Anchorage Presbyterian Church is situated in the heavily wooded upscale old community of Anchorage just outside of Louisville. Established in 1799, it is the oldest church in Jefferson County. In the mid 1800s, the pastor of Anchorage Presbyterian opened the Bellwood Female Seminary to educate young women with some surprisingly modern ideas--independence, financial security, contributions to society in addition to traditional roles of women in the home.
Here are some closeup views of the more interesting architectural details:
Bell tower and steeple, Gothic windows and ornamental brickwork left sanctuary, historic sign
Arched doorway front entrance, bell tower closeup, variation of rose window over entrance
I read through a bit of the church history, especially the minutes of the annual sessions, and was impressed with the role the church took in the morals and behavior of its members. A couple of issues heard and ruled upon in the Session by the church elders:
~ Mr. and Mrs. Smith were separated when Mrs. Smith moved to Louisville leaving her husband in Anchorage. She was asking for annual support of $75. Mr. Smith appeared before the Session to appeal saying that when his wife was living with him she did not fulfill her wifely duties. A witness on his behalf said that Mrs. Smith did not dine with him and guests instead ordering her meal in her own quarters with extra sugar! Mr. Smith said the situation was unbearable; the Session elders agreed. Mrs. Smith was ordered to appear before them, which she never did. So she was suspended from the congregation and Mr. Smith became an elder.
~ Dancing was frowned upon as a dangerous waste of energy.
~ A neighbor's dog was chasing a farmer's pig. The farmer was hauled before the Session for cursing the neighbor and his dog. Both men were warned by the elders about "blackguarding."
~ The church was almost split in two over using a melodium to accompany hymn singing--narrow decision to allow musical instruments.
~ Finally, and my personal favorite, many fruit trees were planted when the Bellwood Female Seminary was establish, believing that it was much more healthful for the young women students to be eating fruit rather than sweetmeats!
As you can see, those early Presbyterians were a stern lot!
Linking to InSPIREd Sunday , a new meme celebrating places of worship and their unique architecture and history. Thanks to Sally and Beth for hosting.