Pilot Grove Church is a documentary short by award winning film maker Mark Birnbaum. His movie takes a thoughtful look at recent efforts to preserve the life of the 19th century church, which is located on the grounds of Dallas Heritage Village.
The church’s double façade allowed siding and window repair work to take place in two centuries simultaneously. With the bell tower as the divider between past and present, visitors watched on as one work crew from 1910, in period attire, made repairs using vintage tools and equipment, while a 21st century crew did the same work on the other side, with power tools and modern metal scaffolding and work clothing.
The church was originally built in 1895 by members of its congregation, and it is a good example of blackland prairie ecclesiastical architecture. The roots of the small Methodist congregation dates to before the civil war, but it was unable to survive the death of their resident preacher, “Rev Owenby” in the 1930's.
Today the church looks as beautiful as it did when it was first built 119 years ago. And if you go inside and sit a few moments on one of the original pews, you might just be able to hear Rev Owenby, “preachin up a storm!”