For The Tuscumbian
By Mary Carton
The old church sits west of the Spring Valley Depot slowly decaying. Offers by volunteers to stabilize the structure have been refused by the two sisters living out of state. Its backbone and floor joists have cracked.
The cornerstone says Kirks Chapel CME Church, rebuilt AD 1942, I or L Kennedy Pastor, R W Woodard and another name buried in the soil. A look in one of the windows is one of a church ready for Sunday service. The pews and pulpit and books? What records are inside the little crumbling church? The building is much older, but how old? My Great Grandfather Louis Gusmus taught there. He died in 1932.
Behind the church neglected and overgrown is a little cemetery. If I was a snake, this would be an ideal place for me, especially under one of the broken slabs. As Tom McKnight and I walk carefully around, a light rain starts falling. He says the spirits are happy we are here. I later find out that the last time Tom visited, he was attacked by swarms of yellow jackets.
The name of the cemetery is not yet known nor is the name of the church when it was first built. Hopefully those reading this can provide some insight into our quest. Photos taken August 2013.
EDITORS NOTE 1-12-2014. The cemetery is listed as Kirk’s Chapel on the old county maps and as Spring Valley Station Cemetery on Find a Grave. It is not yet known when the church was built nor the name of the church at that time.