Cedar Grove Church almost went down river in flood

Fish and pickle man Jim Bell serves Boyd Duskey at homecoming

Gatherers returned to open church for yet another service

The Mulberry Ridge Taylor family would trek down their mountain to the West Fork of the Little Kanawha, and not unlike other Roane residents, would cross the river by wading, using a john boat or a narrow footbridge.

They went to worship at the long-closed Cedar Grove Church, establish in the late 19th century.

"We thought nothin' of the three to four mile walk each way," said Doris Taylor Burdette, 84, now of Spencer, many families coming many more miles.

Taylor's sister Betty Taylor Wright, 82, and brother Paul Taylor, both of Spencer, recalled attending Sunday services, prayer meetin' night and revivals.

Paul Taylor, 74, and Loretta Taylor Avis, both of
Spencer, return with Taylor's sister, unfortunately
the Herald lost one the photo of the two women

The old church was almost destroyed many years ago by a West Fork flood, being washed from its foundation. The church fathers and sisters just jacked it up and replaced the foundation at its newer location.

"I came to the homecoming here when I was a boy over seventy-five years ago," said old-timer Boyd Duskey.

(Left) Rev. Bob Duskey, longtime Methodist minister
returns to his home community, chatting with Juanita
Bell; (Right) Oldtimer Boyd Duskey keeps homecoming
going, recalling the once flourishing church

"The old church was a sacred place," said Duskey, who said the Baptist church was "stern and strict. When they would have a revival you couldn't find a place to stand."

Jim McCormick, now of Grantsville, said he used to "fjord" the river on his horse, even when the water was up. "Some of those horses knew how to swim, even in the current," he said. McCormick grew up on lower Barnes Run in Roane County.

Sunday, a man whose roots were near the church returned to speak the Lord's words. Rev. Bob Duskey, a retired Methodist minister, returned for the occasion.