Church gets historic facelift

Published 10:59 pm Friday, October 2, 2009

A family gift has helped start a new era at Maplesville United Methodist Church by bringing a new look to the historic church building and grounds.

The late Calvin “Bubba” Foshee and his sister, Louise Foshee Apperson, left a financial gift to the church. In return, the congregation is building a memorial garden in memory of the Foshees.

In conjunction with the garden project, a recent renovation has aimed to preserve the church building as close as possible to its original state.

“The Foshees loved this community, and we think their intentions were for this [church] to stay in the community,” said Joyce Goebel, church member and trustee. “We’re trying to use it in the best way for the community.”

The Foshees were business owners in Maplesville decades ago.

“Bubba never attended, but he had fresh flowers in the church every Sunday morning,” church treasurer Sarah Bohannon said, adding that the flowers were thought to be placed in memory of his parents.

That account isn’t the only unusual story told in connection with the church. While the current building is the original Maplesville UMC structure, it does not stand on its original site.

“It was taken down piece by piece and numbered and brought here,” Goebel explained.

According to the historical marker, the church was moved to its current location on Railroad Street to be more visible from the railroad.

“That was the thinking back whenever, that if you were a good and decent town, you would have a church,” Goebel said.

The church was originally located on a 3-acre site off Alabama 22, originally deeded in 1871.

Today, the church looks better than ever with a new roof, modernized kitchen and original furnishings throughout the sanctuary.

Meanwhile, the memorial gardens are underway. The gardens will consist of a walkway, fountain, stone patio, various plants and benches. Their purpose is to not only beautify the landscape but also to create a usable space.

“We wanted to give back to the community,” Goebel said.