MMAP Flovilla End Week 3

Our project here has officially ended, but since there were 10 more benches that had been sanded and had just the primer coat of paint on, we decided to stay a couple of days on our own and finish them up. We helped our contact couple, Ken and Judy, paint and on Friday we got the first coat on, then Saturday we got the second coat on. So that brought the total to 29 pews completed! There are one hundred more to go! Since our crew had the trial and error, they are figuring the next crews will be able to get even more finished. So three more MMAP projects!

On Sunday, we went with another couple to find a church they had seen online and were interested in attending. We could not find it, and stopped at another church to see if they had heard of it; and they had not, but invited us to their service. We did not find the other church, so went back to the church we had stopped at. Their service was starting in 15 minutes. What a joy, to be led to another great time of worship with black believers. Since February is Black History Month, which I have ignored in the past, the service had some special parts. The Zion Awesome Angels, a group of young girls, performed sign language to one of the old negro spirituals, then several successful black businessmen, including the first black woman to receive a Physical Therapy degree at GA University spoke, encouraging the young people to work hard, follow their dreams, and have confidence. Great advise for any young person of any race! Then the young people put on a skit about Rosa Parks, and how she was taken off the bus. It was cute…funny, well done and made the point. The guest pastor spoke on Daniel 6, then started to sing the old negro sermon on the passage. I followed the verses and was impressed and excited to hear this rendition of the story of Daniel. We have a small book of old negro sermons (this one is not included in our book) that are passed down through generations, and wondered if they were still used…..and they are! I am almost jealous of the great heritage these folks have, and after hearing the stories the speakers told, realized that yes, they do have something to rejoice in and celebrate.

Monday morning Paul and I were able to move the 10 benches back to the tabernacle, using a nifty “lift” that the resident manager had devised for that purpose.

Truthfully, Paul was having too much fun!!

Ken and Judy had showed us the original spring that fed the camp back a hundred years ago, so I went back Monday afternoon to take pictures,

and checked out rooms at the hotel here on the campground,

(loved the old linoleum in this room!)

This is the hotel lounge.

Then watched a bluebird, who has been obsessed with his reflection in our mirror for the last couple of days.

He would not let me get to close and the window was dirty, so it is a little blurry. He would start at the top, go to the bottom and then hit against the mirror as he traveled back up to the top of the mirror. He was doing this for a couple of days, and for about an hour a day!! Poor thing, bless his heart.

So now we are ready to leave Tuesday morning, heading back to French Camp in Mississippi. We may or may not stop along the way to rubberneck. We may just stop at a site and sit for the next few days and rest before reporting in to work on Friday.

Indian Springs Holiness Camp

Sometimes where we work, the history and usage of the site we are helping has been as interesting and intriguing as the sites that surround it. This camp is still known as the “Greatest Camp Meeting in the South”. Its history began when, in 1889, five pastors found the property and knelt and prayed on the site. Methodism was spreading, especially in Georgia, and the revival meetings, with the tent and sawdust floors, were prevalent. The camp is evangelical, independent and nondenominational, proclaiming the Wesleyan doctrine of scriptural holiness.

I want to share a little bit of the flavor of the camp: During this time of year, it is like a ghost town with only the manager and assistant manager being on site. During the week of the camp meetings, it is entirely different, with more than 3,000 people present. There are 150 acres with a little over 200 buildings. We have learned there are several of these camps around the south that continue to be a spiritual inspiration and renewal for those who attend.

There is a variety of accommodations for the 10 days of revival meetings, including an eclectic collection of homes, dating back to the 1800’s when the camp was formed. They are on land leases and must agree to be in residence during the camp session. Most are 4th and 5th generation owners!

Some are small, well kept, quaint cabins,

others small, in need of repair.

From a trailer court on the property,

to large two-story homes; this one was used in a Christian movie, “Lost and Found Family”.

There are a couple of motels; this one the porch/railings were repaired/replaced by a previous MMAP crew.

And a Hotel, which has a bell that chimes every half hour, and music at noon. Makes a great atmosphere!

Then the campground, where we are parked, is available, and we have been told that besides the RV spots, it is surrounded by Tent City!

During the week we had our traditional game nights
and celebrated Rick’s 65th birthday with a potluck and more games!

