Historic Sheffield church turns 125 - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bobby's Bama

Historic Sheffield church turns 125

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

One look at the church building on North Columbia Avenue and you can almost hear the hymns and feel the spirit of days gone by, 125 years ago in fact. Chris Stokes is the pastor here at The Chapel Sheffield.

"The first service was held March 15th 1891 and we anticipate the actual construction probably started in 1888 or 1889 on the building, according to some of the documentation," says Stokes.

Stokes says there were only two previous churches here before his interfaith group took over two years ago. He says much of what you see here came with the building.

"According to the Chamber of Commerce, the oak pews are original. The floors are original. We had it refinished right after we took possession of the building."

There are even plaques paying homage to people for former restorations.

The 2011 tornado outbreak also left a calling card, according to Stokes.

"This building was actually damaged by the storms and it had plaster on all the walls. The plaster was damaged and the owners at that time took all the plaster off."

And what was left was not brick veneer but substantive artisan brickwork, 30 inches thick.

Stokes is also an engineer and says this place leaves him in awe.

"I look at this craftsmanship here and look at the stonework, especially. The foundation is heavy, heavy stone construction. Today if we were doing it we would have cranes and lifts and all kinds of things to do it with and these guys that did it in that day and time...it's just almost amazing."

There are several peeks into the past like a small burn mark from an old furnace.

"I've had people that came into the building that talk about coming here as a child. We've had a couple of people in their 70s and 80s that talked about coming here as a child and how special the building was," says Stokes. "An addition with a lot of tables and chairs was originally built as an educational area....but now it's being used as a dining room and a kitchen."

Stokes says they feed everyone before each service now.

Feeding mind, body and soul in Bobby's Bama. 

For more information on The Chapel Sheffield, click here.

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