I must pass this house ten or fifteen times a week going to and from the Court House for this or that. It sits between Bill Dixon's old place and Mathews Baptist Church, shown below. Although I've admired it from afar, especially in warmer months when a wisteria vine blooms out front, I had no inkling there was any special significance to the house until I started doing research for the book.
Come to find out, this is the old parsonage for Mathews Baptist Church, of which I have been a member all my life (although I'm no longer active). Ever since I can remember, however, the parsonage has been a brick house on the way to Gwynn's Island, on the left just before the bend approaching the turn-off to Redart.
I have no idea whether the church still owns the original parsonage. No one lives there anymore. The house just sits politely and casually observes the passersby and goings-on in bustling downtown Hudgins.
Parsonage is one of those words you rarely hear anymore. The Free Dictionary has this to say about it:
|parsonage - an official residence provided by a church for its parson or vicar or rector;|
rectory or vicarage; glebe house.
We also use the word "glebe" around here lots, primarily because there is a road and an area called the Glebe, associated with the former glebe of Kingston Parish of the Church of England, dating back to 1665. In 1802 parishes were required to sell off all glebes, and in 1810 Kingston Parish auctioned off all its land to benefit the poor.
And this concludes a post which began as a discussion of the original parsonage of Mathews Baptist Church but veered quickly and unintentionally off towards the Glebe before the author realized what was going on.
|Mathews Baptist Church, also known as Old Baptist, was founded in the 1700s.|