Henderson Frank Ponder has organized a new association, Citizens for Church Bell Ringing with the objective of making church bells ring again.
Below is an explanation from Mr. Ponder on why he wishes to hear church bells throughout Summerville and Chattooga County ring again.
I first fell in love with the ringing of church bells when I was about five years old. The church with the bell was about two miles from our little cabin up Raccoon creek, but I could hear it plainly every Sunday morning… and today it seems this old 95 year old man can still hear it ringing.
But the bell or bells that really started me thinking about trying to get the church bells ringing again in Summerville, Georgia were much further away than two miles.
It happened during my second tour in khaki during WW2. I had been working out of Verdun, France for several weeks and was tired of the hustle-bustle of the place.
One Sunday morning remembering the view of a beautiful valley from a mountain I had crossed a few days earlier, I decided to drive out for another look. When I reached the top of the mountain, I discovered a convenient shady place to park. I got out of the jeep and walked down a trail a short distance where I sat down on a large hardwood stump.
And as I sat there looking down at the beautiful valley… a valley that was filled with houses and what seemed to be dozens of church steeples, the smell of honeysuckle mixed with a wonderful smelling plant we used to call “sweet shrub” invaded my domain, bringing back memories of our little three room cabin up Raccoon Creek near Berryton, Georgia.
And then, the bells started… only a whisper at first growing louder and louder until it seemed that a hundred bells were ringing all over the valley. Deep throated giants sent a ripple of soft bass vibrations over the land, while small chimers added tenor to the medley. Mid tone smoothies filled in the ensemble to make my morning a very pleasant one.
Now, wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up on Sunday mornings to the sound of bells ringing again in every church in Summerville, Georgia?
If you think this is a good idea, as many local citizens have; come on and join us. You will be remembered as one of the caring citizens who helped to bring back the ringing of church bells to Beautiful Summerville Georgia.