Journey Through North Carolina – Part 10 ~ By Tom and Audrey ~

Hello and welcome to part 10 of our journey through North Carolina.

Holy Trinity Church, West Jefferson, NC. http://www.usathroughoureyes.com

After eating at The Log House Restaurant in West Jefferson, NC we remembered reading an article in their local paper about a little church not far from there called Holy Trinity ChurchIt supposedly contained a fresco of the “Lord’s Supper”.  Believing this would be interesting, we were off to find it.  Like most signage, it was a bit misleading however after going in circles we found it.  Walking up there was a flurry of people landscaping this tiny little church that we later learned had been abandoned for many years.  As we walked inside there was the fresco.  While admiring this exquisite work of art, a gentleman by the name of Doug strolled in to greet us.  Before you know it, we were having a wonderful conversation about the history of the church, the fresco and him.   

Doug noted Holy Trinity church officially closed in 1946  and after 30 years of being neglected a campaign started in the 70’s to restore it.  Today the church has its original pews, altar, and candle stands. 

In 1980 a man by the name of Ben Long  was in the town visiting and someone invited him to church gathering.  It was at this gathering he took a liking to the towns people and offered to use his talents and the next thing you know a fresco of the “Lord’s Supper” was being done. Fresco painting is created by pressing pigment into wet plaster.

 Long and 20 of his students spent three months completing the original while the church was still undergoing renovations. Area residents began taking an interest in what was taking place and were supportive of the work. The churches of the community (regardless of denomination) offered to feed the artists – creating a bit of competition for the best meal served. Local people served as models for all the biblical figures except the waiting maid, Judas, Thomas, and Christ. Benjamin F. Long was the model for Thomas.  Isn’t it great how all the churches pulled together and the focus was on community?  We just love stories like this.  Wouldn’t it be great to have that concept back again?

As we talked the topic of conversation turned to Doug, 84 years young and originally from Georgia.  He noted working at North Carolina State doing mostly research in the field of crop science but also taught.  The focus of his PhD studies was “Witch Weed” also known as “Striga”  because it was invading farmers crops and becoming quite a problem.  After graduating he was invited to stay on staff and resided in Raleigh.  Because they liked the West Jefferson area they built a vacation home there.  He noted the more they vacationed there the more they wanted to stay until one weekend his wife said she didn’t want to go back to Raleigh. We laughed at how he knew that if he wanted to stay married he’d better get with the plan so they sold their home in Raleigh, his wife transferred her job and they became full time residents in West Jefferson.  It was so much fun talking with Doug and couldn’t help laughing at what a small world it was when he noted his sister had lived in Fairport NY and they visited there on numerous occasions.  Fairport, NY is a suburb of Rochester, NY, our hometown.  When we talked about sharing his story here he was pleased.  Thank you, Doug, and may God continue blessing you.

 

 (To view the video, click in the image above.)

 From here it was time to settle in for the evening and to our jo we discovered “Down by the River Campground”   in nearby Pineola, NC where we spent the next couple days relaxing along the Linville River in the heart of Pisgah National Forest.

Well this is it for today.  We hope you come back and see how the trip unfolds as we share more of USA Through Our Eyes.  Until then be safe.

usathroughoureyes
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  1. Peter Adewumi

    I live the talk about the church, the art work, and the 84-year old man given birth to in Georgia, I believe he is living now in North Carolina. He was almost the same age as that woman waiting and praying in the temple for the birth of Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. robbiesinspiration

    Very interesting to read how this little Church was being restored. I think that is a great thing. An interest in the natural environment and “alien” plants is a good thing. We have campaigns here in South Africa where people gather to remove alien weeds that are causing problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you Robbie. Yes we love when the community gets involved for the greater good. Its amazing how plants are good in certain regions but can be a disaster in other ones. Best to nip them in the bud before they overtake an area.

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  3. houstonphotojourney

    I love to hear they are fixing it up and about the community involvement! I really love old churches and what a special treat to meet Doug!! You video was nice too and glad we got to see Doug too! You always have such a great time I think because you are so welcoming to meeting other people too! Keep having fun!! Looking forward to the next post!!!

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  4. Sharon, Leadership2Mommyship

    I loved reading this, such a nice story to share…you never know who you might meet in life. How wonderful that Doug painted the “Lord’s Supper” for them. And I love hearing about the community of churches helping out with their meals. Yes, this is how it should be–unified. 🙂

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    • usathroughoureyes

      So true Sharon. We so enjoyed our moment with Doug and his telling of how the painter came to be and how the community all pulled together instead of trying one up each other. Wouldn’t it be great having this happen in the world. Oh well we must know God has His plan.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you Deborah Ann. It is always nice to hear from you and your encouraging words. It was such a quaint little church with a nice feel to it. Doug, in the video, was so kind and gentle. Hope you are feeling better.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you. It was really beautiful to look at and there was a draw to it that is hard to describe. To think it will be there for a long time is nice. We never know what fruits will come from something like that. So nice of you to make time to talk with us. Thank you for your site and its works.

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  5. King Ben's Grandma

    A beautiful church and a beautiful touching story to go with it. We need more things like this, bringing people and communities together. Thank you for sharing this🙏💖☮💟🌷🕊

    Liked by 1 person

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you. Doug had such a peace about him and the little church had such a story behind it. Yes you are so right about us needing communities coming together.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      This is so nice to hear that our travels to NC has sparked in you an interest to see more of that area. It was an eye opener for us. We didn’t realize the vastness to that state. So many wonderful places and people!!!! Thank you for making time to talk with us. Stay safe on your journeys Debbie and keep us posted.

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      • Debbie L

        Thank you! We’re now discovering every state so far has so much to offer! But we are partial to beaches and mountains! NC has them both! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        Isn’t this great to explore as you are and see so many wonderful places and encounter experiences that we’ll never forget. It is great reading your enthusiasm and feeling your excitement. Keep sharing if you will so our dream is fueled.

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  6. Ann McDunn

    Interesting to read and see this blog, a nice story about the little church and see the old man Doug, he looks funny. Lovely to laugh with him, he knows on his age a lot of story to tell. The link to 1964 is real funny with all the low prices and the Pisgah National Forest looks amazing. Warm greetings, Ann.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you Ann. This was such a wonderful moment spent with this gentleman and hearing his story and learning about the church. This is so nice you clicked on the link to what it was like in 1964 and the Natl. Forest. You always bring joy to us with your thoughts and care. Thank you for this. Our best to you, the family and Mandy.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Hi Maureen. Yes it was spectacular. We were captured by its beauty. We have seen imitation ones in our travels but this one had a beauty to it that was inspiring. So nice to hear from you and make the time to share. Thank you.

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  7. Heide

    You are a natural-born reporter, you know that? I love how you draw stories out of people wherever you go, including the priceless little details like the locals competing to cook the best meal for the fresco-painters. Thank you for this charming side trip, and for the reminder that it’s worth stopping for a chat every now and then.

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  8. Margaret from soulfood101blog

    What a beautiful story. That church has been empty that long and still standing, praise God. You are so true, for communities to be like this again would be the change the world needs. I love your journey, thank you 2 for taking the time to share it with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you Margaret. It was a special stopping point for us and another wonderful story of people working hard and doing the right thing. Once again the church is that center point from which all else should emanate.

      Liked by 1 person

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