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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

5th Edition: Carnival of African American Genealogy ~Rebirth ~ "We Baptist in Here"!

Original Mt. Coney
As Madea would say in one of her Tyler Perry movies: They don't want to mess with us 'cause "We Baptist up in Here!".

Yes, that's what we are  Baptist's!


That Big White Church with two steeples was named Mt. Coney in 1875!

 It started a long time ago in a little town named Midway, Alabama located in the southern western corner of the state in Bullock County


   
The "Black Church" formed out of Slavery has always been the forefront and most important part of my family's heritage. It's where we gain our strength from the daily toil of Living. From then until now in 2013 someone in my family has been in that church attendance or  holding office. It started with my Slave Granddaddy Ike Ivery he went in with some other Deacons of Mt. Coney included was his Father in Law Charles Hatcher to start the church. This was shortly after slavery. Our Faith and Rebirth has been told this way from Generation to Generation to remind us. 
Mt. Coney Cornerstone

 Mt. Coney has traveled with many family members for many generations. The Great Migration until today to different cities, it was carried on in the families hearts. No matter where they moved to and fro they took Mt. Coney with them.

Mt. Coney Missionary Baptist Church is 138 years young, it is the Center of all my Families Joy and Pain.


In my Documentary Rev. J.N Robbins said Mt. Coney was like the Hospital to the Community it was where they came to get their medicine not only for their Soul but for any kind of refuge they were seeking. It represented that in some kind of way.

Daddy moved his small family from Midway after World War Two was over and migrated up North seeking better job opportunities. In the 50's, while my Family moved to Ohio my Dad was a Deacon in training at St. Mark Baptist Church under the tutelage of 
Rev. I.J Johnson. 


St. Mark Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio


After one move that settled us all down till my Parents passed we moved to Steelton, Pa and joined Beulah Baptist Church, under Rev. J.C. Wallace now deceased. That is were Daddy became Chairman of the Deacon Board for 31 years until he passed at age of 91 in 2009.  


Proverbs: Chapter 22: Verse:6  "Train up a Child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
Outside of Beulah my childhood church in my teens 1984(left; Derby, Me. Keith and Hope)

I got Dedicated in 1972 from Beulah Baptist.  February 13th, 1983 is when I got baptized. I had accepted the Lord as my own, and that was the longest walk I ever took up the "Red Carpet" in my Life. 
I remember when I had to stand up there and take Communion for the first time and I had to pick my Deacon! Everyone was laughing; of course I was gonna pick my Daddy, Deacon Lewis. Deacon Ollie Allen was my Honorary Deacon, even when I got Grown and joined the Army I continually paid my "Tithes" from where ever I was stationed.

I had my baby Eddie dedicated and got married in 1986 at this church. My whole world was centered around "Beulah" growing up. I went to Choir rehearsal, youth group meetings, Revivals! I remember going to Vacation Bible school or the year I was Sunday School Secretary. One of my responsibilities was to go around picking up the offerings from each class. I know that is where I got my "Secretarial" skills from.  Most of my friends were at church, but I also went to school with them. My First Love was at Beulah. All we could do was "make eyes"at each other. I won't mention his name.
 I remember sitting on the "Back Bench"(pew) with my friends, Hope, Keith, Timmy and Derby now deceased, also Twayna and many more. I remember once it was so many of us, Rev. Wallace made us move to some closer pews, we were keeping up to much back there!  We all still keep in touch till this day.
Me as Chaplain of our Youth Group (Patriot News) Harrisburg, Pa.


All the times after 1st Sunday when Communion was served, I had to stay and wait for my Parents to clean the glasses and put all things away. Or the Saturday before watching them prepare the Communion Table. I still have the glasses from Daddy's last Communion before he passed, Rev. Eichelberger came and served me and Daddy. 

"Do this in Remembrance of Me".


I can still hear all the "Whooping"and Preachin'! Rev. Wallace and Rev. Eichelberger could do. I can hear Ms. Phoebe Brown on the organ right now, she would tear it up so Good while we'd be singing,tears would stream down my face. They would have the congregation going, somebody always wailed with the Holy Ghost!,with all their best suits and ties. The women's finery and Crowns of Glory on their heads, What we would call "Mom's hats", Sista Lewis could wearing them hats!
Mom's "Sunday Best"


There were times other churches would "Visit" especially once a year from Philly, I would always "1 finger Usher-Dip" out of service and go downstairs and sneak to see what Mom and them other Deaconesses would be cooking up?  Sis. Lewis, your Daughter is so pretty and you keep her dressed in the most beautiful things. Mom would smile and beam.

 During regular service Mom would be downstairs in the "Basement" preparing all the food with her apron and house shoes. The same ones she would whoop me with at times when I would get out of line. My Mom kept a switch in her "PockaBook"! even tho' she never used it on ME! I knew it was there, all she had to do every now and then when we would act up is turn her head around from the 3rd pew on the left hand side where she sat every Sunday and look at us with that James Evans from Good Times look and a balled up fist. We knew it was time to stop "Sniggling and Giggling". She meant business! BE QUIET! So many memories.





My Parents choose my Godfather, who was a preacher. Rev. Kenneth E. Grayson he would often come visit us from New Jersey. He'd always have a gift for me. Love to hear him preach and talk with my Parents. He use to come as a visiting Preacher and my Parents would be the host family. I always listened to him intently. He was a Great Orator. 


 I will have to ask my Siblings what their Memories of Church and Rebirth meant to them as child. As a Grandma I want to continue the tradition on with my Family and step into the shoes of my Parents. I cannot talk about my childhood without mentioning Beulah Baptist.




 4 Generations in front of Beulah all Military on Father's Day 2006


REBIRTH:   A renewed existence, activity, or growth: renaissance, revival.

It continues in me, all the way from my Slave Granddaddy Ike all the way down to me and mines. Our religion keeps on going in this family.






This is the book I grew up with. Daddy would keep this book at home also. I would practice and learn. 
Daddy's Baptist Standards and Hymnals with Responsive Readings, signed by my Present
Pastor Rev. B.T Bishop


One of my favorite hymn's is when they would announce "Let's all turn to page 389, At the Cross".

At the Cross, At the Cross.Where I first saw the light, and the burdens of my Heart rolled away.........


So as I get my "Rebirth" renewed, Let's all get Prepared and Renew our Strength!.......... As we sing with the Choir!




  



One of my Favorite Pastors Rev. E. Dewey Smith sings MY Song!At The Cross.




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