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40 Things to Love About Alabama: Church With a Rock In It

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And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

Who: Sallie Howard Memorial Chapel

What: A church with a rock in it. Too be more specific, it’s a small chapel that was constructed with the help of Civilian Conservation Corps. around a granite boulder. The boulder forms a backdrop to the altar of the church. It is a popular wedding locale and holds regular 10am services. The church is always open and admission is free.

Where: CR-617; Mentone, AL 35984; Off the beaten path at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains somewhere between Fort Payne and Mentone on Lookout Mountain.

When: Built in 1937 by an obscure former Hollywood actor, author, United States Representative and fringe candidate for U.S. President, Milford W. Howard. He was a devout Christian and converted to fascism after interviewing interviewed Benito Mussolini. People of the era often described Howard as “colorful”.

Why: Howard built the chapel in memory of his first wife. Six months later, he was dead. His remains were cremated and entombed at the church. Ironically, Sallie is buried in California where her husband dragged her out to try their luck in the movie business.