SUFFOLK, Va. (WVEC) --- Poplar Run Baptist Church has been in the same spot off Bennetts Pasture Road in Suffolk for 124 years.
Deacon Randolph Bremby has been a church member since he was just a child.
“I grew up in this church,” said Bremby.
But Bremby will tell you things haven’t been quite the same since 1968.
That’s when a fire destroyed the church. The only thing left intact was the church’s bell.
“Everybody that lived around heard the sound,” said fellow deacon Frank Hodges. “They knew it was time to come to church.”
But even after the church was rebuilt that year, the bell stayed at fire station number ten across town.
They can’t say why it took 49 years for the reunion, but church members didn’t hesitate to accept an offer after a visitor stopped by the church last week.
“The assistant fire chief asked us if we wanted the bell back and we said yes,” said Bremby.
Now, after almost 50 years, the church’s original bell has returned to its rightful place.
After borrowing a motor lift from another church member, and with help from the Suffolk Fire Department, they hauled the bell back to Bennetts Pasture Road.
“I tell you it’s wonderful to have it back,” said Hodges.
It no longer rings, and it never had a special name.
“It’s just ‘The Bell,’” said Bremy.
But once again it does have a special place in a bed of rocks next to the church entrance.
And that’s where it’s going to stay.