Grange Prayer Trail a quiet haven
for the public to enjoy
Abbott has added
his touch along the way
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (November 2009) Several years
ago, La Grange Presbyterian Church sponsored local Boy Scout Troop 200
in an effort to help it earn its Eagle Scout badges. The scouts created
a 1 1/2 mile trail that circles the 20-acre church property, and local
chainsaw artist Tony Abbott contributed wood carvings to adorn the trail.
by Helen McKinney
Grange Presbyterian Church
pastor Al Earley poses beside a sign
marking the beginning of the
churches Prayer Trail.
The sincere Thank You I get from people
who have walked this keeps me going and makes me think this is the right
thing to do, said Abbott. Abbott first met the church pastor,
Al Earley, during an Angel Food Ministries event at the church.
Abbott created the inspirational wood carvings that line what came to
be known as the churchs Prayer Trail in an effort to give back
to the church that had helped him so much.
Abbott is the only artist whose artwork graces the Prayer Trail. Pastor
Earley said the artwork is beautiful. Some of the artwork is in
the form of benches, he said. Carved Bibles add spiritual detail
to each station on the trail.
There are six stations containing the carvings where individuals can
stop and pray or contemplate their problems or blessings. Each station
has a focus: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, intercession
and communion. These stations bring out different aspects of prayer
that Earley has pointed out to his congregation.
His artwork is very intriguing, said Earley, who has pastored
the church for the last 12 years. Tony has his own way of interpreting
prayer through art.
I can see carvings in pieces of wood and in trees that need to
be removed, said Abbott. From the wood, Abbott carves with his
hands anything his imagination can fathom.
When Abbott first approached him with the idea, Earley said he didnt
understand what Abbott was doing. But over time, he has come to see
clearly what Abbott had in mind. The congregation really enjoys
it, he said.
by Helen McKinney
Abbott has pieces of
his woodcarved art at various
places in Oldham County and
Abbott, 57, used a chainsaw and various other smaller
tools to create the wood carvings for the church. He can often be found
carving his stoic artwork from his home in La Grange at the corner of
Hwy 42 and Hwy. 53. Originally from Kansas, Abbott has carved walking
sticks, totem poles, furniture, angels, eagles, mermaids and Derby hats.
He has carvings on display at Cunninghams in Prospect, the Cornerstone
Restaurant in Buckner, and a Revolutionary War memorial site in Skylight,
along Hwy. 42. Abbott has completed many private wood carving commissions
and was one of the featured artists during the Original Oldham Studio
Tour & Art Sale, held in September.
Abbott likes to show off his carvings at events where people gather
for fun and entertainment. These venues include antique car shows, farmers
markets and the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville.
The Prayer Trail is open to the public. The church is located at 1901
Prestwick Dr., and residents of the adjoining subdivision, Prestwick
Estates, often use the trail.
The grounds of the church are open to everyone, said Earley.
For more information about the Prayer Trail,
contact Pastor Al Earley or the La Grange Presbyterian Church at (502)
Back to November 2009