Remembering My Childhood Church

SteepleToday, I was listening to NPR’s All Things Considered.  As I turned my radio on, a commentary was already in progress.  A female voice was describing the church of her youth.  For some reason, that church experience felt familiar.  Sure enough, she was describing growing up in a Church of Christ in Tennessee.  (You might like to hear Laura Lorson’s commentary, Memories of Church and Childhood).  On the NPR website, the following paragraph appears,

The fluid, ever changing flow of world events and pop culture can seem pretty scary. It sometimes seems as though more things change than stay the same. When commentator Laura Lorson feels like things are slipping out of her control, she thinks back to her childhood and the stable, unchanging world of her church.

There are of course, a few things about my life in my church that I would just as soon forget.  There are, however, things that I want to remember.

  • Wonderful, meaningful, hymns sung in our church. 
  • An occasional chorus (choir) from a Christian College that would come to our church and sing.  Typically, these groups were touring and different ones would stay in homes.  My favorite was always the predominately African-American students from Southwest Christian College.
  • Going to Tishimingo, Oklahoma one Sunday (many from our church went).  We worshiped with that church on Sunday morning and then joined them outside for a meal of fried chicken and deviled eggs.
  • Hearing that swish, swish sound as one particular sister made her way from the back to the front rows just before church began.  (Generally, you could hear her charm bracelets jingle as well).
  • The smell of mimeograph ink on our church bulletins.
  • Listening to Don Cobler teach our high school Bible class.  He seemed to shoot straight and tell us the truth about life and the church.
  • Seeing Brian, the mentally retarded young man, as he was being loved by the church.
  • Remembering the time that a mother with six children showed up at our church.  (I was a small child and don’t remember the details).  I just remember that she could no longer take care of her children.  All of her children were placed in homes of church members.

No, I am not the same person who grew up in that church.  I have become a part of other churches since then and have continued to grow in my faith.  Yet, I will always be thankful to this group of people who formed my earliest memories of church.

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