A Little Church called Mars Hill Christian Church, Decatur County, Georgia
My Roots Run Deep
There once in a little church in Decatur County, Georgia sat a little girl of about 4 or 5 years of age. She would go to Sunday school at a church called Mars Hill Christian Church. The class was fairly nice and cozy and full of love and singing songs of Jesus. I remember singing about "Jesus loves me.. this I know...for the Bible tells me so..." and then another favorite song was sung...."Jesus loves the little children ......red, yellow, black or white...they are precious in his sight." These words ring throughout my life in my memories of a little white wooden country church next to a grave yard in the country side.
You probably are asking how I got there to the little church. Well for some reason my mother would take me there, and I would go and fellowship on Sundays that I visited my grandmother's country home. She lived in a place called Decatur County, Georgia. My own grandmother went to another church in that county, but mother chose this one. I never knew why she did, but I would put on my little dress and my patent leather shoes,lacy white dressy socks ,and little white gloves and go to worship. If it was Easter. then I would get to wear a special little hat.
It was a good feeling and most of the time I would be dropped off and go fellowship at the church by myself.
The people of the church were loving and friendly people, and would look at me like a special little girl with lots of love. I was part of that church, and not an outsider looking in. I did not live in those parts, but when I went to my grandmother Ruth's, then I would see the little church on Sundays. The people would look at me, and say,"do you know your great great great grandfather is buried out there in the cemetery? His name is Elisha Harrell. I did not know who they were talking about, but grave yards in those days scared me for some reason. So I would look sweet and think to myself ...why are they telling me this? Later after almost over 50 plus years I would find out about my ancestry and the one they called Elisha. His name was Elisha Harrell. I would find out that my great great great grandfather Robert Thomas Parker or his son, or grandson may have also been part of that church in Decatur County. His daughter Lutetia Parker Harrell married the son of Elisha named Elias Harrell. Lutetia and Elias were my great great grandparents. So the little church that once stood in a corner all to it's self with a grave yard and picnic tables that lined the area near the parking lot was started by my own family. I never knew this until I was 62 years old. The little church was not only the root of my religion, but it was the roots of my own family as I came down through the generations that built that county. My mother had more wisdom than I ever gave her credit for. These people were country people. They were the roots of our crops that grew, and the strength of a community that brought forth generation after generation of God loving people. Now I look back on it, and I realize my whole life strength stems from those people.
Later, I would go on to be a part of another church, and build it from the ground up. We started that one in a National Guard Armory in Homestead, Florida by the time I was 8 years old. However,my roots and my love of Jesus started in a little country church nestled in the woods of Decatur County, Georgia. God Bless the roots of my faith that I might let it grow like the tree with many roots springing forth to grab the promises of ever lasting life that our Lord, Jesus promised us for following him. "Jesus love the little children....all the little children of the world!" Those are the words that run through my head as I think of that little church in Georgia.
Recently by meeting new relatives related to these people that the little church is no more, and all the graves that were there are in the woods. The church was closed and a newer church was built with the Name of Mars Hill. Another type of religious group went in, but to my ancestors I will never forget Mars Hill Christian Church. May you always be remembered in the hearts of the off spring of which went forth to be the strength of new beginnings.