We believe that through our efforts here at Southern Accents, we always bridge the future to the past. One of the most interesting things about salvaging a house or building is discovering hidden treasures. At times the treasures are unexpected; little notes or photos that have slipped behind an old mantel or a forgotten item found buried beneath an old barn. Often times the treasures aren’t hidden at all, but might take a bit of digging to uncover, like the value inside boxes left in an attic that tell the stories of the former owner. We found such an example recently while salvaging the sanctuary of Central Baptist church in Decatur, Alabama.
Our latest salvage mission involved the former sanctuary of Central Baptist Church in Decatur, Alabama. This beautiful building, constructed in 1926, was recently scheduled for demolition. The new property owner, Jeff Parker, could not bear to see over 100 beautiful stained glass windows and the many architectural elements go to waste. Therefore he contacted Southern Accents to salvage everything we could from the 90 year old building. Over the past several weeks we made several trips to downtown Decatur. In addition to the stained glass windows, we removed doors, newel posts and light fixtures, but our most exciting find was a small package tucked away inside a cut limestone cornerstone.
We noticed the cornerstone at the back of the building. The stone was dated 1926, which told us that it was original to the building. We removed the stone, thinking that we might find a treasure behind it. What we did not expect, was a treasure hidden inside. Cut into the center of the stone was a 6″ x 6″ pocket. Inside was a small package wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. The package was about the same size as a deck of playing cards. It was carefully removed, documented and brought back to our showroom in Cullman, Alabama, along with the stone for documenting. We cautiously unwrapped the package to discover 351 paper cards! Each card contained the signature of a church member, along with the name of his/her Sunday School teacher. While not all of the cards were perfectly legible, all that were have been recorded and placed in an excel spreadsheet for future generations.
Once documented, we called Jeff Parker. He, along with Southern Accents, agreed to give the cornerstone and the package containing all the cards to Central Baptist Church. SA and Jeff Parker will present these items to pastor Rob Jackson next spring during Central Baptists anniversary celebration. It is our wish that this precious piece of history remain with the church family. Please visit our blog for more photos from the Central Baptist Church salvage mission.