Volume VI, No. 2, Winter 1978




WE ONCE GATHERED HERE

by Linda Lee


A small, old-fashioned stone church, complete with belfry, stands on a little country road, surrounded by towering oak trees--the perfect picture of peace and serenity.

I happened by one day and went closer. I could see that it wasn't quite like I had thought. The church and the road are still there, but the church is deserted and locked up, and the road is now only a service road running next to a paved highway.

Peering through one of the dirty windows of the one-room building, I could see eight pews in four rows, with a rough, handmade pulpit in front, and an old-fashioned wood stove in back. I could almost see the men and women listening intently, while the small children fidgeted restlessly. I could almost hear the preacher say, "We are gathered here today . . ."

While talking with one of the residents of the area, I learned that the church was begun in 1938 by 100 people from the Akers community, who got together and built the church of native stone and lumber. It cost only $700, which the community raised, for materials such as doors, windows and cement. It is symbolic of the community spirit that was prevalent in days past.

Today, the church stands desolate and lonely because the community faded away when the area became part of the National Ozark Scenic Riverways. Only the little church is left to prove that the village of Akers once existed.

[45]




Copyright 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.


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