Tag Archives: Baptist

Ode to Dr Ralph Stanley

A legend has gone to glory. God was preparing me for this.  I’m probably the biggest Ralph Stanley fan there is.  Ever.  There was just something about the sound of his voice, the ring of his banjo, the humility of … Continue reading

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Bluefield: A Wedding of Two Communities

This winter I spent some time in the Craft Memorial Library over at Bluefield, West Virginia.  I found there microfilmed copies of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph from the late 1800s to the middle of the 1900s.  Interesting stories. Of course … Continue reading

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One God, Many Churches

In 1998 the District Superintendent of the United Methodist District where I was serving retired from active ministry.  Some of us felt bad for him since he had chosen to retire from a district instead of a church where he … Continue reading

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Chewing Gum and the Rapture

I don’t know when I first became aware that little blobs of pink on the bottom of the church chairs was actually chewing gum.  But I am sure I saw some the night Pastor Steve came to preach.  The minister … Continue reading

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Church Music

In the words of the Book of Hebrews:  “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.”  But church music has changed a lot in my lifetime. I was raised in a small United Methodist Church near Kingsport, Tennessee, in … Continue reading

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Going Native: Reflections on Mixed Ancestry

There was a time when you had to hide your ancestral identity if you had anything other than European roots. Persons with any other genetic heritage were considered in some degree of lesser status than the “majority” of the population. Therefore families like mine had to hide their roots, whitewashing them with stories of origin that were nothing but fiction. Continue reading

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Confused, Bewildered, and Embarrassed

To hear the name “Bockie” in my home was to pause in reverence, then to cackle with laughter.  Bockie died a full seventeen years before I was even born, but his presence lingered far beyond his mortality.  Bockie was so … Continue reading

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