The Guntersville Museum has re-opened following the long COVID-19 shutdown and it will open with an exhibit that will likely resonate with lots of people: The Early History of Guntersville Churches.
Museum director Julie Patton did the research for the churches herself. The exhibit includes artifacts from the churches themselves, old photos of the churches and some modern photos and artwork of the churches.
The Museum will continue to follow COVID-19 precautions. Visitors are asked to wear a mask. Only 25 to 30 visitors at a time will be allowed inside the Museum and social distancing should be observed. Museum visitors will rotate through the Museum in a clockwise fashion and hand sanitizer will be located at both entrances to the Museum.
Guntersville’s oldest churches are considered anything that started prior to 1940. Newer churches are also acknowledged in the exhibit.
“The beginnings for a lot of our local churches were at someone’s house or in a schoolhouse,” Patton said. “So these are stories about the congregations, not the church buildings. Each of the oldest churches will have a narrative panel for their part of the display.”
She said the research was tedious but well worth the effort.
“I learned so much,” she said. “It warms your heart when you read how difficult it was for these early churches at times. They gave nickels, dimes and quarters to buy pews.”
She said museums by their very nature draw a lot of tourists. She thinks the church exhibit will be interesting to both out-of-town visitors and residents alike.
“The story of Guntersville’s churches will resonate with our visitors’ own experiences,” she said.
The exhibit will be up throughout the summer.
The Museum is located at 1215 Rayburn Avenue, just up the hill from the Guntersville Public Library. It is open 10-4 Tuesday-Friday, 1-4 on Saturday and closed Sundays and Mondays. Patton hopes to re-open its Sunday afternoon hours later this month.
More about the exhibit including photos of some of the artifacts are elsewhere in this paper.