Distinctive chimes to go silent during repairs

Published 3:33 pm Friday, August 31, 2012

By DALE BRAKHAGE / Community Columnist

Every day, bell-tone chimes ring down the valley from the tall white steeple of Indian Springs First Baptist Church.

Indian Springs First Baptist Church Pastor Charlie Dale in front of the church’s steeple, which houses its distinctive chimes. (contributed)

The chimes precisely count the daytime hours and then continue with parts of a few familiar songs, just enough for you to recognize them.

That church steeple is a village landmark located on U.S. 119 just west of Caldwell Mill Road.

A cellular phone company built it for the church. That company needed a tower to provide coverage throughout Cahaba Valley. Building their equipment into a tall church steeple preserved the beauty of the village.

“Very soon the chimes will go silent for three to four days,” said Pastor Charlie Dale. “Our steeple is getting a needed face lift. Workers will be scraping off the old paint, fixing any leaks and repainting it.”

Brother Charlie, as he is called by church members, continued, “The chimes will be turned off while they do the work. You wouldn’t want to be working up there when those chimes ring!”

Brother Charlie arrived two months ago. He has served in ministry for 15 years, and was most recently the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of the Upper 9th Ward of New Orleans.

Judy Long provided more information about the chimes. She has been the church financial assistant for 5 years.

“You’d be surprised at the number of positive calls and emails we receive about the chimes. We received one call from a woman who had been stuck in traffic on U.S. 119. The chimes made her stop and take a breath.” Reminder: There is more to life than traffic jams!

Church member Owen Adkins operates the chimes.

He joined the church in 1983. Every week, he diligently makes certain the chimes are programmed and in good repair.

Owen also selects music to fit the season. In December, the chimes play Christmas carols. For patriotic holidays they play patriotic classics.

Last Fourth of July, America’s National Anthem was included as one of the songs. People loved it! Some even felt the urge to stand up until the music stopped. That is just who we are!


Dale Brakhage writes a weekly column about Indian Springs and its residents. You can reach him at dale@dalebrakhage.com.