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It seems like forever since I have written, but this has been a crazy month for us. Along with the normal chaos that comes with having the last name Winfrey, we had a couple of surprise road trips to Atlanta so we could pay our respects. The first Thursday of the month was the viewing of Cousin Julia who was part of Michael’s family. Although we were not that close to her, we did spend some time with her over the past few years. She and her husband “Uncle Donald” would drive up to Mountain City GA and go to our church so they could support us. We also met with them near their house for lunch and went to their house for Uncle Donald’s surprise birthday party. Those few memories are good ones for us, and I am sure that Michael has many more memories since she grew up knowing them.
The next Thursday was a hard one for me. We had to drive back to Atlanta for the viewing of Jerry Harbin. For those who live outside the Atlanta area, they may not know who he is, but for Christian Church people in Atlanta, we knew him as that guy you called when you wanted somebody to lead the song service.
Jerry Harbin was the music director at Mt. Gilead which was where we had camp meetings for the area churches. He served from 1977 to 1988, and those camp meetings were well attended by churches from a variety of denominations. We were attending the Methodist Church when we went to the camp meetings.
Along with leading the music at the camp meetings, Jerry was the main song leader for revivals at the Christian Churches in the area. A revival needed a good preacher for the sermons, but it also needed a good song leader to get the people ready for the good sermons. Jerry was that guy! I could go on and on about him, but I need to get to the point I am trying to make.
The death of Jerry Harbin is another indication that the “Good Ole Days” are behind us.
Although I am only 42 years old, I have several great memories of the glory days of churches working together for the common goal of glorifying God. I remember going to Atlanta Christian College on Sunday afternoons to sing with other church choirs as we practiced for the “Singspiration on Steroids” that was held in their gym. I don’t remember the official name, but that was a great time for the church choirs to gather and use their talents for the Lord. I’m sure that there are still combined choirs going on, but I doubt that they are anything like what we had especially since we no longer have the common meeting place, but we won’t talk about Atlanta Christian College moving.
Along with the combined choirs, there were several youth groups meeting together for rallies, lock-ins, service projects, concerts, and anything else we felt was going to help our teenagers grow closer to the Lord. I still think it is rather interesting that Michael and I attended many of these events but never met each other until almost 20 years later.
Combined choirs, youth groups working together, Paul Carrier preaching at Kenwood Christian Church, Tom Morgart preaching at Jonesboro, Keith Bunn preaching at Tucker, Keith Davenport preaching at Fairburn, Jerry Harbin leading the singing for the revivals, hanging out at the college with friends, going to Jesus’ Place in downtown Atlanta to hand out clothes after the church service, conducting church services at Christian City on Sunday afternoon, these are all part of the “Good Ole Days” that the Wee Ones will never get a chance to experience.
The Wee Ones can only experience the “Good Ole Days” from a distance as I share stories of the past.
This is the sad reality of life because we all grow old and with old age come the complications of trying to keep the world from spinning so we can enjoy those special moments one last time before the Lord takes us home. Like I said already, I am only 42 years old, but there have been so many changes in my lifetime, I feel like I am 3 times my age.
With all of the changes going on, what will the “Good Ole Days” look like for the Wee Ones?
Part of me wants to lament the changes because the Wee Ones are not going to have the same experiences I had, but there is another part of me rejoicing because they will have brand new experiences that they will call their own! Of course, the problem is that we have the responsibility of making sure those new experiences are happening. As the “Adult” generation, have we really accomplished anything that would create a lasting impression on the future generations?
Will anybody look back at our years and call them the “Good Old Days” when they share stories with their children?
I don’t really have a solution or even a suggestion at this point, but I can say this much. If we continue to waste our time fighting over the right way to do church, we will lose the opportunity to be church for our kids. And there won’t be anything “Good” about that!