Today’s #letsblogoff topic is “What is Legacy.”
It took my breath away. I planed to blog something else. But yesterday Deacon Means invited me inside.
The Pentecostal Church of God on Howard Street in Kirkwood bought this condemned building in 1996. Members moonlighted for 6 years to bring it back, holding their first service here in 2002.
I've mentioned it before, a neoclassical beauty where you'd never expect it. The building is a happy leftover from the town of Kirkwood, a streetcar suburb now engulfed by Atlanta. From almost all-white community, to an almost all-black one, to the gentrifying mix it is now, it still seems like its own community with it's own town center.
I drive by on occasional Mondays wondering what's inside. Yesterday I parked my car and circled the building on foot, hoping to find someone, at least peek inside. Nobody.
As I drove away, Deacon Means waved to me from the sidewalk, not too sure of my intentions. But he invited me in, not for the last time I hope.
The 1920's must have been a great decade for churches. This is probably a new cornerstone. The Israel Missionary Baptist Church purchased the building in 1964 and worshiped here until 1979 when they moved to a bigger facility a few blocks away. Was is abandoned from '79 until '96?
I presume there were a handful of architectural firms that specialized in these churches, who could deliver classic details on budget. This one would shine on any main street in America.
I was not ready for the inside, not ready for the exhilaration. (My little camera washed out the stained glass which is in every window.)
It was about noon. No lights were on.
Here are the balcony level windows.
From the balcony, wow. The baptismal pool is behind the red curtains above the choir.
No problem seeing from the back row of the balcony.
I've never seen this before: The narthex doesn't extend the width of the sanctuary. There are two entrances, each leading to a small narthex with stairs to the balcony. Light streams in from north, east, and south.
I'm grateful to Deacon Means and the members of the Pentecostal Church of God who brought this beautiful place back to life and gave me a chance to see it. Thanks to Bill Lyons and Bobby Mays who inspire to me to look.
I'm going to need a bigger camera. I want to see this place filled with people.
Here are all the pictures of the Pentecostal Church of God on Howard Street in Kirkwood.
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