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Vanishing churches

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By Toni C. Collins, Levy County Historian

In the wooded farmlands west of Williston stands, neglected and forgotten, an abandoned country church. Like a monument to the county’s rich historical past, this church is a silent sentinel and reminder of when our churches were the heart of community life.
In days gone by, the tiny church houses were the center of life and death, where revivals, baptisms, weddings, Sunday school classes and funerals were held. But all country churches had a common thread, a warm homey feeling about them.
Most of the old wooden churches were built from locally cut and sawn lumber and erected by the hands of members of the congregation. There would be a watering trough close by to water the horses and mules and an outhouse could be found somewhere in the churchyard.
Pictured is the Verbena Dale Presbyterian Church located two miles northwest of Williston and one-half mile north of US 27 Alt. Services were held in the white, rectangular, meetinghouse-type frame building from 1923 until 1938. The church had a bell and was formerly utilized as a school house. The building and land were donated to the domination by Mr. Duncan Abercrombie.


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