By Pam Dudding
Some people can paint what they see beautifully, while others write with a passion to express their love for a person or thing.
On Sunday, August 15, at the Annual Homecoming potluck, the “usual” afternoon was changed up a bit as Jean Bradley told stories and her granddaughter shared a poem which was once read at the homecoming at the same Old Salem Church, on August 31 in 1983, by her very own daughter, Stacey Bradley.
As Kallie carefully unfolded the computer printout poem dated in 1983, Jean looked on with a look of fond remembrance as Kallie, now Stacey’s daughter, read the beautiful poem, written by Ruth Reynolds, a past member of the church.
Still stands our Little Brick Church, built in 1883,
Nestled here mid the trees,
Remote from the city’s stir and strife,
Its area fanned by each cooling breeze.
Passing years have left their mark,
On this early day house of God,
It was built by earnest pioneers,
And now they sleep beneath the sod.
In the loft the swallows’ nest,
And rad their young ones there,
While withing parents did their best,
To guide theirs into the Saviors’ care,
And worship His dear name.
The pleasant summer sun shines in,
Through the windows slim and high,
And from the nearby fields,
Comes the meadowlark call.
Each pastor wept over his flock,
As he strove to lead them on,
And set their feet upon a rock,
To be ready to meet their Savior.
Many have had their sins forgiven,
As they knelt at the altar here,
‘Twas here with tears of penitent hearts,
Saved by grace and answered prayers.
In this old church, vanished faces,
Of those dear ones we use to know,
Their voices raised in prayer,
To praise God still echo.
With sorrow we watch the change and decay,
That comes to our little church,
Where we often met to worship and pray,
Memories linger on.
Afterwards, the older generation chattered about the poem and their personal memories. Some became quiet as they expressed their sentimental thoughts.
The day was filled with people coming together, who seemed to just be family, regardless of if they were related or not.
“We hope to see you again next year,” was the sentiment shared by everyone, as long hugs, warm smiles and an atmosphere of love permeated the beautiful mountain lawn.