Friday, September 3, 2021

smith mills church



A Large Attendance at Smith's Mills Baptist Church Sunday.

Special Correspondence of Every Evening. Laurel. April 21. The annual all-day meeting at the old Baptist Church at Smith's Mill attracted an unusually large attendance Sunday.

Continuous services from 8 a. m. until 4 p. m. with dinner in the grove and sometimes the rite of baptism by immersion in the pond at Smith's Mills, are the features of the day's programme.

The Baptist meeting, as the services are familiarly called, is an event that far outclasses Easter among the ruralists of Western Sussex. New bonnets and new gowns are ordered to be ready for the Baptist meeting, and teams are at a premium for that occasion, often being engaged of the liverymen several weeks in advance of the date. The services are ordinary, and the old church so small that less than one-fourth of those who go find a plane inside its walls, and thus the larger portion pass the time sitting in their carriages or strolling about the old graveyard. Just what there is about that event that attracts such crowds nobody seems to know, except that it is custom, and each reoccurring year find a crowd of 1,500 to 2,500 persons visiting the old Baptist church some time during the day set apart for the all-day services.

The surroundings are anything but picturesque. The building is a dilapidated frame structure about 20 by 40 feet in size, without spire or belfry, and has more the appearance of a country Schoolhouse than a church. A few scrubby trees stand near, and are dignified with the title of the grove. The old burying ground is about an acre in extent., unkempt and overgrown with sedge grass and briars. The roads that converge at the church are sandy and dusty, but yet for the past 60 years the all-day meeting has brought together its annual assemblage, and the interest does not seem to abate.

Above from The News Journal (Delaware) 21 Apr 1903

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