Mt. Hope Missionary Baptist Church

Yesterday being another surprisingly pleasant day with sunshine and a high of 48 (I will take 48 over below freezing any day), I went in search of a National Youth Administration school building in Yalobusha County.  On the way home through Taylor, I decided to try to find the abandoned African American school my friend told me about last week when we were discussing segregation, integration, and consolidation of schools in Mississippi. It took a while, and I finally spotted it, but it was too late to turn off.  I rounded the curve and continued a bit, seeking a place to turn around, when suddenly, around another curve, a fortress leapt out at me.

Mt Hope MB ChurchI pulled off in the waning light, mesmerized by the simple yet imposing structure.  Perhaps it was the unexpectedness of the building perched there on the hillside, the startling size and elegance of a rural church in an impoverished area, or just that I had been longing for a day of sunshine and fresh air and solitude in pursuing my favorite activity, but I felt compelled to pull over and stop.  (And of course, it did make for a perfect place to turn around without having to drive into someone’s driveway, which in general, I prefer not to do.)

Mt Hope is a fortressNow that I have been in Mississippi for a few years (Is 11 a few?  I think not, but it has gone by pretty quickly.) I have seen and photographed a lot of rural churches, but I cannot recollect seeing one quite like this.  I was excited to see they have a website, although it appears to be in development, so the history section was empty.  They are in the process of designing and preparing to build a new building, so I certainly hope they are planning to retain this one as well.  So you can have a better visual regarding the architecture, I have included a photo with increased exposure and shadow reduction below.

Mt Hope in the lightTiffany Patterson (2010) in her description of Rural Church Architecture in Missouri, 1819-1945, described this as a twin tower design, and uncommon in a “strictly rural setting” (p. F-17).

…a gable flanked at each corner by towers….entrance can be centered or in one or both towers.

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One Response to Mt. Hope Missionary Baptist Church

  1. Pingback: Around the Mississippi Blogosphere « Preservation in Mississippi

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