

  8. I wonder what happened. Did people stop going to church? Did something happen that divided the congregation and they just went to another church?
    Diana xo

  9. What a sad end after such hard work.

  10. I am going to assume she meant HER seat in a pew! Maybe. huh?

  11. I remember when our country church was redone.

  12. I’m glad she didn’t stick to the seat :)

  13. How sad to know the outcome of the remodelling.

    • Yes, lots of times knowing that happened way out in the future, provides reassurance that all will be well, but there occasions when sad events happen in the future.

  14. Oh my — the church eventually in ruins. How truly sad …

  15. Love the comment about avoiding the same fate as the bucket.

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