We are both fighting the crud, with Paul being on the downside, me on the upside. So neither of us felt well enough to go exploring in the area this weekend. It is such a beautiful day, with the temperature getting to 84! So we have enjoyed just sitting at the RV reading. We did take a walk to the 28 acre lake this afternoon, but that took all of our energy. The lake is beautiful and a very peaceful place.

It is hard to believe we are starting our third and last week here before we move back to French Camp, MS. We will continue to work on the benches, and most likely will leave some in unfinished condition for the next group of workers.

MMAP Flovilla, February Week 2

Last weekend, we explored a little and found some very interesting sights! Friday the whole group went to the little town of Juliette….. anybody hear of it? What about the movie made there twenty years ago, Fried Green Tomatoes?
This “wallpaper” made from a seed catalog was in the bathroom at one of the little shops.
We ate lunch at the cafe they used in the movie, the Whistle Stop, and of course had a fried green tomato sandwich.

The barbecue pit,

and homeless Smokey Lonesome’s cabin still there,

and the train station, a gift store

The town buildings were covered with vines and were moved around to make the movie set.

The graveyard, has “honorary headstones” for the movie characters.

Just outside Juliette was Jarrell Plantation. Here the Jarrell family settled and lived for several generations, 140 years, until the property was given to the state of Georgia. It was very interesting to see how they lived in the 1800’s. Not all plantations had big white antebellum homes. This was the house they lived in, built in 1847.

Although they had 39 slaves prior to the Civil War, they still lived very simply. They ran a forge, a cotton gin, a grist mill, and a saw mill, all run by the steam engine.

With multiple endeavors, they survived when the cotton weavil devastated the crops, along with other natural disasters.
Sherman’s March to the Sea came right through this farm as well, burning the buildings, except for the house. After the war, the family rebounded, bought more acrage, bringing the total up to 1000 acres.

On Saturday, we visited Uncle Remus Museum. Eatonton was where Joel Chandler Harris, creator of Uncle Remus and various critters, was born and raised.

His museum was constructed from three slave cabins, that also survived Sherman’s March, because they were originally located beside a Masonic Lodge. They were moved to the present site in 1963.

About an hour drive to the east of us, we visited two Indian mounds, Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, which is 120 feet from head to toe, and 102 feet from wingtip to wingtip. Notice the size compared to the people walking near the head!

The vertical height is 8 feet. The rocks in the foreground form the head.

The picture does not show the size adequately. It was amazing to walk around it and get a feel for the size of it!

In another park, a few miles away, a second mound, Rock Hawk Effigy Mound was similar, but smaller.

These mounds are somewhat of a mystery, and are thought to be thousands of years old.

Then, back to work on Monday!

It has gotten progressively warmer this week, with the temperature reaching 79 this afternoon. It was warmer outside than in the block building we are working in, even with the heat going full blast!
Some benches needed more repair work and new “feet” were added

We were relieved to get the benches covered with one coat of primer, plus two coats of the latex paint, completing 10, with 7 still needing the second coat of latex.

It really felt like we made a lot of progress this week!

MMAP Flovilla, February Week 1

Our first week here is finished, and the guys got six pews sanded! Even though it has been a little frustrating and slow getting into a routine of how best to accomplish the task, it has been a great week.

After trial and error, they found pressure washing did not work out, so old fashioned scraping and hand sanding were the best way to accomplish the task. But it was going so slow, and the power sanders created to much sawdust for inside sanding. The guys looked like walking zombies after the first day, covered with sawdust from head to foot!! But then lead paint became a concern, so they were diverted for a day while the paint was being tested.

Rick and Dennis worked on railing at the snacketeria. Even with their own set of challenges, they finished in one day.

Paul and Jake (a fellow dutchman!) worked on installing an air conditioner (through the wall)

and subsequent weatherizing (insulation, paneling the walls, installing door other than a screen door, and an outside electric outlet) a shed on the side of a restroom facility at the campground.

Due to the high usage and summer temperatures during camp, the wiring gets too hot and kicks off the main breaker. Hopefully, the air conditioning in the room will help prevent that from happening! Now they can cover up the panels. (per code!!)

It was determined that there was no lead paint, and the camp provided a couple more sanders, while Paul and a couple of the others bought more sanders. Having power tools is helping, but they are using a lot of sandpaper. Rick and Dennis were able to get back to sanding on Wednesday. Even though it has been cold, they decided to sand outside, instead of inside, so the dust would blow away. Everyone also has the professional respirator masks now as well!

