By Judy Brandon: Religion columnist
I have many happy memories of my childhood and growing up in a Baptist preacher’s home. My parents were the same at home as they were at church. I think I could describe my parents in this way. Mother went by the saying, “Obey the rules,” and Daddy always said, “Do what is right.”
Church was a huge part of our lives. Sunday school was always on Sunday morning and Training Union on Sunday night. I went to Training Union as regularly as I went to Sunday school. There were classes for all ages.
Training Union was important in our church. In Training Union, we had a lesson and studied the Bible and each of us had to have “parts” that we presented for that night. I remember in my fifth-grade Training Union class. We also had little slips of paper we filled out and we checked the appropriate boxes about our activities for the week: Present, on time, Bible reading, studied lesson, staying for church. I could mark all these and I would be 100 percent.
The rules weren’t bent — even for the preacher. My daddy had the habit of getting up early in the morning around 4 or 4:30 and he would go to his study on the other side of the house. He read his Bible and prayed and prepared for his sermon for the next Sunday. I guess even he couldn’t count he had read the Bible unless he had read designated Bible readings prescribed in the Training Union quarterly. Not even the pastor could get the 100 percent at Training Union.
Our family had a custom to have family Bible readings and prayer every night. Mother always rounded us up and we would pull out the Training Union quarterly. I can hear my mother saying, “Now how would it look for the preacher’s family not to be 100 percent? In other words, obey the rules. We would kneel around my parents’ bed and read whatever Bible reading was assigned for that day.
At that time, Susie was in Mrs. Dell Dickenson’s room at Highland Elementary School and was just learning to read. She always wanted to “practice” her reading and she always volunteered to read the Bible readings. I would always say, “Oh