Monday, November 8, 2010

Churches in the Savannah Area

My original idea was to do a second posting on Savannah focusing on its cultural history. But I am going to save that for another time as we plan to make another trip into Savannah. Presently we are parked outside of  Savannah in a little town called Rincon. There is a Lutheran church in Rincon where we attended services today and, after worshiping there, we decided to check out the one historic place listed for Rincon in our Georgia Tour Guide. The guide noted that the Salzburger Museum and Church is on the site of the original 1737 Ebenezer Orphanage, the first in Georgia. We found the museum, which is on the grounds of Jerusalem Lutheran Church. The museum was not open but there were plenty of historical markers around which gave us a history of the area. Lutherans from Salzburg Austria settled in the area in 1734. With the help of General Oglethorpe they built the town of Ebenezer. The community became successful once they started producing raw silk,  in 1772 they shipped out 485 pounds of raw silk. But the town fell on hard times once the Revolution began. Jerusalem church, built in 1734, was used then for a hospital and later was a stable for cavalry horses. After the Revolution the Georgia Legislature assembled in Ebenezer and for a short time it became the state capitol.  The original church is pictured below and is still an active congregation today. A swan weather vane is on the church's steeple. That is unusual for a church steeple and I have no idea what its significance may mean. A swan is also on the church's sign.
I want to mention one other church here before closing. Yesterday, in Savannah, we saw the Independent Presbyterian Church familiar to many people because it is in the opening scene of the movie Forest Gump. As John and I were looking at the church we saw a historic marker in front of it. We were surprised to learned that Lowell Mason, noted composer of sacred music, was the organist of this church from 1820-1827. While there he set to music the hymn "From Greenland's Icy Mountains". In the church that first stood on the site the hymn was sung in 1824 for the first time.

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