Elkin church marking 120 years

By Wendy Byerly Wood - wbyerly-wood@elkintribune.com
Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church, seen in the background, is celebrating 120th anniversary this Saturday at Elkin Municipal Park. -

An Elkin-area church is marking 120 years at its present location with a musical celebration on Saturday.

Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church on West Main Street beside Big Elkin Creek will be hosting a Music in the Park event, commemorating the laying of the church’s cornerstone on Aug. 18, 1898.

The building of the local landmark came about largely because of a tragedy in the life of the person behind its construction.

That story is in the diary of Laura Galloway, who built the church in her husband’s memory. The journal, along with a revision, was compiled and printed in 1989. In the autobiography portion of the booklet, Galloway outlines her life history, including the beginning of the Elkin historic church.

“In 1897 the great tragedy of my life came: the death of my precious husband,” she writes. “Shortly afterwards on a Sunday afternoon, a friend informed me that the lot Mr. Galloway had selected for an Episcopal Church was being held by the owner for that purpose. So Monday morning, I went and secured the lot, having the deed in my possession by that afternoon.”

The church was consecrated two years after the cornerstone was laid, on Aug. 18, 1900, which also was the day of Col. Alexander Brodnax Galloway’s birth date, wrote Laura Galloway.

In the revisions, the booklet states, “The history of the church, the Galloway family and the town of Elkin are inextricably intertwined.”

The Rev. James H. Williams was the church’s first pastor, and the 1989 revision notes that the Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church building is “the oldest church building still in use for regular worship in Elkin.”

Now, the Rev. Gaye Brown serves as the small church’s minister.

On Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., the congregation as well as members of the public will gather at the Elkin Municipal Park band shell to celebrate with music presented by Galloway member Spencer Smith and his band, Spencer Smith and The Vintage Years Orchestra. The group plays swing, big band and show tunes.

The event is free, and those attending should bring their own refreshments and seating.

In addition, the congregation will celebrate its anniversary on Sunday with worship at 11 a.m. followed by a covered-dish lunch. The public is welcome at the Sunday service and lunch.

For more information, contact Steve or Jane Motsinger at 336-366-2922 or 336-972-1574 or smotsinger@surry.net.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter@wendywoodeditor.

Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church, seen in the background, is celebrating 120th anniversary this Saturday at Elkin Municipal Park.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_OVTA-16-formatted.jpgGalloway Memorial Episcopal Church, seen in the background, is celebrating 120th anniversary this Saturday at Elkin Municipal Park.

By Wendy Byerly Wood

wbyerly-wood@elkintribune.com