Throughout this year, George Payne has written about and photographed the progress of the Lower Fall Foundation towards making the Lower Falls Park and Gorge a World Heritage Site, most recently in Frederick Douglass in Rochester: a gallery of images and words.
Today, George, a graduate of St. John Fisher College and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, expands on his wide range of interests with a stunning photo montage of some of Rochester’s most sacred Christian sites.
About a year ago in On the 22nd of October, 1844 on top of Cobb’s Hill, Eric Kemperman and I retraced the steps up and down Cobb’s Hill taken by followers of the charismatic preacher Joseph Miller who believed “the Day of Wrath” had come and the literal Second Coming of Christ was at hand.
George captures some of the Christian history of Rochester from the period of the burned-over district to today.
Burned Over: on the search for some of Rochester’s most sacred Christian sites (all photos by George)
Rochester was once at the center of the burned-over district. This refers to the western and central regions of New York in the early 19th century, where religious revivals and the formation of new religious movements of the Second Great Awakening took place.
From the beginning of Rochester’s incorporation as a city in 1837, it has been dominated by Christianity. The pictures below attempt to capture the beauty, power, reverence, social unity, pomp, sobriety, dignity, humanitarianism, magic, materialism, mysticism, lightheartedness, and perhaps sublimity of this religious influence.
You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself. Swami Vivekananda
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui. Helen Keller
There is nothing evil save that which perverts the mind and shackles the conscience. Saint Ambrose
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.Khalil Gibran
Religion kept some of my relatives alive, because it was all they had. If they hadn’t had some hope of heaven, some companionship in Jesus, they probably would have committed suicide, their lives were so hellish.Octavia Butler
Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.Soren Kierkegaard
I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won’t let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion. Malcolm X