On January 8, 2012, my mom (Caroline Mitchem), my aunt (Audrey Goins), and my daughter (Emily Bolden) visited the Big Four Methodist Church. We were unable to go inside as the floor was starting to separate away from the door. We peeked in as best we could, as there was a piano behind the door. I took a few pictures as we visited, and was heartbroken at the condition this little church was in.
As I had stated in a previous blog and article, this little church was special to me. My Granny (Laura Gordon) attended that little church, with my mom, aunts & uncles in tow. It is located just across the road from where they lived on Big Four hill. My aunt Audrey remembers going to this little church as a child.
Passing by this fall, I discovered that the roof had collapsed. It broke my heart once again. Many people have told me they considered that little church to be a beautiful, country church. My hope was that it could be resurrected to be a tourist attraction as a little coal camp church. A place to show people that pass through what we used to have here and how things once were in McDowell. We have such a rich history that is slowly crumbling away.
This little church now stands as a shadow of what it was once. The steeple that once pointed proudly to the heavens, has now crumbled into the body of the sanctuary. The reason I call the sanctuary a body is because that is what it once held — the members of the church, which was it’s body. The church’s Soul, however, is in Heaven, as it always was. The Spirit of it remains here on earth, just not in those four walls. That is my comfort.
I wish I had the money to reconstruct this little church, as the little coal camp church as it once was. It would then erase this memory that it is now. What a difference the ticking of the clock makes — whether it be to the good or to the bad.