Photos and story by Tommy Banks, edited by Mac Harris

After salvaging a sill from the burned sanctuary (see bottom photo), Tommy Banks discovered that the 8″ x 8″ by 24′ timber was cut from the heart of a yellow pine tree.

Tommy counted 75 visible rings (see top photo), and says it is logical to assume that there were at least 25 more rings. Each ring represents a year’s growth, so the tree was at least 100 years old when it was cut for construction of the sanctuary in 1912, 95 years ago.

That means the tree that died to help support our sanctuary for the past 95 years would have been about 200 years old, so it was a mature tree when Bethany was founded 167 years ago!

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