Rutherfordton was an older established church. Wonderful folk, but as usual for the older congregation, set in their ways. That has always been fine with me. Even if church is aging out and not growing someone must be there to visit, console and bury when necessary. Everyone who is dedicated enough to attend and support a church deserves the attention of a dedicated pastor. We tried to be.
(And I do love Pecan Pie!)
As I mentioned our church had a lot of folks with the first names of Brother and Sister. Sister Hensley could make the BEST pecan pie I ever ate. We had some young folk, one was Ethel Buff, a young nurse was very sweet. I remember one time several of us were in the fellowship hall just enjoying conversation. We had a sweet older lady, Sister Arrowwood. She pronounced it “R-wood.” Ethel says to her, “Sister R-wood, you do know your name is really ‘Arrow-wood’ don’t you?”
“I have been R-wood for 75 years and I will be R-wood when I die.”
Ethel smiled and said , “Yes ma’am.”
At service times, I always drove around a picked up some of the senior citizens who attended. Well after the fellowship hall and SS rooms were completed, we settled into a routine. One of the things we would do every couple weeks was go to the ‘Flour Mill’ on a creek just outside Rutherfordton and get stone ground corn meal as it had been ground for over a 100 years.
We picnicked by a creek and went swimming at a creek that flowed out of Lake Lure.
We were pretty happy. Our families were within 60 miles and we visited often.
Then one day my overseer called. Would you be interested in starting a new church? We have located a good potential area, and all we need is a young man to start the ball rolling. The General Church will back the loan; you would be building in the New Hope area of Gastonia. Interested?
“Yes Sir,” I said pretty quickly. That was within 6-7 miles of both our parents.
“I will arrange for your replacement in three weeks, you need to tell your church next Sunday.”
In the next three weeks we toured the New Hope area and looked at the couple places suggested I preferred 5 acres with an old auto repair garage (with junk cars out front, wonder why?), and an old frame house on it. They said OK and negotiated the purchase. In Three weeks we were living in dad’s cabin (15 miles away) on the Camp Ground, and I was beginning plans to remodel a greasy concrete floored garage and get a couple junk cars moved.
We loved the area. We set in with all we had to make a success of this challenge.
In Gaston county fish restaurants in the country or on the river are called Fish Camps. Our location was with a rocks throw of two of them.
1963 T-Bird and the ‘63 Pontiac
the 1963 Lincoln Continental.