Katherine Shorts Gibson (1909-?)

Katherine Gibson was born in 1909 and at ninety-five, was the oldest surviving member of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of our interview in 2004. She was one of the last officers of the Loudoun County Emancipation Association in Purcellville before it dissolved in the late 1960’s.

 

She provided the following oral history to Carol Morris Dukes and Reggie Simms at her home in Maryland. Her comments pertain to the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in Lincoln.

Katherine Shorts Gibson Born 1909
Katherine Shorts Gibson Born 1909
Ms. Katherine Shorts in 1931 age 22
Ms. Katherine Shorts in 1931 age 22
Ms. Katherine Shorts Gibson and Reggie Simms.JPG
Ms. Katherine Shorts Gibson and Reggie Simms.JPG

Katherine Shorts Gibson, March 10, 2004:

 

The organ was on the left side, then the choir chairs, the pulpit and three chairs for the minister and his assistants. There were no immersions here. There was a regular table in front that they took collections on.

 

There were pictures on the walls--pictures of old ministers. When it got warm, we raised the windows. There were no fans.

 

There were two stoves. Heat came up from down below. They used coal down there. In the basement was a huge range with six burners. It had a bread warmer. There was a special name for it--I can't remember what it was. It had an oven.

 

The basement was all finished--the ceiling too. If some of it is missing it's because someone tore it down--whoever was living there I suppose. There was a coal bin downstairs.

 

We walked up Lincoln Road with lanterns at night. We had two services a month. The 1st Sunday of the month was the main service--communion. The other service was the fourth Sunday.

 

The fourth Sunday in July was All Day Meeting for the Methodists and the first Sunday in August was the Baptist's All Day Meeting--"Homecoming." Macklay Lucas went to the Baptist church. Outstanding ministers would come to speak. A fence with a stile separated the land. You would have to step up two steps to enter someone else's land. That's how we raised money. People would come in carriages and on horses. When they stepped over the stile, they had to pay their money.

 

The bell was put there by my grandfather, John Lewis, and Mr. Hicks.

 

They moved the original cornerstone to Purcellville when Grace Annex was built. The Furr’s did the stone masonry.

 

The walls were off-white. The ceiling was white.

 

I remember Rev. Booze and Rev. Pogue--they were good ministers.

 

We had concerts and plays to raise money. We had contests to see who could raise the most. I always worked so hard. I always won. The prizes were money. We had Tom Thumb weddings with children around four or five years old. It was a mock marriage and parents would put out their money to have their child in a wedding. We would sell tickets to the event. It was like a play--each person had a part to play. Children loved to dress up to do this.

 

We had two outhouses--one for men and one for women. The women's was on the right. They were two-seaters.

 

People from all over Lincoln would come to use the spring. It's a good spring, still.

 

Some people who went to the church were: Vivian Pinkney (Sheila Kelly's mom); Josephine Lewis--she went there all her life and lived in the house with the cat cemetery; Francis Verick Deer-she became a fashion designer and dressmaker in New York. She attended the church as a child. She would be 117 today; Mutt (Nelson Lassiter). The Lloyd sisters will know everyone in the (congregation 1910) photo...Rosalee Lloyd and Alvonie Lloyd.