Sunday Mornings, Crowning Glories
Here is the church and here is the steeple,
Open the doors and see all the people.
A Childís Rhyme
As a little girl in Sunday School, I learned to put my hands together to form a church and steeple and to open my thumbs to see the people inside. Growing up in Garden City, Louisiana, I woke to the ringing of the old church bell at the Free Will Baptist Church #1 in nearby Kramer. Each morning, our school bus rolled by the Free Will Baptist Church #2 on the Alice C Plantation. My dad taught me to drive our yellow and white 1957 station wagon around the Garden City loop which passed by the First Union Baptist Church. On our drives down Sterling Road and Irish Bend, we passed St. Joseph, St. John, Charity Baptist, Mount Horeb and Mt. Zion Katy Baptist Churches. The years passed and Iíd often photograph the quiet stillness around these houses of worship. Though there was great joy coming through the doors on Sunday mornings, I never saw the people inside.
Then one day, while talking to Michelle Minor at the Franklin Library, I expressed an interest in photographing the women who attended many of these churches. She introduced me to Anna McDaniel Burgess who invited me to Mount Zion Baptist Church. I was welcomed by the congregation who allowed
me to photograph them. The Reverend Noah Smithís sermons were filled with the Gospel; I learned to study the Scriptures and was captivated by the live music and the choir.
In the pew in front of me sat a beautiful lady who always dressed in the most original hats and dresses. After talking to her, I realized that she and I had both grown up at the same time in Garden City. Her late husband, Raymond Polidore, had been a good friend of my dadís. Oralineís sister, Mrs. Willie B. Rack, granted me an interview and then introduced me to another Garden City lady, Ethel Jenkins. I went to Ethelís house and soon discovered she was our babysitter in Garden City. Life had come full circle. Allow me to present Sunday Mornings, Crowning Glories. Letís go meet the people inside!