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Ocklawaha Bridge Baptist Church Part 2 Page 3


On June 6, 1987, a Heritage Day was held at the Church. Fay Holly Rogers wrote the following account of the happenings of the day:

All had a good time and the Lord blessed us with a beautiful balmy day at our first Church Heritage Day, Saturday, June 6, 1987.

There was an interesting display of antiques by various families of the community along with demonstrations of chair caning, lye soap making and scrub board laundering to remind us how our early ancestors worked and lived.

The magnolia tree, which marks the spot of our first Church on this site, was the location for the lovely WMU display pertaining to the history of our Church. They had copies of the Church history available for handout.

Three Marion County authors were on hand with their books on local history for sale. They were Sybil Bray Margaret Long, and Fayc Perry Melton.

The food provided seemed to be enjoyed by all and disappeared rapidly as it was not only delicious but was being sold at old timey prices. A special feature was the swamp cabbage cooked by Mr. Freeman Godwin. Also available was chicken and rice, a hot dog plate, corn muffins, various flavors of homemade ice cream made by the young couples and singles Sunday School class and a choice of ice tea, coke or lemonade to quench the thirst. To satisfy the sweet tooth one could purchase a variety of delicious looking home baked delicacies from the bake sale sponsored by the youth of the Church and yet another bake sale by the East Marion Homemakers Club.

A special attraction for the children was the horse and buggy rides which they particularly enjoyed and also served as a reminder to everyone~ of the mode of transportation our ancestors had. The older youth seemed to enjoy keeping a continual game of volleyball going.

Many enjoyed the music which was high-lighted under a colorful, billowing parachute canopy which was set up under the shade of the beautiful spreading oak trees. The King James Singers from Chiefland wore featured with ladies and men quartets from the Church also filling in. Our music director, Martie Ansorge, and our new summer youth director, Charles Mims, entertained with a mini-concert on the flute and clarinet.

Mr. Pete Holly, at age 96, was probably the oldest East Marion County native present and was happy to relate his recollections of days gone—by of the community and the Church. He recalls attending the first Ocklawaha Bridge Baptist Church built on Mothershed (Church) Lake with everybody coming in horse and buggies. He says the person who drove the first motorcar to the Church was Neal Stanaland. (The car was a Ford coupe.) Also present was Mrs. Kate Randall, native of Conner, who at age 89 still has vivid memories of those early days in our community also.

Many of the ladies were dressed in costume relating to the mid 1800’s with beautiful bonnets and broad brimmed flowering hats galore. Some of the men, also, were dressed according to the occasion. Particularly outstanding was Pastor Temoschuk in his black tie and tails and top hat from an earlier era, which also served

as Master of Ceremonies.

A representative from the Forestry Service was present with an interesting display of pictures of Juniper Springs and other areas of the Ocala National Forest in its early formative years.

In the year 1885 the Sunday School was moved to the Ocklawaha Bridge Baptist Church from the Henderson school house where a schoolteacher, Miss Mamie Waldon, first organized it in the year 1882. Miss Waldon was portrayed at Church Heritage Day by one of our Sunday School teachers in the children’s department, Mrs. Tom Stevens.

A display of children’s artwork from East Marion School was enjoyed and also judged by a former member, Mrs. Cecil Bryant.

When those brave pioneers first began to carve out a civilization from the wilderness “across the Ocklawaha River” one of the problems they had to deal with was the presence of Indians. To remind us on Heritage Day of the Indian situation, representatives of the local chapter of the White Buffalo Society were on hand to answer questions and display their lovely home— made beadwork that is used in rituals and also for wearing apparel.

Several hundred people enjoyed the activities of the day as we were reminded of our Christian heritage and paid tribute to our forefathers. Everyone joyfully entered into the spirit of the day and all had a good time.

This body of believers at Ocklawaha Bridge Baptist Church applauds: Mr. Richard Mills, Chairman of the Historical Committee, and the other members of his committee for instigating and coordinating this great day.

On October 5, 1988, John Rogers gave an oral report that Cemetery lots were available to Church members only, with just an annual fee required for upkeep


Part 2 Page 4