On a brisk Sunday, February afternoon, I stepped through a narrow wooden door of this small country church to pay my last respects to my grandmother’s niece. Covid finally claimed someone I personally knew.
This church has stood for over a hundred years on the far eastern edge of the Llano Estacado. And it truly does not look a day over fifty.
Inside this church, I was greeted by the cousin who was a pallbearer at my Dad’s funeral long ago. While age has taken its toll, Wesley’s face was still a welcomed comfort. I also met a cousin whom I have gotten to know through Facebook. I eventually met people who knew more of my family that I have long forgotten.
With the howling and whipping winds around every corner of the church, the inside remained calm. Tears were silently falling. Then we all heard a story. And it went like this…
Wesley was speaking at his sister’s funeral. He related the story that their family was among the last to get a car in the area. They came to church every Sunday in a horse-drawn wagon. The horse team was tied to the hitching posts outside the church.
The church had not been used in six years for a funeral service. Then lady sharing that with me pointed to an old black and white photo on the wall. It was the couple who started this church. When the couple moved to the area the wife told her husband that she would move to this desolate area of flatness if he would build her a church and a school. He did both. What a lasting testament to love.
There is something dreamlike walking into this small country church. Where your imagination runs wild of the stories it can tell of it being the lone gathering place in the remote prairie on the Llano Estacado. Of the storms, it’s withstood. Of all the gatherings of happiness and sadness held inside its walls. Then there are the stories that are long forgotten and only shared during a funeral like that of a horse-drawn wagon bringing a family to church.
This small country church’s history is immeasurable. If you are so inclined you are likely to find God here before any other places that were created with money instead of love.