Friday, January 14, 2011

Another Church Burned

The following is a continuation of a previous post.

Another Church Burned.
Clinton, Tenn., April 3, 1899.
By Elder W. E. Dawson.

To the Southern Star.
Our dear little church here at Hart's Chapel was burned yesterday (Sunday) morning, and at day-break the Saints assembled to find their hopes of worshiping God in their dearly cherished church blasted. They gathered on the spot at 9:40 a. m. and held mournful services over the ruins of a once beautiful church where they had so often met in Sunday School and meeting, praising God in verse, text and song. The services consisted of songs, prayers and short addresses, thanking God the Father for the knowledge that we are persecuted for righteousness sake, and for the testimony of the Gospel which burns within our breasts. Calling upon our Father, that He may forgive them, for they knew not what they had done; this was the spirit that prevailed. The trustees had just met the week before and nearly completed arrangements for painting the church, and we were looking forward to the time when the little Mormon church would become the Star of the Valley in neatness and beauty. The janitor, though not a member of the church, has taken such pride in keeping it neat and clean inside. His name is Mr. J. F. Brown: be it said to his honor he has given the land on which the house stood and a deed for it is held; this he did when the church was first built; he has always been a faithful friend of the wayfaring Elders since they first came to his door.

Although the Saints are all heartsore at their present loss, they hope it will redound to their infinite gain. They feel to take lessons from the ant and set to work to build them another place of worship. This time they want to build it of brick and feel to put their trust in God, feeling that faith without works is dead; feel to ask the Lord, through the agency of His Saints in all the world (if they wish), to help to rebuild. The hearts of the Saints are sick at the thought of doing without a house of worship, and our only refuge for support is the Saints of God at home and abroad.

I can find no indication that they did rebuild the chapel. For quite some time they met in isolated groups until the formation of the Oakridge Branch in 1944 (which became a Ward in 1972). A branch in Clinton was formed in 1992 and they got a building of their own: an old store from in a busy shopping center. It was described by some as a “shoe store.”

Next time: Making the "shoe store" their own.

2 comments:

Ardis E. Parshall said...

Poignant.

I suppose a name like J.F. Brown would be a difficult one to research, but I'd like to know more about him. Friends are valuable.

BruceCrow said...

No luck on my side finding J. F. Brown ... Yet. I'm hoping some of the people who knew him would write a bit more in letters or journals. But so far, nothing.