I think of my precious parents and grandparents who lived here beside the Kanawha River.
We spent so much time sitting in the swing, listening to stories, playing hide and seek, picking tomatoes from the garden -- it was a wonderful place to grow up. We drove past the old, falling down church where my brothers and I knelt at the altar in the sixties. The new church was built in the seventies -- I was married there -- but even covered with weeds and vines, the old church holds my memories of Bible School and singing, prayers and tears, and redemption.
When we finally got to the last reunion -- my husband's Spencer-Hinkle reunion -- some members of the family met at the little white Hinkle Mountain Church for a worship service before we gathered for the pot-luck meal in a cousin's home. The church was built in the 1800's by my husband's ancestor - we still have the broad ax he used to cut the planks. A cousin was leading the service, and he had asked Sam to read the scripture. As he stood in front of the church, he was overcome with emotion, thinking of his father and grandfather and great grandfather and other family members who had worshipped there.
As he started reading from Deuteronomy 6, he got a little choked up. "And thou shalt love The Lord our God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul and with all thy might. ....and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children..." Both of us were taught about loving God by our parents and grandparents, and come from many generations of ancestors who were known for their faith. I could hardly sing as my eyes filled with tears. I am so grateful for my ancestors who taught that " for The Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations." Psalm 11:5 and it gives me great joy to know that our faith has been passed on to our own children.
"Make a joyful noise unto The Lord, all ye lands."