Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advent 2014

Saturday, December 13


             My father was brought up in Athens in a strict Southern Baptist Church and he tried to live according to the teachings of the church.  My mother was brought up in a liberal Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  Her pastor was Dr. Duke McCall who became president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville when it was still a bastion of liberal and scholarly teaching.  When my mother was a teenager, summers were spent at Ridgecrest.

They met at a USO dance in Louisville during World War II while my father was stationed at Fort Knox.  After the war, they moved to Savannah with my older brother.  Several years later, I was born at Telfair Hospital in Savannah.

When I was a young child, my parents decided to sell their old Chevrolet for $50.00.  My father told me that he had to spend the day at the Armory where he was commandant.  He said, "Since I can't be here today, I will pay you a ten percent commission, which is $5.00, if you sell the car."  Well, I didn't live up to my part of the bargain.  When a buddy stopped by and suggested that we hike over to Hunter Field and see some friends, I was eager to go.

When I got home, my father had returned and told me that the car had been sold.  He could see how disappointed and ashamed I was.  He handed me a $5.00 bill and said, "The car sold and that is more important than whether you were here or not."

In 1959, we learned that a new broad-minded Baptist Church was forming on the Southside, and were instantly interested.  We attended the first worship service in the cafeteria of Heard School, then joined and became charter members.  The summer of 1959 would be another hot, sweltering one in Savannah, and we had saved the money to air condition our home.  That spring my parents met with seven other couples and they all decided to evenly divide the cost of the architect fees and down payment for building Memorial Baptist Church.  There went our air conditioning!

Christmas of 1959 was one of the best ever because we knew we had helped our church and were well on our way to saving enough to have air conditioning by the summer of 1960.

As a child, I did not always understand the actions of my parents.  Sometimes I was confused, sometimes proud, sometimes overwhelmed with feelings of unworthiness, and other times overtaken with feelings of great anticipation.  Perhaps it is the same as a child of God.  So many emotions come to mind as I consider the great mystery of God and God's care for all of us.  Although my emotions are many, I am grateful!

- Christopher Cooper


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