Sunday, September 14, 2014

Granny's Pantry # 24 Lick Creek Baptist Church

If you follow Lick Creek Church Road a little way to the southeast and cross the bridge to Lick Creek, you come to Lick Creek Baptist Church located on a small hill on the left. Beside of it is an old cemetery and a homecoming shelter. Lick Creek was the small country church Granny and Granddaddy Cole attended when they moved back home to High Rock to help mind the farm and look after his aging parents. It was the church where they took me to Sunday School as a child when I was at High Rock and to church when the preacher came on the second and fourth Sundays.  It was 1979 before preaching was held every Sunday.   

Kathy Cottrell, as long time member, wrote a history of Lick Creek Church on the occasion of its 200th anniversary in 1987—so that would make it 228 now. But chances are, Lick Creek is even older than that.  The current brick building dating from 1931 is the 3rd church building on the land where it now stands, the first having been built just before the Civil War.

She writes:  "Lick Creek Church was and is located in one of the oldest settlements in southern Davidson County. It stands on a hill between Lick Creek and Cabin Creek. There are no records of when the church first started or who first preached here. All early records have either been lost or were burned. There are no records of when the first church was built and it is assumed that the first meeting[s] were held in a brush arbor." *

I loved Lick Creek when I was growing up. I loved the simplicity of the sanctuary with its dark wooden pews and little box of a choir loft up front. I loved the small rooms that opened off to the sides with folding wooden doors and frosted glass that held the children’s classes and the small balconies high above the back pews. I loved the revival meetings and the homecomings. The folks at Lick Creek made me feel like I “belonged.” 

So special to me was the picture of Mr. Columbus Cole standing with his forefinger in his green hardback Peloubet's Select Notes adult Sunday School commentaries that guided his weekly lessons that when my parents bought his house, years later, I found and saved some of those books left there just to preserve the memories. I especially loved Mr. Henry McDowell, the Sunday School Superintendent, whose job it was to ding the little bell on the pulpit when Sunday School was over. He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever known, and I look forward to seeing him in Heaven. 

Once or twice, I even had to “fill in” as piano player when not one else was available (the congregation was often quite small). Granny Cole said it was important to be able to play at least two hymns, just in case. My two were “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” and “Work for the Night is Coming.”

Aunt Ruthie was the pianist in later years, and my daddy even filled in as pastor for a few months when the church was in need (the only time I knew him to do that, as most of his ministry was evangelism). Aunt Ruthie also provided flower arrangements for the Sunday service for years after she returned to High Rock to stay. I wish I had kept pictures of her creations. She scrounged blossoms from Granny’s garden, my mother’s yard, and anywhere else available.
C. Monet's Water Lilies
Once I waded into backwater of the Yadkin River to collect water lilies for her. In lieu of anything else, she has been known to use peacock feathers. “Taking the flowers to the church” became a beloved Saturday afternoon adventure.
I loved to wander over the old cemetery and see what the tombstones said; some of the engravings were simply scratched onto pieces of upright slate. There are over 350 known burials at Lick Creek Baptist Church, some dating back before the Civil War.  At least 47 of those are Coles or have direct connection to the Coles. Here are a few that are dear to me:
Granny Cole
Granddaddy Cole
Brooks Cole (their son—my uncle)
Lorene Cole (their daughter-in-law—my aunt)

James T Johnson (their son-in-law, my daddy)

Janie Johnson Penney (their granddaughter, my sister—if you want to see something as out-of-the-ordinary as my sister, visit her tombstone)

And on and on….
A happy note…my daughter was married at Lick Creek Baptist Church on a beautiful June day when the Queen Anne’s Lace was in bloom. She was Cinderella. And after the vows and festivities, she and her Prince rode away in a carriage (no pumpkins, no mice, no fairy godmother, just happily ever after).









We all love Lick Creek and its memories.

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
            Psalm 122:1


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