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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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HE CAME WHEN NOT EXPECTED

As a babe and a boy I attended church at Locust Grove near Bradford, Tennessee. David, Billy, and Harrell Davidson also grew up in this congregation which is now more than one hundred years old in service rendered God. In those days several of us, my family included, were not able to afford cars. We either walked or depended on horse-drawn vehicles. My dad and I walked, as we cleaned the building and made the fires, thus having to be there early. My mother and sister usually came in a buggy.

One very rainy Sunday stands out by the marvel of memory. The rain was coming down in sheets with no sign of early abatement. Brother Walter Peevyhouse was one of our two song directors. He was a good man, a godly man, a faithful man. He lived a considerable distance from the meetinghouse. The faithful few began to assemble. As service time neared he was not yet there, clearly an exception to his regular attendance every Sunday. One brother said the weather was too bad for even brother Walter to be present. Others agreed. They did not expect him. Yet he arrived in his wagon just before service began drenched, rainsoaked. I do not remember the text of our study that day, or the songs that he led. But I do remember that he was there! It made an indelible impression on my youthful, observant mind.

Such dedication helped to crystallize my own determination never to miss a Lord's Day service. In more than fifty years as a Christian I recall missing the Lord's supper only one time - 1948 - and I should not have missed that Sunday. I have regretted that one miss ever since.

I thank God for unsung heroes like Walter Peevyhouse, my parents, and many others who exhibited in life and teaching just how vastly important and imperative faith-fulness in worship really is. Their examples put to utter shame those who now miss at the drop of a hat for any trivial excuse (not reason). Now a rain cloud on the distant horizon can keep an entire family at home on Sunday but never from school or work on a weekday when that cloud produces what we used to call on the farm a "gully washer"!

—Robert R. Taylor, Jr.

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins..." —Hebrews 10:25-26

Vol. 8 / March 13, 2003
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