Friday, November 15, 2013

The Very Beautiful Parker Memorial Baptist Church

The church of my childhood was spartan, with punishing Puritanical wood pews and no musical instruments. Maybe that's why I've had a lifelong fascination with elaborate churches and cathedrals. I've seen majestic stained glass and soaring flying buttresses in Europe; I've been humbled by the beauty of All Saints Chapel at Sewanee, The University of the South.

As long as I can remember, I've longed to see inside the historic Parker Memorial Baptist Church in my hometown of Anniston, Alabama. I've been gazing wistfully at its imposing architecture, wondering at the splendor to be found within.

Today, I finally had my chance. My wonderful friend Kathy Weiser, a lifelong member, offered me a personal tour. It was everything I'd imagined and moreincluding a breathtaking Louis Comfort Tiffany window!

A brief history: On July 3, 1887, forty-five believers, most of them members from First Baptist Church in West Anniston, organized the Second Baptist Church in the Opera House on Noble.

 Dr. G. A. Nunnally of Eufaula was called as pastor and property was purchased on the corner of Quintard and Twelfth Street. The name of the church was changed to Twelfth Street Baptist. Duncan C. Parker, 13 year old son of Duncan T. Parker, died March 26, 1889. Cornelia Parker, organist of Twelfth Street Baptist Church and wife of Mr. Parker, died three weeks later. As a memorial to his wife and son, Mr. Parker offered to pay for a new sanctuary. The church soon changed its name to Parker Memorial Baptist Church.

The Parker Memorial of today recently underwent a four million dollar renovation. Take a look:

Duncan T. Parker

Many thanks to Kathy, and
Love from Delta.