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At the physical and cultural crossroads of Central Texas, cotton once ruled as king. Around this demanding monarch, numerous communities grew up and thrived. From the distant horizon, the communities were marked by church steeples stretching skyward. Today, cotton has disappeared from the land, and the communities have almost disappeared. Only the churches remain. A team of researchers from Baylor University set out to understand the staying power of these rural churches and to get to know the people who keep them alive while the surrounding communities have given way to the larger towns and cities nearby. Beyond the power of religion itself, they have uncovered the roles of geography, race, ethnicity, and family in giving life to these small churches. Authors Lois E. Myers and Rebecca Sharpless further out understanding of the interplay of religion and culture, the qualities of late twentieth-century rural life, and the continuing draw of the open country. Photojournalist Clark Baker portrays open-country churches and their members in vivid black and white photographs. Churches included in the study include the oldest Norwegian Lutheran church in Texas, four African American Baptist churches organized soon after emancipation, white Southern Baptist churches, Protestant and Catholic churches founded by European and Mexican immigrants, and one union church that for most of the past century accommodated both Methodist and Baptists. Drawing on memories of longtime members, church minutes and histories, baptism records, and family histories, Myers and Sharpless collapse decades of tradition into these enchanting and informative pages.
Buy Rock beneath the Sand: Country Churches in Texas (Sam Rayburn Series on Rural Life, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Commerce) by Clark Baker, Lois E. Myers & Rebecca Sharpless from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781585442508 & 158544250X
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