September 26, 2013

Traces of Laurel: More about churches

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Thanks to Bill Harrison for writing me about the original site of Hopewell Methodist church. Mr. Harrison grew up in the East Bernstadt Methodist Church which dates back to Hopewell.  He writes:  “It was always my understanding the original site of Hopewell Methodist (1810) was located at the junction of Bethel Hill Road and Hwy. 3434 in E. Bernstadt, a site now occupied by Mose Feltner’s house.  This was on the original Boone Trace and the Wilderness Road and was upstream about two miles from the original Hazel Patch (not to be confused with the Hazel Patch Crossing). ”  

From this information, I conclude the old frame church I was married in did not sit on the original site.  I’m also pretty sure that Bethel Hill Road and Hwy. 3434 are more recent names for those long ago trails but I’m happy to know the old site can still be pinpointed.  I plan to see if I can find it.

Moving on, the preface of Thomas J. and Henry S. Pate’s booklet “Laurel County History of Churches and Schools” (1900) is quite profound (though quaint). Before I began to write from the historical data on churches contained there, I thought readers might be interested in hearing selected passages from their introduction.  It’s too long to print in its entirety.

“Having a desire to hold up and support the two great pillars of true citizenship to any nation – education and religion – the writers humbly submit the pages of this booklet for its readers to peruse, hoping some good may come out of the same for the betterment of our schools and churches.  No sensationalism of the secular press is permitted to mar these pages.  Partyism in politics is not found here.  It is also free from sectarianism in religion.  Matrimonialism in the moonlight, when the whippoorwill makes her trill so plaint and sweet, and when the twinkling stars smile over the parting kiss given, need not be sought for in these pages. . .

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