Monday, February 23, 2009

Rockwell, Winder Ga - former UUA, google street view

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Rockwell was organized in 1839, and re-organized after the Civil War by Rev. LF.W. Andrews
- affiliated with the UUA up to the mid 1990s. I believe it currently has services twice monthly - no idea if currently Universalist or not....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

UU Tarpon Springs, Florida - Google Street View

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this is a rare example of a Universalist Church in the south founded by non-southerners.
No Chapmans or Feasters....

the former home of First Universalist, Clinton NC

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this is the First Universalist in Clinton, NC an Universalist/UU congregation from the 1880s to the 1970s. Peggy Rawheiser tells me that the parsonage was to the left (now a vacant lot), with a connector built between the two buildings. The connector was used to house the Clinton town Library that Rev Bryant started.
(Peggy Rawheiser is the author of "A History of Universalism in North Carolina" (2007) published by the Universalist Convention of North Carolina, Incorporation - with the help of Guild Master Grpahics. )

former home of Shinn Memorial, Chattanooga, TN

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This church originally started as a rural church on the other side of the state line, moved into town with money provided by the YPCU (the youth organization of the Universalsit Church) as a tribute to Rev Shinn. the Church fizzled out by the late 1940s and early 1950s, it was even used by the Unitarian Fellowship in the mid or late 1950s, before eventually being sold and become "Second Baptist". The Southern Universalist Institute was held here up to the 1930s.
this was known as the Universalist Evangelical Institute (or something like that) back before the word "Evangelical" changed meanings.

Our Home UU, Ellisville, Mississippi Google Street View

This is a truly awful street view, too much early morning sunlight.
This Church was founded around 1907, by folks who heard the news about Universalism and wanted an Universalist Church so much that they were determined to have one, even if it had to be in "our home"! Back in the 1970s, a local bluegrass band recorded a song about "the Free Church of Jones" making it the only UU congregation that I'm aware of, with their own bluegrass theme song.

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dormant Burrus Memorial, Ellisville Mississippi google street view

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not a current congregation, although members still live nearby and keep the building and cometary up. Nice library filled with late 19th and early 20th century books, they had a copy of Clayton's autobiography and a Manual of Faith and Duty. Congregation ran from around the 1890s to 1990s.

Red Hill Universalist Church, Clinton NC - Google Street View

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Red Hill has been around since the 1840s (or earlier) , and for good reason - wonderful people.

There are a few more historic southern Universalist Churches that I havent street Googled yet-
Our Home in Ellisville Mississippi, Canon Georgia (not on street view yet), Athens (hard for me to think of it as a historic Universalist Church), and Winder in Georgia, and Liberty in Mississippi. And then of course, I will try to do the best I can to add "former sites".

Liberty Universalist, Feasterville, SC - google street view

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No, you can't see it from the Street. You can see the sign - which is what you see here. Across the street you can see the historic marker for the Feasterville Academy. Both the Church and Academy buildings still exist . If you get out of your car and go down the road a little bit, you pass a home, and then you reach the clearing where the Church is, with "no trespassing" signs there. Please respect them and the family association that owns the buildings.
Liberty was used as an Universalist Church building from the 1840s to around the 1930s. Copies of the Myrtle - a children's Universalist Sunday School paper of the 1920s were in the building when I visited. I hear of services in the 1950s, I know it was used for weddings in the 1950s. This is the mother church of the SC, Georgia, Alabama, and continued west southern Universalist Churches.

former home of Universalist Church, Brewton, Alabama: Google Street View

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at one time one of the largest Universalist congregations in the south, with a popular radio show "The Universalist Hour" in the 1950s, the congregation ended sometime in the late 1980s.

Cornerstone Community Church occupied the building at least from 2005 -2009+ and I wouldn't be surprised from the 1990s on (Cornerstone was founded in 1987). Cornerstone appears to be affiliated with one of the Church of God denominations. (I'd be glad to make corrections, if anyone from Cornerstone reads this).
Again the Google Street address is not the real address of this building.

Outlaw's Bridge, Google Street View

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Odd that Google has the side street view, but not the main highway (Front) view yet!

First Universalist, Camp Hill, Alabama - Google Street View

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again, the address supplied by Google maps is not the actual address of the Church.
Moundville and Saluda SC dont have street views yet (although I was surprised to see that the map folks did get up to Coleman's Crossroads).

Clayton Memorial - the Google Street View

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Google maps street view -
This is Clayton Memorial in Newberry SC

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Abraham Lincoln, Universalist?

Recently over at Boys In the Band, Abraham Lincoln and his religious views came up.
Lincoln never claimed an affiliation, and everybody from Roman Catholics to Presbyterian to atheists claim him as their own. So do Universalists...

Here are some notes I made a few years back
Manford's New Monthly Magazine - January 1877 (cover misdated 1876)
- quoted from the original

" The Faith of Abraham Lincoln" by Rev. L. C. Marvin.

"In the Winter of 1857, I held a four day's debate in Springfield with
Rev. Mr. Johnson of the Christian Church, and Mr. Lincoln heard a
part, at least, of that debate. It fell to my lot, one evening to
make the closing speech. It was the conclusion of the first
proposition, and I summed up the arguments which I had advanced in
favor of the reconciliation of all things to God. Mr Lincoln was
pleased, and gave his undivided attention to what was spoken. At the
close he turned to the friend at the side, and in a very emphatic
manner said, "There sir, that speech will do." Now does anyone
supposed that he had come to that debate simply to find out which
disputant was the better speaker?"

and discussing another earlier incident from 1853....
"As soon as Elder C. (Rev Peter Cartwright of the Methodist Church)
had taken his seat, he turned to Mr. (Eli) Thornburg and made this
characteristic speech: "Thornburg, I thought you were too sensible a
man to believe such stuff as Marvin preaches." Mr. Lincoln, without
waiting for Mr. T. to reply, immediately took up the gauntlet himself.
"Elder Cartwright," said he, "I used to think that it took the
smartest kind of man to preach and defend Universalism; I now think
entirely different. It is the easiest faith to preach that I have ever
heard. There is more proof in its favor, than in any other doctrine I
have ever heard. I have a suit in court here to-morrow and if I had
as much proof in its favor as there is in Universalism, I would go
home, and leave my student to take charge of it, and I should feel
perfectly certain that he would gain it." Such were his words. "

now, in 1832 Cartwright had defeated Lincoln for public office, and in
1846 Cartwright had called Lincoln an infidel. Lincoln stated he had never denied
the truth of the Scriptures and defeated Cartwright in that election. Cartwright
wrote his autobiography in 1857, and doesn't mention this discussion with Lincoln
or Marvin. He doesn't mention Lincoln at all. He also doesn't seem to mention
Marvin. (He has an unnamed Illinois Universalist minister he accuses of adultery.
So no confirming source of this quote.

Erasmus Manford - Twenty Five Years in the West (1875 revised edition)
p 225/6 "I had been invited to visit that region and hold a
discussion in Springfield with a Methodist clergyman. ... We debated
four days in the Representatives' Hall of the capitol, in the
presence of large assemblies. The discussion caused much excitement
in Springfield, and all parties attended. I remember seeing Mr.
Lincoln there punctually every day and every night. He often nodded
assent when I made a strong point. Little did I think, or he, what
was to be his future position in the world."

Hard to know if Lincoln nodded because he liked the doctrine or if he liked
the debate.
Having read alot of Manford 's Magazine; I feel sure If Manford had
had any reason to think Lincoln was an Universalist, he would have
said so....