Later, I returned to one of these places we had visited, Cincinnati, to work in Grace Church Parish which was a side street church. It had once been a well attended and flourishing community congregation in a prosperous suburban area. Now, as I stood before it, its shell lay empty and cold, a derelict husk of its former self of a side street church. The reason? Hunger. The famine and poverty in Kentucky had spilled wave upon wave of tattered refugees into this side street church neighborhood. They were looking for work and food. As the mountain folk moved into the area the Episcopalian congregation pulled out. Our whole community had now become a dilapidated slum. Grace Church sat empty and silent at its center.
Gangs of noisy kids kicked cans along the sidewalk during the day, and drunks made their newspaper beds on our doorstep at night. Bloody street fights erupted outside our window! Tragedy abounded Baymiller and Findlay Streets, but this side street church was asleep. Dust gathered on the high backed pews standing in its wide nave. Only the whispered prayers of a few faithful ladies on Sundays drifted in from a side chapel.