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FBC members preserving a piece of history

FBC members preserving a piece of history
FBC members preserving a piece of history | First Baptist Church, Tom Frey, Marvin Downing

Tom Frey holds a piece of the cornerstone of First Baptist Church in Martin after construction crew members started the demolition of the historic sanctuary
Within hours after the last congregational worship service on March 18, the dismantling of the 100-plus-year- old First Baptist Church of Martin auditorium began.
Two sunny Friday afternoons later, Tom Frey, longtime church member and, by de facto, official photographer of both the new worship center construction and the current destruction, witnessed a unique event.
It was time to remove the 1905 sanctuary cornerstone. As always, Tom had his ubiquitous camera ready as Rhino site supervisor Troy Redmond, began chipping away.
In a short time the cornerstone was freed from its surroundings. At this point, naturally inquisitive, members wondered about the contents. In addition, now on the scene for the viewing, were Ken Cavin, the FBC construction supervisor, and Jonathan Moore, the FBC Minister of Music as of early February. They discovered at least three greatly-deteriorated paper items. They speculated the most fragile was a Bible. The other two appeared to be rolled or folded newsprint, perhaps a local paper or a copy of the Baptist and Reflector, the state publication of Tennessee Baptists.  
In fact, at least a few visible words are legible. Subsequently on the advice of UT Martin’s veteran archivist, Marvin Downing, the FBC Archives committee chair, placed the pieces in his home freezer. The concept is basically to freeze dry those for several months before examining them further.   
And we await the rest of the story, in the absence of Paul Harvey!

WCP 4.05.12