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The crown of this town the steeple of First Baptist Church

March 18, 2011

Take your two hands and with the palms facing each other, extend the two second fingers, and meet at the tips of each of the two fingers and form a steeple. Repeat after me,
“This is the church,
This is the steeple
Open the doors and
Here are the people!”
Our First Baptist Church, at 106 East Lampkin Street in Starkville, is in the heart of our town right across from Starkville’s City Hall. The majestic steeple forms a tall tower which is part of this church.
As a little girl growing up on Louisville Street several blocks away, music used to be played from this steeple, a spire with superstructure!
I wondered as a little girl was this a magical steeple which housed bells that rang out with its beautiful music each late afternoon?
We all could hear the bells like music ringing across this entire town! So lovely were the sounds coming from this tall steepled church!
To me, this steeple was the “crown” of this town!
A tall spire is on the top of the tower or roof of a church, and it is any various pointed structure. As I now look closely at the painting I created on October 1, 1970, I see a steeple and a spire, do you see them too?
What is a church? It is simply a building for public Christians to worship in a denomination recognized by the State. A church becomes a community or organization of the body of all Christians. A congregation of Christians locally organized into a society for religious worship.
A churchgoer is a person who attended the services of a church. A churchman is a supporter or member of an established church.
I am of the Presbyterian faith, and attend Trinity Presbyterian Church in Starkville, serving as a charter member helping form our church several years ago.
But as a young girl, I used to go with my next door neighbors, as well as cousins, Dean and Jean Norris.
‘Cuddin’” Cora Dean Norris lived with them, as did their parents, Tommy and Bessie Norris.
Their daddy was my cousin too on our Pearson/Dean/Drake lineage of our families.
I went with them to their youth group meetings on Sunday nights as they would yell across the next door yard to my house, “Hey Carole, want to go with us this Sunday night down town to the First Baptist Church to our youth Sunday night group meeting? Ask your Moma if you can go with us tonight, and we might just walk on down there! Come and go with us!”
I usually tagged along on a summer’s night, catching lightening bugs along the way, and off we skipped and hopped to their church... we were called, churchmen, or churchgirls cause we were churchgoers!
As we walked along the sidewalk on our journey to East Lampkin Street, we looked downward as most of us do when we are walking along a sidewalk. We miss so much looking downward, and forget to look upward to the blue, blue sky and the exquisite towers which First Baptist Church offers to our very eyes.
The older part of the church was where we were headed to that night so many years ago, but it is the newer part of the church building that has the its steeple.
I am so happy that the old church building was saved and preserved for its fine historical significance and position in the community... for smaller services such as a smaller wedding or for smaller funerals, It is historical, you know! It is quaint, sweet, and so lovely too!
The newer construction of First Baptist Church will hold the largest body of churchgoing folks in town.
This sanctuary is the largest one in town which can accommodate our whole community at one time.
So, many years have come and gone since Dean, Jean, and myself walked along the old sidewalks laughing, talking, and giggling together. I remember we suddenly looked upwards to the old Baptist Church building,. A steeple points to heaven!
Next time you are out strolling on our Starkville sidewalks, let your eyes drift from looking downward and try looking upward instead.
We are all missing so much of our beautiful world by not looking upwards at the sky and the tall steeple that we often just miss not seeing!
On that pretty, sunny, and very blue cobalt and cerulean blue sky day, I remember looking upwards to scene in front of me several buildings away from the tall white steeple on the newer church building standing so tall against the older historical church building right next to it.
I think I was on South Jackson Street painting our then, Old Fire Station Number One...when I spotted this “Upward Scene” that I had to return the next day to capture on my canvas this gorgeous scene of all the tops of the buildings and the outstanding white steeple/spire which seemed to be reaching “her” white steeple and spire towards heaven!
Look at the dark, dark top of a huge building, the dark black top to the right of my canvas
Let your eyes find the smaller tower to the far left. Let your eyes look for the black color underneath the cute little Indian Red top with the grey tin pointed shape to the far left of it.
Then let your eyes travel across the bottom middle part of the canvas to find the same Indian Red (as I call this particular color) and find a small little top of some part of a structure that has a little tip on it.
Go now to the top of the old First Baptist Church building and “drink in” the same Indian Red tin looking part of this roof top to the far right, and the white brick tower, which I think is a steeple for this older building too.
It is just not pointed like the newer church building’s white steeple and spire that is so “outstanding” in this particular painting.
It stands out goes directly upwards with it being so white in color against this blue cobalt and cerulean sky on this October 1, 1970 early morning.
This painting has always been one of my favorites, because of its simplicity and beauty which does stand all alone almost silently against the blue, blue, blue sky without a cloud in the sky that day!
It is a “heavenly” landscape right here in our downtown, Starkville! It is right in the “heartbeat” of our town!
We all have to look upwards to enjoy what is up there reaching towards an upward “Heaven”...to truly see with our eyes its colorful beauty!

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