MY MEMORIES OF TEMPLE METHODIST CHURCH




Frances C. Crenshaw
Sept. 5, 1997



 
© Copyright 2020 by Gordon Crenshaw
Photo of the church.

The Temple Methodist Church that was a large part of my life and the life
of my family was on Lucy Road. A brick building set back
under the spreading branches of a tremendous oak tree that shaded
part of the parking lot that wasn't paved at that time.

The Temple Church that was a large part of my life and the life of
my family was on Lucy Road. A brick building set back under the
spreading branches of a tremendous oak tree that shaded part of the
parking lot that wasn't paved at that time. Huge oak trees spread over
a spacious green lawn where we had many dinners on the ground. Tables
groaned under the load of delicious food, spread like a banquet from the
best cooks in the church, consciously or unconsciously competed for the
best
dish brought.
Children, happily not supervised, or just watched over at a distance, ran and played, laughed and ate very little.
It was a fun time and should have been savored even more, not knowing that it was a time that wouldn't be repeated except in our memories.

It didn't happen long after I joined the church but at
that time money was hard come by and some of the men of the church would have to go around to the members asking for donations, enough to pay the preacher and maybe some of the outstanding bills. A dollar or two, maybe five from a few,
but they didn't pay the preacher much. (Hasn't changed too much from that).

Ladies meet outside.

Sunday school class meets outside because the class rooms were too small.

The church had been rebuilt, but not paid for when
I first got married and I remember a lot of my dates were coming
out to Lucy to some fund raiser either for Temple Methodist or Lucy
Baptist. It was the social life of the community and I'm glad
that I was privileged to live in this time frame.

My first memory of Temple was walking down the aisle in
a wedding of Rivers Loller and Clinton Crabtree.  I faced the
congregation and a very good looking blonde young man with the
most beautiful blue eyes flirted with me all during the ceremony.
His mistake. I decided to marry him and let him chase me until
I caught him. We raised Five children in that church, dedicated
each at the altar and on our 40th anniversary we all knelt at
the altar together and then went and celebrated., A wonderful
day in June, he died then in December of cancer. 
I had been antiquing with Josie Whitehead a couple of months before near Paris, Tennessee, and found a stained glass window with an angel. Since we did not have a window at the church it could be put in, I had it framed in a box wired for a light behind the window. 1 gave that to the church that day to commemorate our anniversary and all the church had meant to our family. I believe the window
is here at this church somewhere

When you have a small church and a small congregation,
you take turns doing everything. I think I did everything but
preach and be superintendent of the Sunday School. But my true love was the MYF when my children were teenagers and in the choir.
the MYF members
                          MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship)
The Choir.




Lelah Williams asked me to lead the choir. I had always, from the beginning, sung in the choir, and it was my availability, more than my ability. But we built up a good choir and presented a lot of cantatas. Most were by John Peterson, and I was asked what my connection to him. None. He just had records that I could buy and practice with before I gave the music to the choir. Now you know.                    




My Mother in law, Ivis Crenshaw, was a character, loved
by most adults, but adored by all the children. She taught
the kindergarten class for years and years and none could leave
until they had performed, recited the Lord's Prayer, the
Apostles' Creed, the ten commandments and I don't know what
else. But when a child mastered this, then whatever else was
going on, the child was marched to the Front of the Sunday
School. There would be groans from Lelah Williams, Nell Dennis,
Mattie Williams, Elsie Watkins, all her friends, but not loud,
so as not to hurt the child's feelings. They would stumble
and stutter, blush, look at their feet and Mrs. Ivis would prompt
them and they did learn. Proud of themselves, and so was their Mom.

And some would grow up and write back to thank her and tell
her how much it meant to them, for some it was all the Bible
they ever knew.. After her death I contacted as many as I knew
and they contributed enough in her memory to buy a Pulpit Bible.
I don't know if they still have it or not. It was partially
destroyed in the moving to this church.  

Sunday School started in the sanctuary with everyone
present. Hymns sung, announcements made, Scripture read,
performance by one or more of Mrs Ivis' class and then we were
dismissed to our own classes. I don't remember when we got
modern and stopped this custom.
It didn't happen long after I joined the church but at that time money was hard come by and some of the men of the
church would have to go around to the members asking for
donations, enough to pay the preacher and maybe some of the outstanding bills. A dollar or two, maybe five from a few, but they didn't pay the preacher much. (Hasn't changed too much from that).

The church had been rebuilt, but not paid for when
I first got married and I remember a lot of my dates was coming out to Lucy to some fund raiser either for Temple or Lucy Baptist. It was the social life of the community and I'm glad that I was privileged to live in this time frame.

Working on the church.
                                        Working on the Church.

It was so completely different from today. Everyone in the community
went to whatever church social that was going on. Mrs. Ivis
used to go downtown to the department stores, ask them for their
samples, For the items that didn't sell, or a few left over,
and they gave them to her., She would put them in her basket
and walk down the road to her sister‘s store, Cora and Udah
Crenshaw, and people would watch for her, she always had such
good bargains. Then there were the carnivals, the ice cream
suppers, and once she roped off a ring and let the young bucks
show off in a boxing match. It was exciting to be a young girl
in those days. But Mrs. Ivis raised a lot of money and the
church was paid off due to her efforts and those of many more.

Everybody knew everybody, they knew who belonged to which
church and it wasn‘t perfect, but it was a good life. Would
I go back, no, but I wish my children and my grandchildren
could have a taste of that life that I had in Temple Church.

I have so many memories of people, revivals, socials, dinner
on the ground, teaching and being taught. Now you are making
memories. Not the same, but just as good because they are yours.

Enjoy them to the fullest, time passes so quickly.

This I know, the time we have here on earth is a preparation
for the life that we will spend in eternity, One of the best
places to get instruction is in your church. You'd better pay
attention you don't want to be left behind.



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