I've heard the remarks over the past three years about the region surrounding this farm: desolate, bleak, isolated, godforsaken... Quite frankly, that's how I like it.
But, 190 years ago, this area was a mini mecca of farming and religion. White settlers in this part of Russell county, were sanctimoniously grabbing up lands from the indigenous Creeks, evicting the heathens to make room for God's people.
Call me a hypocrite, for as much as I loath religion, I am drawn to religious architecture. Travelling with me across Europe is akin to a class trip with the annoying nerdy professor who wants to see every abbey ruin, church and cathedral... and won't shut up about the construction and history of it for hours.
The complete history of the 1837 Uchee Baptist Church evaded me for years. Why was it never finished?
Eureka! I found a transcript from the 1850's that might explain why it never grew:
It tells of how two missed Sundays would get you ousted from the congregation.
Explains why the remaining flock is a single lone bat.
My mother seemed too preoccupied with said bat and bird poop to listen to me gush about the construction or the prospects of someone living in this tiny church.
Terrible shame that a place built with such love be left to die alone.
I've already thought of how beautiful it would be to have a vegetable garden inside the foundation of the unfinished church.
To wax poetic: a window and door to the past.
Two miles away, the Methodists built their own church in 1859.
The hymnal books are recent enough to show the last sermons were in the 1980's.
Mom is still looking for bats.
In a day and age where so many people couldn't fight their way out of a wet cardboard box, it's my heathenish hope that these two places remain for years to come, as testaments to the fortitude of a handful of settlers on the frontier armed with only hand tools and hope.