Sunday, April 3rd, 2022 was the first day in a very long time since the sound of hymns came from inside the historical Hard Labor Creek Church, originally known as Washington Primitive Baptist Church. Constituted in 1848, the original church was replaced in 1932 by the current building which is located on the Corner of Owens Pond and Hard Labor Roads. The now ninety year old building sustained structural damage when Hurricane Michael laid several trees on the roof. The trees were removed, but the damage remains.
Vernon Historical Society sponsored the “Homecoming – Family and Friends Day” to raise awareness of the condition of the building and of the funding necessary for repairs. Hymns were sung, memories recalled, and information concerning the needed repairs was shared during the event. Families with ties to the church include many local names: Brock, Waller, Wells, Smothers, Whittington, Gilmore, Lane and more.
Local historian Dale Cox was on hand to share the area’s historical significance.
“The heart is still beating in our few remaining historical buildings and they need to be saved for future generations,” Cox noted. “The Battle of Hard Labor Creek happened here!” He also announced that a historic marker is being planned in the near future.
If you would like more information about Hard Labor Creek Church, please contact the Vernon Historical Society at 850-535-4674. The society’s museum is located at the Vernon City Hall and is open on Wednesdays from 10AM until 2PM or by appointment.