Monday, November 21, 2011

Family Saints

The Ancient Ones
By Judith Wilson.
Used by permission.

It was embarrassing when your own parent got
Up on Wednesday night and testified.
But it was worse when some of the
Real ancient saints got up and cried
Or shouted or waved their hankerchiefs.

We pretended we didn’t hear what those ancient,
Glowing saints said, but we heard . . . and later
The Holy Spirit called their praises of Jesus back
To our remembrance.

It was their steadfast witness. . .
Their genuine spirits of praise . . .
Their lives which were above reproach
That made their words stick . . .to
Later be remembered in times of trial. . .
Need . . . or discouragement.

They were special . . .
And I miss
Hearing from God’s saints
Whom Your light
Had shone through.
~~ <> @ <> ~~
This poem reminded me of David’s Great-Aunt Minnie. She was an “Amen” sister in the “Hallulejah Chorus” at Eldon Church of the Nazarene. We greatly miss her. For a little while.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


We’ve just returned from a weekend jaunt down to Miller County, MO where one of David’s maternal cousin’s daughters married her sweetheart. His mother was a RUSH, a paternal cousin of David's. They were married at the Eldon Church of the Nazarene in Eldon, MO. If I recall right, Pastor Jerry FRYE officiated at the bride's mother and father’s wedding too! It was like a reunion of the RUSH and CARRENDER families with three hundred guests, at least!
While we were at it, David’s folks trucked down two gravestones that was delivered to us from the government. Both gravestones were for family Civil War veterans – Rev. Alexander SULLENS, of Spring Garden cemetery and Isham GORDON, of Eugene cemetery. Both should be set by David’s nephew-in-law later this week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Church Records and Christian History

Recently, our church cleared out some closets. The matter of what to do with old church documents such as address directories, baby dedication records, baptismal records, board minutes, old Sunday church bulletins, death records, membership transfer records, old newsletters, and so forth came up for discussion. To my knowledge, the collection hasn’t been cataloged since our 50th anniversary celebration several years ago and boxes, photograph scrapbooks, and filing cabinets have been stashed away in various available cubbyholes in our church.

Grandview Church of the Nazarene
These papers are not only important to document our church family history, but are also important to family historians/genealogists as well as to Christian university students and seminarians for various research papers and projects. American civic vital records only go so far back, so then, one may find information on ancestors in church records if they still exist.

David has always been interested in Christian history since his student days at Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, KS., particularly the Reformation period. I only became recently interested in church history when we began to homeschool our son in his fifth grade year of elementary school. We looked for a Christian-based history curriculum beginning in our home states since we live close to many important US history sites we could visit on field trips to supplement the curriculum. Not finding any, I began my own little research project which has since "blossomed” into a bigger project than I realized, namely, a timeline of Missouri and Kansas Christian history and two family history-related blogs, this one and the History Nut

Some time ago, David and I went to a genealogy lecture at our local Genealogy library. Angela N. Stiffler, former director of William Jewell University's Partee Center at Liberty, MO. was one speaker and the other was Barbara Bueller, herself a Lutheran. Both spoke of the importance of Christian and family research in Missouri which has been gleaned from church, ministerial, and district accounts. Since that time, I’ve gotten acquainted with Nancy Erhlich, a Heartland Presbyterian Church Historian and Stan Ingersol, the Nazarene Archivist. They all say the same, either keep your collection together (some churches now have a heritage room), transcribe it into a church history book (send a copy to your local genealogy library) or donate it to your local denominational archivist before you toss the records in the trash bin. Paper copies are best as technology changes way too fast. Family historians will thank you.

A Transcribed Example of Church Minutes:
Lulbegrud Primitive Baptist Church Minutes: 1793-1804. 

Example: a copy of my husband's church membership transfer document. Click on image to enlarge if you wish to view details.

More Repositories and Archives:
Bible Records Online
Primitive Baptist Library, Carthage, Illinois. Head Librarian: Eld. Robert Webb.