Church has rich history

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You may or may not be interested in genealogy or history, but there is usually no middle ground. You either like it or you don’t. I would love to hear from you if you are interested. Sometimes we don’t get a lot of feedback. I would love to hear from you if you are one of the ones who read my column.

I have been getting some information from several churches lately. The Alabama Bureau of Tourism has designated 2010 to be the Year of Small Towns and Downtowns. As part of Brewton’s celebration — which will take place June 19-20 and celebrate both the 30th anniversary of the Alabama Blueberry Festival and the 125th anniversary of Brewton — the city has asked that local churches plan to have reunions or homecomings.

Many churches already plan reunions and homecomings during the summer. My family has a reunion every fourth Sunday in June. The church that I attended as a child also has a homecoming the fourth Sunday in July, followed by the summer revival.

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I have already written a story for the newspaper about Rock Holiness Church, but I have a little bit more material that I will share with you. The church is having its 100th birthday on May 22. The cemetery, located next to the church, also has a history dating back 100 years. Although the church is no longer active, the cemetery is kept up by donations from the families of those who are buried there.

The first person buried in the cemetery was a baby, Minnie Golden, who was born March 12, 1911, and died the next day. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.S. Golden. The next children buried there were two of the triplets born to Lee Rush and Frances Elizabeth Golden. It was unusual, and dangerous, to have multiple births in the first part of the last century. Matthew, Mark and Luke Golden were born July 18, 1913. All three were diagnosed with spinal meningitis, and on Jan. 10, 1914, Matthew died. Later that year, on May 22, Mark also died. Luke Golden lived until 1989, marrying Ruth Mae Morgan. These were the parents of William Lee Golden, Ronnie Golden and Lanette Golden Lowery.

This cemetery is like others of the time. Anyone walking through will notice the many children who are buried there. I was saddened to see how many small children were born and died young. One particular ancestor’s brother, Wesley, and his wife Mary, have more children buried around them than lived to be adults.

If your church plans to have something special this summer, let me know.