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Sacred Heart Cultural Center
Augusta's "cherished community treasure"

Tharsella Pins
knows first hand the pain caused by the closing of your church.

But what if Divine Providence brings a benefactor who buys the church, restores it—and offers it to the community to serve as a cultural center?

Who says miracles don't happen?

Detail of the BeauVerre-Riordan stained glassNativity, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Doug Herman.)

Exterior and interior views of the Sacred Heart Cultural Center, Augusta. (Photos by Nelda Chapman.)
Ms. Velda Chapman, the Organist of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, Georgia, fills the church—and people's hearts—”with music.

During my visit, she not only shares her music for my St. Joseph Video, but also photographs of a church in Augusta, Georgia.

"Sacred Heart," she says, " was built from the same plans as St. Joseph.

"The hanging light fixtures are similar to those that were in Saint Joseph for many years (until the latest renovation).

"I don't think you can see much of the fluted cast iron columns, but you can see the outside brickwork that I was telling you about that was typical in the South at that time."

I was going through Augusta on the way home, and was intending to stop by Sacred Heart. But when I called, I found out that a garden show was taking place, and that it was going to be a busy weekend.

So I put the Sacred Heart Cultural Center on the itinerary on my trip South later this year, and looked forward to visiting and photographing the Sacred Heart Cultural Center stained glass Nativity.

Then, a few days ago, I found this message in my inbox:

"Hello Alexis," writes Doug Herman of Augusta, Georgia, "a wonderful tribute to St. Joseph Church in Macon.

That church's sister-built church in Augusta is now Sacred Heart Cultural Center which will celebrate on 12/2/2010 the 110th year of the opening of the of the Augusta church. Hope you can come."

"Sacred Heart Cultural Center opened in 1900 as a Catholic church under the auspices of The Society of Jesus, a Catholic order whose priests are known as Jesuits.

"The building was designed nearly identical to the great Sacred Heart Church of Galveston Texas, which was destroyed by one of the worst hurricanes in American history.

"In 1900 as Sacred Heart Augusta doors opened, Sacred Heart of Galveston was being leveled by the sea by The Great Storm! As Augusta's population moved out of the downtown area, Sacred Heart Church closed in 1971 and fell into terrible disrepair.

"A wonderful benefactor did a major restoration in 1987 and gifted the building to Augusta for use as Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

Today it is a beautiful public venue for weddings, garden festivals, musical events, and visitor self tours. It is one of Augusta's most cherished and most photographed treasures."

Doug, who's a member of the Sacred Heart Cultural Center Board shared the photo of the Nativity window (top of page), that was created by the artists of theBeauVerre-Riorden studio which was established in Middletown, Ohio, in 1838.

Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene Street, Augusta, Georgia, 30901-1093; 706-826-4701.

© 2022

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