Mt. Olivet Presbyterian Church in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is a person of my preferred church buildings. Hardly issues that I have by no means been there. Or that each individual time I spell Presbyterian, I have to glance it up.
(Really don’t decide me: I’m from South Carolina.)
Mt. Olivet is a region church in the middle of town, just off Richmond Avenue in Staunton, Va. Broad inexperienced lawn. L-formed brick, white eves, white steeples, black shingles. Conventional outside the house and in, where a piano accompanies the dozen or so volunteer choir customers to lead the congregation — 290 would be loaded-to-the-brim — in our inspired aged typical hymns.
Time has adjusted some factors. There is a strip shopping mall just down the street with AT&T and Sprint and GameStop and Firehouse Subs retailers. Lowe’s and Wal-Mart are not much absent. And right across the street is a Kentucky Fried Chicken, tricky by the church’s cemetery, a metaphorical reminder that The Sweet By-and-By will normally scent like dinnertime on any Southern Sunday.
Anyway, which is Mt. Olivet on the outside the house. Mt. Olivet inside of is the very same, exact same as when the Statler Brothers, the most awarded quartet in region tunes historical past, started off likely to their hometown church as infants far more than 70 several years in the past. And that’s why it is a individual most loved. This is where their faith took root. This was their harbor.
In retirement from the music enterprise, it is their port.
Guide singer Don Reid teaches Sunday faculty there, at the exact same church were his mother and Mrs. Brown and some other people, such as his faith and Bible mentor, Jack Young, taught him. Alto/baritone harmonizer extraordinaire Phil Balsley is the Economical Secretary, using care of the figures just as he did for the Statlers on all individuals award-profitable many years on the highway. And till he handed absent in the spring of 2020, Harold Reid, the group’s founder and large brother to Don, didn’t skip a Sunday.
So … not to brag, but I’m the unofficial North Louisiana press agent for the Statlers. That their final concert was 20 decades in the past is an inconsequential actuality speedily brushed apart in this bureau when there is Statler-relevant details you require to know. Like, for instance, that Don Reid’s latest ebook, “Life Classes,” is out, available, and on the lookout to uncover a put in your heart, arms, and library.
Turns out that “Life Lessons” is a little one of pandemic necessity. Reid has taught a Sunday university class at Mt. Olivet for much more than 30 many years.
“It’s just a sq. area in the bottom of the church,” he reported by phone a single current autumn morning, only an hour or so before his weekly Wednesday lunch at Staunton’s Depot Grill with sons Langdon and Debo. (“I’m a Cobb salad male.”)
His “Friendship Class” users sit in a square around the wall so they experience each other and can much more simply focus on the day’s lesson. Outdated College.
Or, Old Sunday university.
But in March 2020 when congregations had been suggested not to obtain and that regime was put on hold, Reid began writing an electronic mail lesson to send out on Saturday nights to each and every member. Individuals classes, with some revisions, make up “Life Classes,” quick essays from particular expertise, some of them more alongside the traces of commentary, all of them heartfelt and simply comprehended, grounded in scripture.
I was heading to browse a single a working day for 90 times but — could not tempo myself. Ended up zipping via it, highlighting alongside the way.
“I just hope people appreciate the e book,” he stated. “It’s bought a whole lot of me in it, a large amount of own touches to it. It received me as a result of the pandemic, I know that. Fantastic treatment for me in producing it and obtaining a aim to meet up with.
“I hope absolutely everyone obtained as a result of all this pandemic craziness,” he reported, including that his wish was that “Life Lessons” would enable in that induce, that the shared tales would “fulfill, describe, enlighten — even tranquil, heal, and entertain.”
I have read it. Each and every phrase. And they do.
The 6 x 9, 308-site reserve is $25 and can be acquired at donreid.net or where ever you get your publications. (A single of y’all remember to notify Santa, make sure you.)
In it you’ll go through about how to discover humor in the Bible (“The Lord by no means meant for religion to dress in a lengthy experience,” the great Hovie Lister of the Statesmen Quartet often stated), you’ll be reminded that your existence is “a letter from Christ,” and you will read tributes to his mom and dad.
Best of all, he presents you research, and thoughts you can share with your family. Like, listing a number of points your father taught you. Or, write down the 3 greatest close friends you have experienced in your lifetime or in this instant, and contact each and every one particular to inform them what they imply to you. Or, engage in this New Year’s Eve sport with your spouse and children and question them what are three terms that finest describe the earlier 12 months for you, or identify one particular thing you want to do future yr that you didn’t get to do this calendar year.
“My honest want,” Reid writes, “is that you discover a thing in every single of these chapters that makes you pause, believe, and want to read through the future a single.
“May each individual lesson in our lives be a blessing.”
Talking of blessings, you are specifically that to me. This is my final column for Gannett. 1st a person was April of 1990. Back again in all those times we were being traveling to three or four times a week, and considering the fact that Oct 2008, only on Sundays. Gannett has been so superior to me, particularly since none of this was rehearsed under no circumstances as a child did I picture performing this. So most of all, thank you time and yet again for studying my stuff and hanging in there with me and giving me a further chance on times when I died on the desk. I’ll however be all over and crafting and hope we can maintain in contact. Just felt I should leave just before I wore out my welcome. Y’all are the most effective. “Gomer says hey.”
Call Teddy at [email protected]