05 April 2016
Tyson Methodist Church of Versailles
While I don't know that I could ever live in an Art Deco-styled house, it is one of my favorite styles and I have been known to go out of my way, possibly breaking some rules, to experience buildings in that style. I have passed by the Tyson Methodist Church in Versailles several times on my way to Madison and never worked up the courage to knock on the door of the pastor's office next to the church.
A few weeks ago I found myself in the area again and this time worked through a Versailles native to get me in the door. I wasn't disappointed. I soaked up the atmosphere of the church that was built in 1937 in honor of James Tyson's mother. Tyson was a valued partner in the Walgreen Drug Company which has realized some major dividends for the town.
But what I couldn't have expected was a pleasant visit with our "tour guide", a 90+ year old member of the congregation, since she was a girl. She relayed her knowledge of Mr. Tyson, she fondly referred to as Uncle Jim, as we sat together in the front pew of the church that gleamed inside and out. She was nearly silhouetted by the massive leaded glass windows as we sat and talked. She also didn't have kind words for politicians. But then, neither did I.
I've been scolded before about my thoughts on the declining role architecture plays in our churches, but I will relay that there was something about being in the building that lifted my spirit and sent my thoughts to something of higher value, much above my sorry ability to understand the greatness of our God.