Hanging by a Prayer - chuckrayconner

Hanging by a Prayer Church of the Lord Jesus 11/17/2007

I called Don early in the week thinking that I may head to Jolo. He had not heard if there were services going on but would call around and see what he could find out. He did tell me that Dewey had moved to Logan to live with a relative as they were concerned about his health.

I called again on Saturday morning and spoke with Connie and they still had not heard anything. She encouraged me to come down and visit and since that is always part of the plan, it was decided.

The 3 ½ hour drive was easy but long. It was a clear and sunny day with temperatures in the 50’s, very tolerable. I made one stop just past Logan at a flea market, cruised through but didn’t find anything that I needed to spend money on but it is always a social event meeting and talking to the sellers.

When I arrived in Roderfield at Don and Connie’s, Connie was on the phone and I sat and read a little of the paper while she finished. After she hung up she had a big smile and hug. Don had gone to haul a car for his brother and would return soon. I had brought roses for Connie to brighten her day. We caught up on her family news. Her grandson Shawn had gotten married and regained custody of his children that Don and Connie had taken care of for almost a year. The house was certainly quieter but the life they brought to it was missing. Alyiha and Colten are glad to be back with their daddy.

Connie and I shared a couple of beers in conversation until Don drove up with his brother. They fiddled with a car for a bit and then drove off again only to return in a short while. They are replacing a transmission and were also gathering the needed parts, new clutch, etc.

I met Don’s brother whose name escapes me at the moment. When he learned that I was down to attend a service at Jolo he told me that he had done a masters level paper on the church! I was excited and asked if he would share that so I could see his perspective. He doesn’t have it saved in any electronic format but if it is a decent paper then I would put it on the website.

Connie fixed some dinner for us, we had potato salad, green beans (Don ate chicken livers!) and she also made fresh brownies for dessert….wow, very tasty. I had been snacking on grapes and crackers since I had gotten there. Connie always has plenty of food.

She had not been feeling very well today and as it came closer to the time to leave for Jolo, I suggested they stay at home and rest.

The ride down to Jolo in the dark on extremely winding roads is always a challenge. You have to pay attention, there are no berms. You can either go onto the mountain side or over a bank into the river. I rarely see a deer here as in road kill but plenty of little critters flattened along the way. In Roane County the driving can be dangerous because of the multitude of deer who seemingly want to commit suicide by vehicle.

As I came through Bradshaw there was a huge funeral and were probably 75 cars parked along the road. Bradshaw can’t have more than a few hundred in population.

As I arrived at the church, there were only two other vehicles there and my parking spot next to the well-house was waiting for me. Inside there were only seven others and throughout the service no one else came. The space looked empty. All of my photos were gone, only the drawing of Ray and one small color photo of Aileen remained.

Harvey Payne was ministering tonight. I have known Harvey for most of the seven years that I have been coming here. He is probably in late twenties or early thirties, married (Theresa) with a small daughter (Hanna) and both were here tonight. Harvey and I spoke for a while, catching up on Dewey and others in the congregation who we both know. He stated that he was holding service every Wednesday and every third Saturday.

Others in attendance were his brother (William) and girlfriend (Vicky) along with Harvey’s mother in law Pearl Dawson and her friend Ruth Kenney. During the service both Pearl and Ruth sang while Harvey played guitar. Ruth also played the piano and drums at times. As

Harvey opened the service he asked for prayers for others. I asked to have Dewey and Connie in the congregation’s prayers.

During the service these songs were sung: “Have You Got It”,  “Nothing Can Hold Me Here”,  “Run Devil Run”,  “I’m Getting Ready to Go”,  “I Will Win this battle”,  “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Do it Like Jesus” ,and “Holy Spirit Flow through Me”.

Later in the service Harvey began to offer his preaching. He took a few passages from the bible and then elaborated on them in his own style. He walked up and down the aisle and around the podium and floor while giving his sermon. There were a few raised hands at times and heads nodding. Harvey called out my name several times as he was pointing out messages and also addressed the congregation as “church”. He preached for about 30-40 minutes before calling the service to a close with prayer.

We spoke afterwards and I thanked him for the service. He introduced his brother William to me and pointed out who everyone was. I got his phone number so that in the future I can call to confirm services and find out about others who we know in the old congregation.

I took only about twelve photos at the service. It seemed a very private and personal service and I didn’t want to be intrusive.