Mrs. Lucille Phillips told about moving to Hinesville on Sept. 1, 1936.
“There was no Baptist church here. We were very much disappointed because we just couldn’t understand why God had sent us to a place like this. We didn’t know a soul, so we had to put our five children in a church somewhere. They first started going to the Methodist Sunday School, then my husband started teaching Sunday School, the Men’s Bible Class at the Methodist Church. And I even sang in the choir even though I could not carry a tune. I guess they used anybody who could make a noise. After several months, we started going to the Flemington Presbyterian Church. We hadn’t been here but a short while before there were just two or three Baptists here that wanted a church and came to my house and talked it over one night. And we got busy to see how many Baptists we could find in Hinesville that wanted a church. Hinesville was 100 years old the year we came here. So, we started out and got 11 members, five from my own family. We organized this church in my own home. It’s the house in Hinesville that Mr. Robert Kitchings lives now (1976) that was my home. We paid $13 a month rent.”
Lucille’s husband was Claude L. Phillips, who had been a pastor of Stillmore Baptist Church and had moved to Hinesville in order to work for Fraser Lumber Company in McIntosh. Rev. Claude Phillips became the first pastor of the new Baptist church in Hinesville.
Hinesville First Baptist Church has come a long way since 1937! They provide many ministries in their church and the Goldenheirs is one of them.
Tuesday, Aug. 2, I had the privilege and honor of addressing the senior adults called the Goldenheirs of the Hinesville First Baptist Church.
This is a great group of senior citizens that meet once a month on the first Tuesday at noon. Seniors do not have to be a member of this church to attend.
Sometimes there may 20 and again there may be 45 in attendance.
Following a devotion and asking for anyone in need of prayer or sickness in the community, the group is led in prayer. Then the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States is recited and the Pledge to the Bible.
President Jane Cart presides over the meeting. Birthdays and anniversaries for the month are noted.
In August, George and Dorothy Mortiz will celebrate their 66th anniversary. This is certainly to be commended.
I learned that George is a Hebrew scholar and adds much to their meetings. A few other business meeting topics were brought up along with the previous meeting’s minutes and the treasure report given. Then it was time to eat.
Each person brings something to the covered dish meal and it is usually a great variety of dishes served.
There are some great cooks in the church. Each month they have a special speaker or program.
A few months ago, Ralph Dixon called and invited me to speak. I really enjoy speaking to the older citizens. When I worked in Hinesville, Gene and I attended many of the monthly meetings for years and missed them when we left.
I was delighted to renew acquaintances with many that were still there but was saddened to remember so many that have passed on from the group in the last few years. The pastor and music director attended the meeting also.
For my topic, I chose to speak on funny things that happened to me while growing up in rural Long County. We all need some humor in our lives.
This is one sample of what I told the group.
“In September of 1953, I walked into my first grade classroom at Ludowici High School and there was the oldest woman I had ever seen sitting at the desk. She had black shoes that strung up with stacked heels, long dark dress with little white lace collar, silver wire rimmed glasses and her silver black hair was long and plaited and pinned in a roll on her head. Years later, I learned she was only 52! After everyone was settled down, she called me to her desk to answer questions on the registration card.
“What is your father’s occupation?”
“Is a father the same as a daddy? And I do not know what that other big word means,” I timidly replied.
“Occupation means what your father does.”
“Oh, he plants and plows taters, feed the horse, chickens and pigs, hoes the garden, chops stove wood and firewood, reads the newspaper, goes fishing, hunts squirrels in the daytime and sometimes deer at night, smokes Camel cigarettes and dips Railroad Snuff.”
“No, honey, you don’t understand. What does your father do for money?”
“Ma’am, he says he never has any money but he does go off into the woods everyday and dips gum.”
“Dips gum? What do you mean?”
Oh no, I thought to myself. This old woman must be pretty dumb. She doesn’t know about dipping gum!”
I explained what I knew to her and then she said, “Oh, you mean he is a turpentine farmer.”
Boy, I could not wait to get home and tell Daddy that his name was also Father and that he was a turpentine farmer.
I’ll bet he did not know he had such a fancy job!
While talking about working in the woods I told them about this little incident.
My great Uncle Hamp, a bachelor, lived with us off and on and often helped Daddy in the woods dipping gum. One summer day that they would be too far off from home to walk back at noon, I helped Mama pack their eggs and biscuits in a sugar sack for lunch. I put a slice of cheese in one biscuit and fried egg.
That evening when they came home Daddy told us what had happened.
While they were eating lunch, Uncle Hamp asked Daddy, “Archie, do you have cheese in your biscuit? I have tried and tried and cannot bite this into.”
Daddy told him he did not have any and they pulled the cheese out and looked at it. It was rubber cheese! (Uncle Hamp was about 55 years old at the time and had just a few teeth.) Of course, they blamed me for putting the rubber cheese in the sandwich!
Margie Love writes Liberty Lore, a regular column on local history.