Memories of My Home Church
Memories of my home church. I made contact with my home church Second Baptist Church, Columbia, MO. My dad (B. Daniel Clater, Dallas, TX) was the pastor of that church for seven years until 1963. It was here that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized by my father into the family of God. As a PK (Pastor’s Kid) I had to participate in everything – whether I wanted to or not! I was a member of the Junior Ushers; I sang in the Children’s Choir, called, The Cherubs for Christ. I had to attend BTU training at 6:00 p.m. every Sunday evening which I still remember with fondness, even though I missed playing football with my friends from school because of “church.”
Our church was unique in one aspect. My dad had a professional xylophone player who would wheel his instrument up near the the choir stand. He was always neatly dressed, including his pressed white shirt, and his yellow paisley vest. At Altar Call, my Dad would ask him to play the old gospel classic, “Amazing Grace.” As I recall, it was very moving, even for a 7-year boy. I looked at some of the archived photos and saw some familiar childhood faces and smiled at the Cherub Choir robes! They were white with very large red bows. Someone at the church made them for us.
When I saw photographs of my home church, it brought back instant memories in my mind. Across the street on the west side was a gasoline station that had a candy vending machine. I can’t tell you how many quarters I spent buying Sugar Daddies, Nestle Crunches and 3 Musketeer bars at that machine. I was supposed to put my offering in Sunday School and then church, but somehow I was always short of money every time the offering plate came my way. I will say this though, my current dentist sees me regularly because of my youthful indulgences.
Two doors down on the east side was a pizza parlor where they cut their pizzas in squares rather than in slices. After every Sunday evening service, Dad would treat the family to Italian sausage pizza.
The church’s exterior looks just like how I remembered it! Brick facade, stained glass windows and a large red brick spire on the south side of the church made Second Baptist a landmark edifice in Columbia, MO.
The current pastor has done a wonderful job restoring the interior with new pews, restoring the stained glass windows and installing classic lighting fixtures and beautiful carpeting. I praise God for the current shepherd of the church who tends to his flock with care and with a heart toward people.
During my prayer time this evening, I will reflect back on my former home church with fond memories. I will ask God to allow me to pastor the flock at Mount Olive Church with the same type of way, so that when the children that we baptize will look back on us with the same kind of warmth and humility as I had looking back at Second Baptist. May God grant us His Peace.