Growing up in the Bible belt I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to visit a lot of small churches. In the days before the mega church and when there was nobody selling religion. The churches of small communities were places where families gathered to hear the word of God and not just what the preacher said. We knew good and well that nobody can buy a ticket to heaven with money or goid works. Vain obligations were just that. We resisted judging each other because we were justified by the blood of Christ and not by works or money. Church is a place for bonding not bondage.
The architecture of small community churches is something special. Everything from little cabins to scaled down cathedrals can be found tucked into Appalachian landscape. Bells and spires are sometimes topped with crosses and sometimes not.
The ringing of the church bell was a special privilege. Young people (mostly boys) would like up and take turns tugging on the rope. In trutruth we just liked making noise.
After church service extended family would get together at the home place for a large meal. The cooks would all gather in the kitchen and soon the house was full of wonderful smells the sounds of laughter. During the warm weather the children be outside trying to have fun without getting dirty. That’s a very difficult skill to master for a 10 year old boy. I can still smell my grandmother’s homemade bread when I think about it.