Lost Churches of Mississippi is a collection of archival photographs, postcards, and drawings of more than one hundred notable churches and synagogues vanquished by fire, disaster, development, or neglect. Constructed primarily from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s, these places of worship were often among the most visually prominent and architecturally striking buildings in Mississippi. Storms, floods, tornadoes, flames, bulldozers, or the disbandment of congregations razed what once was hallowed.
In Lost Churches of Mississippi, architectural historian Richard J. Cawthon reclaims such noteworthy churches as the old St. Paul's Catholic Church in Vicksburg, Bethel Presbyterian Church near Columbus, the old Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian, and the old First Presbyterian Church in Yazoo City. Selections represent over fifty towns and cities throughout the state and are captured in 180 distinctive black-and-white illustrations from several historical archives and other collections.
Cawthon discusses the architectural features and historical background of each house of worship and provides a brief introduction that illuminates the study of lost buildings, as well as a glossary of architectural terms and an annotated bibliography. Lost Churches of Mississippi rescues a cardinal legacy and recognizes a portion of the state's rich architectural and religious heritage.