Hometown Hero: Montgomery Presbyterian Church preserves historic live oak

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 1:42 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The congregation at Montgomery Presbyterian Church fought for five years to save an historic oak tree adjacent to the church.

And even though they were unable to, some WTOC Hometown Heroes were able to preserve what the tree has meant to people who worship there.

Montgomery Presbyterian’s new conversation piece already has people talking - and it soon could have them keeping the faith.

“Anything we can do to take hope and inspiration beyond the walls of this church and said it out into the community gives us a great deal of delight.”

Members of the the Southside Savannah Church were unable to save a 260-year old Live Oak on their property that had become diseased.

But the were unwilling to let the tree go away entirely commissioning an artist to carve a heart and hands sculpture from 10 feet of stump that was saved when the tree was taken down.

“Part of our faith is to believe that even when things die that’s not the end of of the story. We believe God holds out promise.”

“I went to school across the street, old Montgomery School, and we would come over here and play on the tree. So, the tree’s always been here. So, it’s wonderful to have something left, something to remember the tree by and yet be very symbolic of what we believe and what our faith is.”

The sculpture of hands holding a heart also holds meaning to the church’s congregation.

“We believe that our hearts just live our lives are in the hands of a very good God. And we thought that could be a great symbol of hope for the community around us.”

And when it was officially introduced Sunday, it brought a big part of the church’s past together with its future.

“It was heartbreaking, but that’s the cycle of life. I think it’s important that we made something good out of a tragic situation.”

“We hope when people leave, they’ll say ‘you know what, God was not finished with the life of that 260-year old tree, maybe God is not finished with my life either. There’s hope, there’s promise.”