…..and the earth trembled

Barrycdog

Major
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Location
Buford, Georgia
…..and the earth trembled
by Thomas Spencer
April 30, 1951
On Sunday, January 7, 1951, in the Christian Temple at Norfolk, Virginia, the Rev. Millard Stevens took as his subject for a sermon, ‘’Overcoming Fear.’’ During his sermon it seems that his members took him at his word--and ‘’overcame’’ fear.
Suddenly--during his sermon-- a bolt of lightning struck the belfry. Not a soul moved. Fact is, the sermon went on for another 25 minutes. After the sermon was finished somebody called the fire department--for the bolt had hit the belfry --and that bolt started a fire. At least--no one showed any fear. Maybe--’’coincidence.’’
But, let’s get back to Bartow county. And, you will probably wonder what a bolt of lightning in Virginia has to do with Bartow. Maybe that ‘’coincidence’’ recalls another ‘’coincidence’’ that happened in Bartow county.
That coincidence has to do with historic Pine Log Methodist Church. Pine Log Church was built about 1842 and most of the original church still stands. Old Sherman sent troops in that vicinity often. Tradition--and probably the truth-- has it that a Federal spy was hung near that church until this day. There is much history about old Pine Log.
During the Civil War more than one gallant man went off to join the forces fighting in the Confederacy. Not all those gallants returned to Pine Log. Old records indicate that many were killed in battle and a few died in prison. During the year of 1864--and in the month of May, there were three engagements in and around Pine Log. On May 18th--while Cassville was still in Confederate hands, the 6th Indiana Cavalry skirmished at Pine Log. On August 14, the 4th, 6th, and 7th (Federal) Cavalry detachments raided Pine Log, and again on November 7th, the 33rd Ohio Infantry went to Pine Log--to ‘’try and root out bushwhackers’’ and the like. Old Pine Log Church was never bothered.
Activities almost ceased at Old Pine Log church during the Civil War, but the records of the church indicate that on September 7th of 1865, that members of the church were aroused over the drinking question. In a resolution dated on that day which says in part, ‘’is the sentiment of this meeting unanimously that we will not make nor have made any Spiritous Liquors for medical or any other purpose whatsoever, and that we will discountenance and oppose the making and using the same, etc.’’
Records of the church show that many of Bartow’s best citizens belonged to the church. Records also show that some few were ‘’expelled’’ for various reasons. Some joined other churches. Five died in the Confederate Army from wounds and disease .
Records also show that one--Rev. J.N. Sullivan--also spelled as ‘’Sulavin,’’ or ‘’Sulivan,’’ was pastor when the year of 1865 rolled around. His name was, and is, Rev. James Newton Sullivan, born October 20,1829, and died March 18, 1908, and is buried at White, Ga,
On or about August 29, 1886--probably at a camp meeting--or revival--if those are the right words--an effort was made to bring the people nearer to our Great Maker. Then on August 31, 1886--and this date is important--happened that ‘’coincidence’’ or call it what you will.
Maybe on that day and we say this ‘’advisedly’’--that the Rev. Sullivan was pleading for men, women and children to live a better life, and to turn to the Great Maker. Maybe there was an effort to ‘’soften’’ some hard hearts. The subject of this sermon could not have been the same as that of the preacher at Norfolk--who had as his subject, ‘’Overcoming Fear. ‘’ Probably the Rev. Sullivan had in mind ‘’the fear of God.’’
During a prayer, in which the Rev. Sullivan said, ‘’Lord, if it takes it to move the hearts of these people--shake the ground on which this old building stands,’’ Call it ‘’coincidence’’--or what you will--but as the Rev. Sullivan finished these words the very grounds--on which that old building stood--was suddenly shaken, violently. Maybe some have thought that the Lord answered that prayer. Others have expressed other ‘’views.’’ But, ‘’coincidence’’ or what it might be termed, the ground did shake. One glass fell from a table--and silence fell on the congregation.
What shook that old building? The Charleston Earthquake, an earthquake that --not only shook Charleston--but much of these United States. Scores were killed at Charleston and millions of dollars of property was destroyed. In my humble belief--that earthquake could have happened-- regardless of the Rev. Sullivan’s prayer. Then again--well maybe--but we leave that to you to decide.
I am just an humble God-fearing man--and certainly not fit to pass on what did happen--or what could have happened. Coincidence or that it might be--at Norfolk lightning struck the church at the time the preacher was preaching on ‘’overcoming fear,’’ and at old Pine Log Church--the ‘’ground shaking’’ came when the Rev. Sullivan asked for it.
The quote of the prayer--as listed above--came from the late Mrs. John Maxwell--a fine and true Christian woman, the Norfolk incident is an AP release.
My good friend Murray Upshaw tells me that a marker is going to be placed at Pine Log Church-- and I hope this undertaking will soon be a reality.
I might add--that of those present on August 31, 1886--there is living this day, Mrs. J.A. Dorroh, Mrs. R.E. Adair, Mr. A.V. Neal, and others.
April 30, 1951
Daily Tribune News
Expired Image Removed
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Photo taken in the grove at Pine Log near the old ''academy'' built by the local Masonic Lodge in 1858. The teacher (sitting far right) is Rev. J.N. Sullivan who preached the ''Earthquake'' prayer
 

