THE SPIRIT OF THE LAND
By 1000 A.D. several thousand Mississippi Indians had settled in this fortified town on the north bank of what is now called the Etowah River, named for their settlement. Very little is known about the meaning of Etowah, a corruption of the Indian word ‘itawa’; white settlers in the area translated it to mean Hightower. Etowah, the center of political and religious life in the valley, was home to the chiefs who directed the growth, storage and distribution of food. Here the inhabitants gathered for great religious festivals.
AT THE WATER’S EDGE
The Right Reverend Stephen Elliott, the first Bishop of Georgia, accompanied by the Reverend Thomas F. Scott of Marietta, met and preached to a small group of Episcopalians in Northwest Georgia in a Baptist Church at Pettit Creek near the Etowah River in November of 1844. Sixty acres of land were bought and plans made for the construction of a church, school, and parsonage before the Bishop continued on his missionary journey into the northern part of the state.
Later, the Reverend Frederick Elwell began a thriving school at the vicarage. The church was consecrated on June 22, 1845. By 1850, there were seven members of the newly established mission-church. Following the Civil War and the growth of Cartersville, the country property was sold and the present site purchased. Our present church building was begun in 1873. The first celebration of the Holy Eucharist was celebrated during the Easter Season in April of 1874, and the church was consecrated on November 6, 1875.
There is very little known about the life of the parish for the next sixty years. A priest would come only on occasion to celebrate the sacraments, and at other times the little congregation would gather for the Daily Office. The Parish Register indicates that many services took place in homes of the parishioners. In 1938 the present stained glass windows were secured for the Church of the Ascension from the Episcopal Church in Cave Springs, Georgia.
A SPIRIT OF MISSION
From its very beginning Ascension has been known for its ministry to the city and county. The people of Ascension were instrumental in beginning the Retired Men’s Club, Habitat for Humanity in Bartow County, and a ministry to people living with HIV/AIDS. The Red Door Food Pantry continues to be an active expression of our care for those who suffer from poverty and you can see volunteers pictured to the left. Besides the outreach centered within the parish, many parishioners are involved in various organizations and ministries within the community seeking to strengthen the fabric of human lives.
A LIFE ROOTED IN WORSHIP
The focus of our life has always been grounded in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the Daily Office. It is here where we are drawn together as God’s people and strengthened for our ministries in the world. It is here where we listen to God’s Word and seek His will for our lives. It is here where we are spiritually nurtured and our children formed in the faith of Christ. It is here where we have our beginnings and endings as our whole lives seek to express God’s love in the world.