Ivy Herron photo
The 'little historic church of Carbon' stands at the corner of Linden and Third streets in Carbon.
By IVY HERRON
You are invited to celebrate and support a forgotten part of Clay County's history during the 125th anniversary of the 'little historic church of Carbon' on Saturday.
"This church has such a rich history -- it was spared from being destroyed by fire in 1905, almost torn down in 1999 and 2002, but it survived and still stands. This history just shouldn't be lost to this generation or the next," church historian Norma Cress said. "We want to keep it here so people can see a part of their forgotten history. (The church is) still important to the town of Carbon and to a lot of people in this area."
Cress will be on hand Saturday to give an oral history about the 125-year-old 'little historic church of Carbon' and answer questions about its origins, dating back to the Free Missionary Baptist Church of Wales.
The church has a prestigious and entertaining history, but it will never be a historic landmark. The cost of removing the remodeling projects keeps the facility from being registered as a historical landmark, according to Cress.
In 1960, the annex was added to the building, it included a kitchen and place for Sunday School classes; a new furnace, bathroom and water heater were installed; a new piano and organ was added and the ceiling in the sanctuary was lowered.
"We were using the church at the time," she said. "A small ramp was built for my husband to get his wheelchair into the church, then we realized we needed to be able to make the church accessible to other wheelchairs and added a whole new front. We'd have to tear that off, and the annex, to be a historical landmark."
The church relies upon money received from rentals and a few fundraising projects during the year to pay the bills and keep the church open. There is an average of 18 to 20 events held at the facility during the year, but Cress would like to see the public use the facility more.
"A lot of people don't even know we are here," she said.
At a cost of $50 - $75, depending upon the size of the event, the building can be rented for engagements, receptions, anniversaries, showers, family reunions, banquets and funerals. Weddings cost $125, but its worth it, according to Cress.
"(The sanctuary) is such a beautiful setting, just perfect for a small wedding or christening," she said.
Two yard sales, one in the spring and another in the fall, are held at the church to raise money to cover expenses.
"We also have a $20 membership that people can sign up for that is used to maintain the church," she said. "We're just trying to make enough money to take care (of the church) and keep it open so its history will continue."