Friday, July 30, 2010

Church Pulpits

The pulpit is a furniture fixture you'll find in most if not all churches.  A two-sided communication bridge between God and the congregation looking for Gods wisdom and inspiration.  One one side of the pulpit stands the spiritual leader of the church.  When the leader steps up to their side of the pulpit it is a time of reverence.

The words that are about to be spoken from that side of the pulpit are supposed to be words that have been inspired by God himself and presented to the church body using the leader as a channel.  That presents a great responsibility for the leader because they must be sure that before they step up to the pulpit, that what they have to say truly is the message that God wants them to present. This usually involves the leader spending time with God in prayer and study of the bible before ever walking up.

On the other side of the pulpit is the church body. People of the community that walk in the church doors to hear a message of hope. To sit and face the pulpit just as Moses faced the burning bush to hear a message of what they should do with their lives.

Many traditional churches consider the pulpit itself holy and sacred, not to be moved at any time.  Other more contemporary churches will move the pulpit on and off the stage at the appropriate times of the service. These pictures were taken from churches around the state of Mississippi and when I'm taking the pictures I want to be reverent and respectful of the place I'm in. Praise God!

For more photos of southern faith click here

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Church Hill, Mississippi

Once upon a time a person could mail a letter to a loved one in Church Hill, Mississippi using zip code 39055. That is until September 30th, 1992 when Mr. Adolph Wagner, Jr. who had served as the Church Hill Postmaster from December 30, 1963 closed the Post Office doors for the last time. Now a simple unincorporated town in Jefferson County, Church Hill, Mississippi is located up Hwy 553 about 14 miles north of Natchez. But that is the end of the story, let's go back to the beginning.

The genesis of the Church Hill community was a group of people known as the "Old Maryland Settlement" that moved to the Jefferson County area from Maryland after the Revolutionary War. For many years the town was simply known as the "Maryland Settlement" until the name was eventually changed to Church Hill around 1820.

If you drive through Church Hill, you would obviously think that the name comes from the big church on the hill, but it seems that the community name was established long before the church you see today was even built. The first church of the community, known as "Christ Church" was constructed of logs in 1820 and was located on Fairchild’s Creek, with the current structure not being built until 1858. This church was part of one of the oldest Episcopal groups that dated from the 1790's and its design was copied from the old country churches in England. Looking through the windows I could see the large beautiful beams, and I read that in the slave balcony you can still see the names of the founding members where they wrote their name with a turkey quill on one of the beams.

Around 1870 came the local goods/commissary store. I couldn't find any names for who ran the store from 1870 to 1927, but several records show that the store was run by the Wagner family from 1927 to 1997 with many Church Hill residents describing the store as the community's unofficial city hall.

So that brings us back to today. Today residents meet in the "Christ Church" once a month and the Wagner store is now the focus of a restoration project led by the Church Hill Preservation Trust, affiliated with the Historic Natchez Foundation. A push is on to not only save the old building but to transform it into an educational museum celebrating the area's history.

Now that I have researched Church Hill, I discovered that there is much more to see. There are several antebellum homes that I didn't get to. I hope to get back and see them soon. Here are a few more photos.

High Resolution Photos of Church Hill

Grits Photography

Sources for this blog

Jefferson County Website
The Free Library

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Grits Photography Website - Redone!

Hi guys! I have completely redesigned my Mississippi delta photo website and hope you'll take a look at it. I hope I've organized it so that you can find the photos you're interested in without having to dig around too much!

Here are a few from the archives. This old mechanic shop in Nitta Yuma, Mississippi had an owner that must have had trouble with the local patrons!

This one is from upstairs of the Big Red Barn in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, I had never been up there before so I climbed the ladder and grabbed this shot.