“Growing Up On Dump Ground Road” is the story of my childhood days and the life lessons that I learned there that helped shape me into the person that I am today. A major force in my early life was the powerful influence and the prominent people of First Baptist Church of Rockdale, TX. With its huge columns and stained glass windows that stretched almost to heaven, that place and those folks had a huge impact on me.
As a young boy, my place in the worship service was seated next to my mother. In time, I graduated to being able to sit with my friends if they were seated with one of their parents. My home church was the kind of place where everyone looked after everyone else’s kids. So, it wasn’t uncommon for someone seated behind you to tap you on the shoulder or pull your ear if you misbehaved. When this happened, you dare not tell your parents that someone else had to correct you in church. That would only lead to more severe punishment when you got home.
True freedom in worship came when I got to be a teenager and moved to the balcony with my pals. This was also a test of my spiritual maturity, as I was away from the watchful eyes of my mother and my many “adopted mothers.” We generally sat on the front row of the balcony, which had a small modesty curtain hanging from a rail. This provided a small measure of privacy from the prying eyes of my sister Bonnie, in the choir, who reported on my conduct after church each Sunday. One memorable event occurred when two brothers decided to run the clock forward a few minutes in hopes of getting out of church early. When our pastor, Bro. D. D. Simpson, stepped to the pulpit to make the announcements, he politely called the brothers by name and told them to adjust the clock to the correct time.
My experiences growing up in the church at FBC, Rockdale taught me that people are always watching what we do. Even when we think that no one is around who knows us, we should still be on our best behavior. We never can tell who might be looking on to see if our conduct matches our confession. Even more important is the fact that our Heavenly Father is always watching over us.
We can never escape His watchful eyes, nor should we ever want to be hidden from Him!
Serving in love,