wolfojos

Cadet
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
…..and the earth trembled
by Thomas Spencer
April 30, 1951
On Sunday, January 7, 1951, in the Christian Temple at Norfolk, Virginia, the Rev. Millard Stevens took as his subject for a sermon, ‘’Overcoming Fear.’’ During his sermon it seems that his members took him at his word--and ‘’overcame’’ fear.
Suddenly--during his sermon-- a bolt of lightning struck the belfry. Not a soul moved. Fact is, the sermon went on for another 25 minutes. After the sermon was finished somebody called the fire department--for the bolt had hit the belfry --and that bolt started a fire. At least--no one showed any fear. Maybe--’’coincidence.’’
But, let’s get back to Bartow county. And, you will probably wonder what a bolt of lightning in Virginia has to do with Bartow. Maybe that ‘’coincidence’’ recalls another ‘’coincidence’’ that happened in Bartow county.
That coincidence has to do with historic Pine Log Methodist Church. Pine Log Church was built about 1842 and most of the original church still stands. Old Sherman sent troops in that vicinity often. Tradition--and probably the truth-- has it that a Federal spy was hung near that church until this day. There is much history about old Pine Log.
During the Civil War more than one gallant man went off to join the forces fighting in the Confederacy. Not all those gallants returned to Pine Log. Old records indicate that many were killed in battle and a few died in prison. During the year of 1864--and in the month of May, there were three engagements in and around Pine Log. On May 18th--while Cassville was still in Confederate hands, the 6th Indiana Cavalry skirmished at Pine Log. On August 14, the 4th, 6th, and 7th (Federal) Cavalry detachments raided Pine Log, and again on November 7th, the 33rd Ohio Infantry went to Pine Log--to ‘’try and root out bushwhackers’’ and the like. Old Pine Log Church was never bothered.
Activities almost ceased at Old Pine Log church during the Civil War, but the records of the church indicate that on September 7th of 1865, that members of the church were aroused over the drinking question. In a resolution dated on that day which says in part, ‘’is the sentiment of this meeting unanimously that we will not make nor have made any Spiritous Liquors for medical or any other purpose whatsoever, and that we will discountenance and oppose the making and using the same, etc.’’
Records of the church show that many of Bartow’s best citizens belonged to the church. Records also show that some few were ‘’expelled’’ for various reasons. Some joined other churches. Five died in the Confederate Army from wounds and disease .
Records also show that one--Rev. J.N. Sullivan--also spelled as ‘’Sulavin,’’ or ‘’Sulivan,’’ was pastor when the year of 1865 rolled around. His name was, and is, Rev. James Newton Sullivan, born October 20,1829, and died March 18, 1908, and is buried at White, Ga,
On or about August 29, 1886--probably at a camp meeting--or revival--if those are the right words--an effort was made to bring the people nearer to our Great Maker. Then on August 31, 1886--and this date is important--happened that ‘’coincidence’’ or call it what you will.
Maybe on that day and we say this ‘’advisedly’’--that the Rev. Sullivan was pleading for men, women and children to live a better life, and to turn to the Great Maker. Maybe there was an effort to ‘’soften’’ some hard hearts. The subject of this sermon could not have been the same as that of the preacher at Norfolk--who had as his subject, ‘’Overcoming Fear. ‘’ Probably the Rev. Sullivan had in mind ‘’the fear of God.’’
During a prayer, in which the Rev. Sullivan said, ‘’Lord, if it takes it to move the hearts of these people--shake the ground on which this old building stands,’’ Call it ‘’coincidence’’--or what you will--but as the Rev. Sullivan finished these words the very grounds--on which that old building stood--was suddenly shaken, violently. Maybe some have thought that the Lord answered that prayer. Others have expressed other ‘’views.’’ But, ‘’coincidence’’ or what it might be termed, the ground did shake. One glass fell from a table--and silence fell on the congregation.
What shook that old building? The Charleston Earthquake, an earthquake that --not only shook Charleston--but much of these United States. Scores were killed at Charleston and millions of dollars of property was destroyed. In my humble belief--that earthquake could have happened-- regardless of the Rev. Sullivan’s prayer. Then again--well maybe--but we leave that to you to decide.
I am just an humble God-fearing man--and certainly not fit to pass on what did happen--or what could have happened. Coincidence or that it might be--at Norfolk lightning struck the church at the time the preacher was preaching on ‘’overcoming fear,’’ and at old Pine Log Church--the ‘’ground shaking’’ came when the Rev. Sullivan asked for it.
The quote of the prayer--as listed above--came from the late Mrs. John Maxwell--a fine and true Christian woman, the Norfolk incident is an AP release.
My good friend Murray Upshaw tells me that a marker is going to be placed at Pine Log Church-- and I hope this undertaking will soon be a reality.
I might add--that of those present on August 31, 1886--there is living this day, Mrs. J.A. Dorroh, Mrs. R.E. Adair, Mr. A.V. Neal, and others.
April 30, 1951
Daily Tribune News
Expired Image Removed
Expired Image Removed
Expired Image Removed

Photo taken in the grove at Pine Log near the old ''academy'' built by the local Masonic Lodge in 1858. The teacher (sitting far right) is Rev. J.N. Sullivan who preached the ''Earthquake'' prayer

BarryCdog, this is a really old post, and I am sorry for resurrecting it, but the reverend you are referring to, James Newton Sullivan, is a grandfather of mine. The photos you attached says they are expired. Do you still have access to the photo of him? Sorry for asking, but I am desperate for a photo of him.
Thank you.
 

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