I drove over to Rock Hill Presbyterian last Thursday, expecting to see some jagged walls sticking out of the ground, slightly more dismantled than I had seen it the Saturday before. Instead, I saw nothing. The church was completely gone, and I gasped when it dawned on me what had happened. According to the Post-Dispatch, they took it down “carefully” in three hours, numbering stones as they went. I seriously doubt that. What a joke.
Fairfax House, bizarrely floating on steel stilts, had been moved to its corner of purgatory on the north end of the site, ridiculously close to the road and completely devoid of context. I feel bad for all of the people who have worked so hard restoring it to its past appearance.
Anyways, it’s been long established that the leadership of Rock Hill are a bunch of revenue addicts, willing to do anything–even sell their grandmother’s wedding ring, or historic church–for their next fix. I predict here now that at least one, possibly two, of the currently operating gas stations in Rock Hill will go out of business in the six months after the UGas opens. It will be interesting, and depressing, to see if the fiefdom even comes out of this with more tax revenue than before they sold their community’s soul.
But what’s truly pathetic is the decision of the Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery to sell such an historic church to UGas, fully aware that it would mean its demise. Sure, it was the smart business decision, but certainly not the smart moral decision. While I’m sure the Presbytery had full legal title to the church, I would argue that they did not hold the spiritual title to it. It belongs to the slaves, immigrants and the generations of members who first built and then attended services for almost 170 years. Was their hard work and devotion so meaningless?
Update: The church’s rock piles have vanished out in St. Charles County, and no sign of a church ever being rebuilt at the winery.