Local church expresses pride over historical quilt pic

Beech Grove Christian Church displays a meaningful and historical quilt for the church in its foyer. The quilt was donated to the church around two years ago.

Beech Grove Christian Church expressed its pride over an historic quilt that was donated to the church and holds a special place in the hearts of several church families.

Karen and Charles Austin donated the quilt to the church around two years ago, according to church pastor Jim Midkiff. It is special, he said, because it is embroidered with many family names from the church from the time it was made, which was expected to be between 1936 and 1941.

“It’s just kind of a neat thing to have there,” Midkiff said. “It’s a conversation starter and it’s just something that the community just comes together on.”

He said there were still a few names on the quilt of people that were still living when the church received it. Those several people have since passed, he said, but many people still enjoy looking for their grandparents or great-grandparents’ names.

Karen Austin said she and her husband, Charles Austin, inherited the quilt from Charles Austin’s mother, Euba Caraway, who inherited it from her mother, Lila Caraway. She said while they do not know the complete history of the quilt, they believe it was made by several families from Beech Grove Christian Church, where Lila Caraway was a member at the time it was made.

Karen Austin said she and Charles Austin saw an article in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer about the church trying to restore a historical bell, which prompted the couple to donate the quilt, which she said had been tucked away in their home. She said the church would have better use for it and people would be able to appreciate the piece.

“It has a lot of heritage in McLean County. A lot of the families’ names that were on there still go to that church,” she said. “It was something we just had kind of tucked away, and we thought it would be better to be able to share it and other people whose names were on it would be able to enjoy it as well.”

The quilt is currently displayed in the foyer of Beech Grove Christian Church. The church has also provided an index of the family names embroidered into the quilt and where each can be located.

cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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