Friday, June 25, 2010

Chapel Hill Church

Chapel Hill Church, one of our old rural churches was built in 1884 and served its community and surrounding area of Chapel Hill until 1996 when it was torn down.  

Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church was formed by a group of members from the old Presbyterian Church that was on the corner of Bellville and College street (now the home of the Crittenden County Historical Museum.) in July 1883. The two-acres of land for their new church building, and future graveyard, was purchased from T. M. Hill.  This probably being the origin of the name Chapel Hill. 


In 1975 the church, wanting to preserve their rich history of their church and it's beginning, purchased a Kentucky Historical Marker for their church.  You can see the maker of the left side of the church in the picture above.

This was a wonderful thing for them to do, for today the marker  marks the former location of the church and tells the history of its beginning.

The church doors were officially closed in July 1967.  Lack of membership and attendance caused its closing.  The older people of the community were gone and the younger members of families had moved away for better jobs.  People now drove to attend other churches in different areas, and the closeness of the rural communities was gone.  

In the picture at the right was taken in February 1996.  The church was in the last stages of being taken down.  The church building was only a shell,.  The sign, which used to hang about the front door, had been removed, and the structure was set for demolition later that year.   Roy Beshears, Ruby Bigham Barfield and Glen Patmor, former members of the church have one last look and recall memories of their home church before it is gone.  Glen Patmor said the church was deteriorating and being vandalized.  We all hated to see it rot.  Glenn had a lifetime invested in the small country church that at full capacity seated about 125 people.  Ruth Hill Patmor, his mother, was a direct descendant of the church's charter members.  Long time church member Roy Beshears hated to see the building come down to.  He was a member there for more than 20 years.  Ruby, a life -long member of the church, was very unhappy to learn the fate of her beloved place of worship. With fond childhood memories still in her mind, Ruby didn't feel comfortable joining another church.  This was my home church she said.

Today Ruby Barfield is the only surviving member of the group in the picture. Roy passed away in Oct. 1996 and Glen in April of 2010.  Ruby turned 95 this past March.

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