Small Rural Churches Once Dotted County
By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.
The Cooper family’s good news is that Elizabeth, Brooks, and little Edward, are spending a few days with us. It’s incredible how much Edward has grown in the two months since they were here. I guess it’s been so long since we’ve had a baby in the house that we forget how they progress on a daily basis.
Lupe and I are just as excited about our first great-grandchild as we were when we had our first grandchild. He is ten weeks old and I told Elizabeth that before she realizes it, he’ll be starting to school. I remember how I would check Jamie so carefully to see if his seat belt was fastened, and it seemed almost in the blink of an eye this young six footer was asking for the keys to the car.
This is one of those times that I think of all the ironies we have in our every day life. Once they told us coffee was bad for us, but now they say it is good for us. Then they told us to avoid alcohol, but now they say a drink a day is good for us.
A long time ago I made up my mind to do what I had always done and not worry about the consequences. Personally I think these so called experts have always lived on grants and they come up with another finding when it’s time for their grant to be renewed.
If you doubt that think about how many times over the years they have come up with evidence of water on Mars – all they need is more of our money to investigate further. We could send the whole Washington establishment on a two-year vacation and the country would do just fine. It’s like Will Rogers said about Calvin Coolidge, “He didn’t do nothing but that’s what we wanted done.” All they really know how to do is spend other people’s money.
Well it’s back to school time again and I still don’t agree with starting school in the middle of summer. When I was in school the Tuesday after Labor Day marked the first day of school. Of course in those days we didn’t have air conditioning or even fans and now the classrooms have them so that seems to be one of the excuses offered.
The other is that they can get out earlier at the end of the school year. That makes about as much sense as Daylight Savings Time. We gain an hour in the morning and lose it at the end of the day – same hour. I can just hear someone saying that Cooper is oversimplifying again, but I’ve found out that’s what is always said when common sense is bought into play.
Someone asked me recently if I knew of a small Presbyterian church near Yocona River, and the only one I remember was on the road to Orwood. It was a small white church that was once known as Mr. Kimmons’ church.
When I was with Newman-Gardner we held a funeral there for Miss Alice Rampy, and since that time the church has been torn down. This may not be the one, so if anyone can further enlighten us, I’d like to hear from you. There are many small rural churches that are no longer active, and no building is left to mark the spot. One of these is Union Hill Congregational Metho-dist Church which is northeast of Coffeeville and near Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church.
At one time it was in the same conference as Jumper’s Chapel and Brother J. A. McKibben was one of the early ministers. He was a friend of Great Grandpa Jumper, who founded Jumper’s Chapel. I can remember the old gentleman attending services at Jumper’s Chapel when I was a child. I’ve heard Nannie Badley talk about attending conference at that church. I also knew his son, Raymond McKibben, and I would see him when they had annual singings at Raper’s Chapel in Calhoun county. I don’t know if the building is still standing or if the cemetery is still in use. The first grave there is dated June 3, 1860, and is Bennie Brewer, infant son of John and Annie Brewer. The last minister was Brother Brody of Paris.
The Congregational Methodist Church was organized in the home of Brother Mickelberry Merritt in Monroe county Georgia on May 8, 1952.
Please note that the CMC does not use the word Reverend but Brother in addressing their ministers.
I’ve just begun my histories of rural churches and my personal memories are primarily at Jumper’s Chapel, where I grew up so if any of you would like to contribute your personal recollections of past or present churches, your input will be welcome.
My email address is email@example.com or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.