Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
off the press is the beautiful book recounting the history of
Serving on the committee to research, write, design and publish the book were Ed and Doris Durban, Eva Decker, Mary Sue Moon, James Hooper, Tina Hourihan, Carol Rabun and Alan Morgan. They readily acknowledge that many more contributed to the book, making it a compendium of local and area history as well as the story of a faithful group of people who have lived and exercised faith in this place since at least 1875 or earlier.
It is an unusual book. Seldom do you see a church history book that is bound in what I like to call a “coffee table” format, one so comely and physically appealing in a book that you will want to place it in a prominent place in your home. Cover and contents, color and design—all invite the reader to enjoy.
The committee could not find an exact
beginning date for
How long before 1875, or just when or by whom the church was founded has been lost in the mists of time and the absence of recorded information. The committee is to be commended for the sources they consulted to bring as much information as possible to readers about the church’s existence, growth, work and influence in the community and to the ends of the earth.
Old land deeds of
Early pastors, from a list made from memory by J. L. “Uncle Boney” Colwell in 1944, provided insight to first leaders in the absence of recorded minutes of the church’s first decades. Thumbnail biographies of these pastors are given, together with pictures when available.
The title of the book, How Firm a Foundation: A
History of the
The dust jacket cover has these words about the book: “This is not your average church history book. This is a book about people—Christian men and women who, through dedication and commitment to God and each other, built the First Baptist Church of Blairsville. It is a story, not of a building, but of individual lives bound together within a community of God.” – The Book Committee; Ed Durbin and Doris Durbin, Editors and Writers.
As a researcher and writer, I will return to this book time and again as I seek information about people whose brief biographies and remembrances are included in the book. The excellent index makes the book an easy-to-use reference source. For inspiration, I will read testimonies and remembrances included in the book by various people I have known. In this way I can reconnect with people who made a difference in my own life.
Thanks are certainly in order to the church body itself for calling for and voting to publish what Honorable Zell Miller calls “a golden treasure-trove.” Thanks, a thousand-times over, for the persistence, digging, and hard work of the committee that brought the book to fruition. We think of crowns being a reward of our faithful service and coming after our transition to glory. But with this earthly work, the compilation and publication of How Firm a Foundation, your crown, faithful committee, is in our hands, ready to use, a glowing tribute to your efforts. All who read and appreciate the book will be basking in the glow of your shining crown.
Jones; published Sept. 17, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Updated October 5, 2009