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Elkhorn Primitive Baptist Church
in Shelby Gap, KY

On its way to becoming a ruin


[image ALT: A single-room one-story rectangular cinderblock building with a slightly pitched metal roof; a long side is seen, almost completely hidden by trees and vines. It is a view of the ruins of Elkhorn Primitive Baptist Church in Shelby Gap, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

This little church sits by the edge of the highway from Jenkins to Dorton, about ten feet below the embankment of the road. I have no information at all on its history, except that I was told in 2006 that not so long ago, it was home to a living congregation. In the photo above, mind you, we see a solid cinderblock construction with a roof that is still good. The woods are pleasant, although maybe a couple of the trees are a bit too close to the church. The daylilies add a happy note of color to the scene.


[image ALT: A single-room one-story rectangular cinderblock building with a slightly pitched metal roof; a long side is seen, almost completely hidden by trees and vines. It is a view of the ruins of Elkhorn Primitive Baptist Church in Shelby Gap, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]


[image ALT: A small patch of a cinderblock building, almost completely hidden by vines and trees At the base of a wall, can just be made out a sign with the letters 'ELKH . . . PR . . . C . . .'. It is a view of the door of Elkhorn Primitive Baptist Church, now a ruin, in Shelby Gap, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]
Actually, that roof is starting to fray at the front corner; and in this view the woods have taken on the more threatening face of a force of nature: if humanity is to stay in charge, it will have to be fought. Only by peering carefully into the bushes in the door of the church, just a few inches from the base of what is getting to be a very large tree, can we identify the congregation who once worshipped here. Depending on just how fast that species of tree grows, hymns and sermons may have resounded in this little building twenty — or perhaps just six or seven — years ago.


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Page updated: 27 Jul 06