There's a friend in Georgiana that has been there for the whole community for more than 80 years. But now, like with most things in life, it will soon be time to say goodbye. While this is a sad time, it has also seemed to bring one group of people closer than ever before.
"We enjoy each others company."
The time is coming to say goodbye. "I have a lot of memories."
Like the loss of any family member, "It's going to hurt." This parting will be tough. Especially for Mary Agnes Hicks, "It's going to hurt when I see the building coming down. I have actually been coming to church here since I was a baby."
Time has not been a friend to the building that houses First Baptist Church in Georgiana. Allen Stephenson is the Pastor. "The roof is spreading the building so to speak and the walls are moving outward. Of course the cables were used to try to keep that from happening and it did sustain the building for several years but now the mortar has gradually deteriorated." Decades of fighting the elements as well as the wages of sin have taken a toll. Soon, an old friend will get sort of a baptism of it's own. Torn down only to be resurrected.
Hardships are nothing new. Originally built in the 1800's by the founder of Georgiana, the old church was destroyed twice by fire. "I don't think you could possibly live in this county and not know the beautiful history of this and those beautiful windows." says Stephenson.
Stain glass, almost 100 years old, surrounds the congregation. Hues of comfort and hope dance over pews from almost every angle. But it's not the material that makes this building a church according to member Renford Dean, "It will be the people that I recall more than the characteristics of the church." "After much prayer," says Hicks, "I have separated the building from the church so our church is still standing. It's going to stand."
So when the wrecking ball comes, they'll be ready. "If a family member is sick, you take care of them." It won't make it any easier. Saying goodbye to a friend, never is.