Since we ladies have not been able to help (Even a second job of painting some old refrigerators cannot be done with the temperature being in the low 40’s!) we decided to have our ladies day out the first week and thus be available when the painting can be done. Hopefully the temperatures will raise to the normal low 60’s next week! We drove over to Monticello, named after Thomas Jefferson’s home.

It is about 20 miles away. The lure it had for us were the old, beautiful homes. We ate lunch, planned our route to tour the town’s historic district and got some pictures of some of the historic homes.

Our guide, Judy, the director’s wife, took us to Flovilla on the way home. The townsite itself has been elusive! We thought we must have blinked along the highway, but it is actually off the highway a couple of blocks and is parallel with the railroad, as many towns are.

Judy and I were able to fill some of the nail holes on Thursday, then sand those spots down, so will be ready to clean and put the first coat of undercoat paint on next week.
We ended the work week with game night, always a fun time….. and true personalities come out. Games are serious business with MMAPers!! It has been a good group to work and play with!

MMAP Flovilla GA

After 5 days on the coast of southern Georgia, we headed west to Flovilla, near Jackson, Georgia. We blinked and missed Flovilla, but did go through Indian Springs, which is to the south about a mile. Cute little historic town with a couple of old buildings, including the old Post Office,

and the 1890 Chapel that was constructed with left over lumber from the Hotel. It closed in 1992.

There is a unique whimsical botanical garden that I am sure is very beautiful in the springtime. At this time of the year, nothing but the pansies were in bloom, (with the Charlotte Weaver Rose Garden in the background)

but it had some cute decorative sculptures, and it was fun to wander through it.

Meanwhile, back at the camp, this will give you an idea of what we are about to embark on:
This is the outdoor pavilion, the Adult Tabernacle, that houses the pews we will be working on. There are two more smaller ones, the Tween Tabernacle, and the Youth Tabernacle. Totally, there are enough pews to seat over 3,000 people.

These are the pews that we will be sanding down, repairing and repainting. They are about one hundred years old! We are responsible for moving them across the street to the cafeteria so we can work indoors, due to the unpredictable weather and temperature fluctuations.

The cafeteria is set up as a work area, with space divided by plastic; one for sanding and repairing, and another area for painting.

So tomorrow we will start, with everyone having several ideas on how to accomplish the task in the most efficient, timely manner!! Several times the job has been started, but for various reasons, the job has not been successfully continued. It will be interesting, and best of all, the Lord will guide and direct us as we begin this daunting task. The board of the camp has no expectation as to how many we will complete, and they expect it to be an ongoing, several-years task. They have said they will be happy with whatever we get accomplished! So, ONE pew at a time :)! We will accomplish what we can with His strength.

Coastal Georgia

Our week “off” is coming to an end! It has been a great break, but of course, no sitting around!! There is so much to see! As an adult, I have become more interested in history as I see the places where events took place.

We have been in the coastal area of Georgia now for 5 days; in the morning it will be time for us to leave and go up to Flovilla for our February job.

The time here went fast, and the highlight had to have been on Sunday, when we attended a Missionary Baptist Church close to our campground. Paul had seen it coming in, so we drove by it on Sunday morning to see what time it started. Being in the south, we were a little apprehensive, as it appeared to be a black congregation, and we did not know how they would accept us. We found another church, but it started at 10:30, and it was already 10:45. Okay Lord, we’ll go to the one closer to the campground.
There were about 400 in the congregation. The singing started, there was lots of hand clapping, we got hugs, were introduced and able to share about MMAP. It was the friendliest church we have been to on our travels! The sermon was great, (on Ist John 1) and we just immersed ourselves praising the Lord, by singing and listening! When the service ended, we were really hungry, looked at the time, and my goodness, it was 1:45!! Almost three hours long, and it did not seem like it was more than an hour and a half!!

We visited St. Mary’s, a coastal town, in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it seems to have fallen on hard times. But it is a beautiful setting, and have great historical homes

We enjoyed a walk along the bay, where they have a beautiful park.

It is across from Cumberland Island, which was formerly owned by the Carnegie family in the 19th century as a retreat. After Thomas Carnegie died, Lucy Carnegie raised her children there, building each of the nine children a home. One of them, built for daughter Margaret, Greyfield Inn, was converted to an inn during 1962 and is still managed by the family. It was too late to take a boat over, so we did not see the island, but the history was interesting nonetheless!

