Sept. 25, 2013 —
As country churches go, it was an impressive structure with a large steeple and a circular driveway.
My brother, sister and I went there with our mother. Many of the congregation had died or moved away from the little town.
I vividly remember a kind, elderly woman, a widow whose family lived away.
Our church music leader liked the hymn, “We’re Marching to Zion” and we sang it several times a year.
Each time that happened, the old lady got up and marched around the sanctuary, singing at the top of her lungs and banging on her purse like a drum.
As a kid, I decided to go marching with her one Sunday. As we strutted past my mother’s seat, she almost pulled my arm out of socket. My march was over. ---------------
The girl wasn’t the cutest one in my Sunday school class but she definitely thought of me as her sweetheart.
We were about 10 and I was not the least bit interested.
Our class was in the Christmas play and the girl insisted I stand beside her during the closing song.
I waited until we went on stage and quickly lined up on the other side of the tall, heavily decorated Christmas tree.
She glared at me and said I would be sorry and I said something dumb like she couldn’t reach me.
That was just before she pushed the tree over on top of me…and announced loudly that I was no longer her boyfriend.
I can still hear my brother laughing.
But my most indelible church memory is of a young preacher who warned us about the evils of strong drink.
As his Sunday sermon began, he pulled a half pint bottle of whiskey from his coat pocket and poured some into a saucer on top of the pulpit.