A Country Church
In a rich farming region, a little east of north of Liberty and about five miles distant, stands a large frame church, in faith representing the Christian denomination. For several generations the church organization has been the center of the religious life of the community.
Hannah’s Creek, as a neighborhood, existed near the beginning of the nineteenth century. At this early date church was held at the house of Joseph Nelson, situated on what is now the Andrew Witt farm.
In the year 1832, a brick church was built under the directions of John Plummer, then the pastor. This church was a plain structure, yet expensive in those days and was erected a few feet east of the present church on a triangular piece of ground belonging to Jones Hunt farm. This site was probably chosen because it was cut off from the farm by the Oxford road which ran angular across the country.
The church prospered until 1854. About this time the shadows of our great sectional troubles began to project themselves over the land and influence all classes of people and none more than the clergy. In general, they espoused the calls of human freedom and were outspoken in their condemnation of human slavery.
Against this inequity the plain preaching of the pastor Elder Robertson provoked criticism and he resigned. Then came a period of decline. The war broke out, some enlisted, some moved away and a few becoming discouraged went to other denominations.
Soon after this Mary J. Weeks was employed. The darkest hours having passed a brighter state of affairs dawned. Her ability and the novelty of a female preacher drew large audiences, but at the end of six months, she married and moved away.
Later Elder Joseph Weeks was chosen to fill the vacant place. Although it was in the darkest period of the war, his zealous preaching took hold of the people and a few converts were added to the church. He remained here until the close of the war, when feeling that his labors would be of no avail, without a new church, he said to one of the members, “ You men of Hannah’s Creek must get to work and build.” Candor compelled this member to admit, that he acted the part of doubting Thomas, expressing doubts as to their ability to build. The pastor replied. “ You cannot have the bees without a hive to put
them in. You need not expect to build up a church in the old house and if you do not build, I shall have to quit for I have gone as far as I can”. This conversation resulted in the building of the present H. C. church, at a cost of two thousand dollars. The result was a great revival of Christianity. Elder Weeks was retained as pastor with frequent additions to the church until 1874 when thinking it expedient, he changed his field of labor.
Since that time a number of pastors has been employed in succession, the church still retaining its prosperity.
Among the calamities of the church came the cyclone of 1886 which tore off part of the roof and damaged the interior.
As a social center, the church has long had its presage in the neighborhood. A number of singing teachers have organized singing schools and among one most noted being Mr. Temple. As he first taught the round notes, he drew large crowds.
After years of service this venerable church is still doing a good work for the master. To quote the words of the Psalmist, “ I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations; therefore shall the people praise thee forever and ever.”
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