On Aug. 5, the Catholic Presbyterian Church Memorial Association will celebrate its 95th annual homecoming.
You will, no doubt, hear many parts of the history of this remarkable place, which was founded in 1759. You will know that Patriots worshipped there, you will know that folks traveled down the raging Fishing Creek to attend services. You will hear about the slaves seating and why the benches are so uncomfortable. (They were designed to keep you awake in case the preacher droned on and on). You will meet people who have been worshipping here since they were children. You will know at the close of the service that, indeed, it will be a day to remember.
You can, if you get there early, walk in the cemetery and read names that helped to build Chester County. You will read about families who contributed mightily to the welfare of the citizens and the upkeep of this historically proud little church.
You will hear abut the brush arbor that stood before the original church was constructed. You will discover that families traveled from early morning to late in the evening to hear the "preaching" and meet neighbors. You will hear about the way food was prepared for the dinner on the grounds and how women baked and laid claim to the best chicken, pie or potato dish. It was a time, on those rare Sundays, when the whole congregation made their talents known.
Some came by carriage, by mule or oxen-pulled wagons and others on horseback. How they came wasn't important, but the purpose of their coming was to hear the word of God and to learn how better to practice their Christianity.
After the first sermon, they made their way to the dinner grounds. There, long tables were set with food that had been cooked and carried for many miles to feed the hungry and gracious communicants. Surely, delicious cool drinks soothed the throats of the singers and preachers. Delicious pies and cakes reflected the lady who made them, and then came that wonderful period after eating. The men enjoyed it the most. They leaned against trees and buggy wheels and closed their weary eyes and slept while the women tidied up and made ready to serve again after the last sermon delivered just before darkness began to fall and animals wended their way home, back to the lonely existence until the next camp meeting.
Those are some of the things that certainly will be talked about on that Aug. 5 morning at the Old Catholic Presbyterian Church in Blackstock.
We, the people of this county, are invited, and we should take advantage of this invitation. For those of you who have never seen the church or sat in its pews, it will be a day of startling revelations. See what has been saved, and listen to the sermon that surely will involve some of the glorious history that surrounds the church and the grounds.
Stand outside and look at the monument to the men who gave their lives in wars for this country. Pray for those names that will be added after this last disaster is over. It is certainly a day and a place to remember those men who have died for no compelling reason; and remind the good Lord of their bravery in your prayers.
Go to the campground, meet the members of this sweet little church and look back on the days when they enjoyed very simple living.
Catholic Presbyterian Church is on 2330 Old Catholic Church Road. There is a business meeting at 11:30 a.m., and the worship service begins at noon followed by a picnic lunch.
We truly are blessed to have these treasures still standing and being a large part of our community. In some places, things of great worth have been destroyed in a flash, but here, we hover over buildings, no matter their size. We protect memories and things of grand importance. We, in simple words, honor what once was.