"I remember ..."
Personal Recollections 0f Members Of The First Presbyterian Church Of Huntsville
"As parents, we were always proud to watch our children acolyte during our worship services. We were especially delighted when our son, Wade, was able to join his older sister; Lori, was an acolyte. However; we were also very apprehensive when they served together because Wade was much shorter than Lori and one Sunday almost caught her hair on fire!"
– Dorothy & Tom Phillips
"I remember the library in the old church building, and how fun it was to go there in the summer and pick out a good book to read. It smelled just like a real library, and Mrs. (Mary Helen) Walker always took such good care of it.
"I also remember thinking that I might disappear forever when I had to walk down the back steps to the Sunday school classrooms in the basement of the old church. It was dark and scary. I’m so thankful we have such a bright and clean church building now for the children and everyone to enjoy!!!"
– Debbie Stansberry Fires
"I loved putting pennies in the penny jar for my birthday!
"I was nervous when I had to play Mary in the Christmas pageant. Everyone seemed to know my husband’s name but me."
– Cissy Baker
NOTE FROM CISSY’S FATHER: "Cissy came home from practicing the Christmas pageant and excitedly told her mother, "I get to be Mary in the play! And guess who my husband is?" Her mother replied, "Joseph." Cissy looked at her in astonishment and said, "How’d you know that?"
– Howard H. Baker, Jr.
"I’ll never pick up a bat or a ball without remembering a day 20 years ago a group of young Presbyterians, an innocent game of catch, both parents in a session meeting, the sound of breaking glass, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, the only kid left in the church yard, and a broken church window pane which ended a session meeting with the new business of `window needs repair.’ Luckily the church had spare panes so perhaps I was not the first to break a church window pane."
– Jill Purdy Jarnigan
"The Japanese Invasion of the Southeast Asian Continent caused the evacuation
the Verne Coapman Presbyterian missionary family from the Indian sub-continent.
The little white wooden Huntsville First Presbyterian Church was the benefactor of this World War II relocation of humanity. Verne had driven for many years on the ‘left’ side of the road. Providence decided that I would be his guide on his first motoring excursion on the Cumberland Plateau. The Reverend Mr. Coapman’s continued forgetfulness as we drifted to the ‘wrong’ side of sinuous U.S. Highway twenty-seven and then Highway fifty-two and the return trip had this then teen in constant prayer for our safely. Lo and Behold! My prayers were answered! This was by far my most productive religious educational experience of my seventy-eight years!"
– Frank Tighe
"I remember putting pennies in the birthday jar and singing, ‘Whose Birthday Comes Today?’ And the annual Homecoming picture that I took for many years - and still do!"
– Howard H. Baker, Jr. ("Howard Henry")
"The Christmas Eve pageants hold many special memories for me. This service has changed very little for as for back as I can remember from the little white church in the 1940s to the present one - especially the bags of fruit and candy."
– Judy Sharp Purcell
"I remember Mrs. Sybil Sexton, Sunday School teacher, who taught my Sunday School class when I was in third and fourth grade. She gave Bible cards for memory work, books of Bible and Bible verses. I also received a Bible with a blue cover with a picture of Jesus and the children on the front of the Bible for perfect attendance for one year. She made Sunday School fun.
"I also remember John Smith, young peoples’ choir director and high school Sunday School teacher. John was a very good Sunday School teacher. He helped me to be able to talk in public and give my thoughts and views to others. John also was a Camp Ozone counselor and taught me to love and see God in nature.
"And I remember the lavender choir robes with big white bows (boys did not like this and sometimes escaped out the nursery window to avoid wearing them). Miss Margie Scates made the robes. We did the song "Let Us Break Bread Together" for communion Sunday and we sang, ‘When I fall on my face with my knees to the rising sun.’ Funny? No - we were all in trouble,"
"And I remember Edwin Scates, Adult Sunday School teacher 40-45 years ago. Adults held class in the sanctuary. The attendance was 10-12 people. Sometimes I was the only child and I got to go into the adult class. If I got to Sunday School early I got to carry the portable lectern and place it on the pew for Mr. States to teach from, my first job in the church. I was proud that I got to do this."
– VeRhonda Hembree
"As a teenager, my Sunday School teacher was John Smith. He was very dedicated to his class and students. I have fond memories of him teaching us (Jodi Heather, Carter and me) so much. I love him and appreciate his taking time to make a difference in my life.
"Also, John and Rhonda were our Youth Group leaders and they took us to Camp John Knox and did many fun things with us. It inspires me to be a better helper in the church."
- Jamie King
"I remember the Westminster f ellowship youth activities and church camp. I remember the burning of the 1948 church was a traumatic event. I remember the Christmas programs and youth choir in racy youth."
– Bert Walker
"I remember when Martha Anne used her mom’s chicken trays in one of her sermons."
– Emily Walker
"I remember, from my first visit on, the cheerful welcome of all I met and the warmth of each greeting on Sunday morning.’
– Mike Douglas
"The day I was preaching my ‘trial sermon’ before the congregational meeting to decide whether to call me as a pastor, I was standing at the doors of the sanctuary feeling rather nervous as the worship service was about to begin. It didn’t help when one of the acolytes, Justin Reed, peered into the sanctuary at the large crowd then turned to me and said, rather accusingly, "There are a lot of people here today. They’re here to hear you, aren’t they?"
– Rev. Martha Anne Fairchild
"I remember my first visit in 1954 to this church in the red brick building, with my future wife Jean and her family wanting to come early enough to get a pew in the rear and fate enough not to have to wait to long for the service to begin (or end)."
– Wes Riggins
"As a recently divorced mother of a 4-year old, I was looking far a home church. After receiving several invitations from some very nice people, we attended services at the Presbyterian Church. I was a little anxious because with only a Baptist background I was not familiar with Presbyterian doctrine. During the last part of the service the congregation repeated the ‘Apostle Creed.’ Never having this creed explained to me before, my thoughts were: ‘My mother will be very upset that have gone to a Catholic church.’ However, on Monday a few questions helped me clear up my misinterpretation of the word ‘catholic’."
– Pat Scale
"Homecoming Sunday was something I have always looked forward to. I have always felt a part of the congregation and have developed a lifelong friendship with many of the members. I thank God everyday for blessing me with such loving grandparents whose roles in the church allowed me to establish these relationships. Thank you First Presbyterian Church for making me feel like part of the family."
– John Harrell (grandson of the late Art and Betty Becker)
"I remember the ringing of the church bell and going to church the day the war ended in 1945. I remember singing in the children’s choir – Mindy and Clayton joining the church – going to church on Christmas Eve and being in the program."
– Mae Chitwood
"I remember the Coapmans coming to our church when we needed somebody badly. I remember Mrs. Ella York, Mrs. Foster, and Mrs. Doisy always being at church. They were the ones who kept the church from permanently closing in the late 1930s and early 1940s due to very small attendance. I remember going to Christian Endeavor on Sunday night."
– Joyce Sharp Loy,
"I remember receiving a Bible_and a Shafer ink pen for not missing Sunday School for six years. Mrs. Ella York and Mrs. Lassie Duncan were my Sunday School teachers all that time. I remember Grandma Sharp’s funeral in the little white church in 1944.
FNB Chronicle, Vol. 18, No. 4 – Summer 2007
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841
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