Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Columns

September 25, 2013

Lessons learned at church…by chance

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.

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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.

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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.

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