On Monday, we toured St. Simons Island (made famous (to me) by author, Eugenia Price’s books)
The lighthouse, is 104 feet tall and uses Fresnel lens that rotated to flash a beam of light every 60 seconds. The original lighthouse was built in 1811. During the Civi War, Confederate forces destroyed it in 1861 to prevent its use by Union forces. It was rebuilt in 1872, electrified in 1934, and automated in 1954, and is still operational. Fantastic views from the top!

Fort Frederica was the military headquarters of Georgia during the colonial period. It served a buffer against Spanish in Florida. It was built with Tabby, which is a mixture of equal parts lime, sand, oyster shell and water.

During the 18th century, St. Simons was part time residence for John Wesley. He was minister to the colony and used the third story of the storehouse (this is the foundation)

He later returned to England where he founded the Methodist church. His brother also did missionary work on St. Simons in the 1730’s.
General Oglethorpe brought folks from England, based on their skills, to form a town to service the fort. It was built just outside the fort, and several foundations from the buildings remain. This appeared to be the largest, and still has bricks from the fireplace and oven. It was the candlestick makers home.

During the Battle of Bloody Marsh on July 7, 1742, the British ambushed Spanish troops marching single file through the marsh and routed them from the island. This battle marked the end of the Spanish efforts to invade Georgia.

The 100 acre piece of land for Christ Church was given by the State of Georgia in 1808 to be used for a church. the structure was finished in 1820 and was commandeered by Union troops during the Civil War and nearly destroyed it by using it for a stable. it was restored in 1889 and has an unsigned but authenticated Tiffany stained glass window.

Tuesday, we went to Jekyll Island.
Horton House, a two-story structure built in 1742 after his original wood home was destroyed during Spanish attacks. It is one of two remaining two-story colonial-era structures in the state. It is built of Tabby, a popular form of block which appears to stand up for centuries. (It is also seen in a lot of newer buildings around here.)

After John Horton died in 1749, and successive owners, the entire island became property of Christophe duBignon just before 1800. The property was divided among his four children when he died, and in the late 1870’s a grandnephew, John, purchased the rest of the island, some from his uncle’s estate, and the rest from his siblings. He and his brother-in-law set up the Jekyll Island Club in 1886 as a winter retreat, and hunting club for the wealthy, which purchased the Island from them for $125,000. From 1888-1942 it was open to accommodate some of the world’s wealthiest people, most notably, the JP Morgans, Rockefellers, Pullitzers, Astors and Vanderbilts.
The original part of the club house was completed in January 1888 with 53 members by shares for $600 each.

The wing to the right was added in 1901.

We could not resist eating in the same dining room as these wealthy businessmen did years ago!!

The setting up of the Federal Reserve was thought out and conceptualized here, as was the first intercontinental telephone call (since Mr. Vail, the CEO of AT&T, was a member and and was delayed on the island at the time due to a leg injury. It was made between him in Georgia, the president in Washington, Graham Bell in New York, and Bell’s assistant in San Francisco!)
Faith Chapel was built for interdenominational use and included a signed Tiffany glass window.

We walked the whole 240 acre historic area and were fascinated by the homes that were called cottages! All were built close to the club so they could enjoy and participate in all of the social activities.
Richard Crane of Crane plumbing fixtures had this house built

The Sans Souci, was the first condos in America! Six condos, with the fourth floor for servants. In order to live in one, no children, and no mistress was the criteria!

Now a bookstore, this cottage was owned by Pullitzer, then Goodyear before being donated to the club to use as an infirmary. Doctors and nurses came from Johns Hopkins for the season to serve the elite.

The Rockefellers bought this home to use during “the season”.

and duBignon, the co-creator of the club also built a house “for the season”

By the time United States entered World War II, the era was over, and the state of Georgia condemned the island in order to make it a state park in 1947 and paid the remaining members a total of $675,000.

Wednesday, we checked out Fort King George near Darien. It was the southern most outpost of the British in North America from 1721 to 1736. As at Fort Frederica, General Oglethorpe brought folks, this time, Scottish Highlanders in 1736 to form the nearby town now called Darien.

Cyprus blockhouse, 26 foot square, three stories high

Looking west from the top of the bockhouse

Fort King George cemetery

We sure got our exercise in by walking a lot!

Fun stuff – on the way back, we stopped at “The Pig” (Piggly Wiggly). This pretty little bird was on a table, inside! He acted like he was tame, but when the employees tried to get him in a box, he flew away! I think he found a new home at the store~