Church and Family Memories
Sylvia Blalock Abernathy
Born in 1915, I have witnessed many changes in church worship. The earliest meetings that come to mind were held in a one-room country school house, the means of transportation, a one-horse buggy. My father did the song leading and taught Bible class. The strongest memory of him with his Bible lying across his chest were it fell when he dropped off to sleep at night. Born on "Lookout" mountain in Georgia, he joined the wagon train to Texas around 1886. Like many of his siblings he was a musician. Family history has it that people came in their wagons for miles around just to hear him perform on his violin. His main interest, however was in vocal music following his graduation from the Showalter's Musical Institute in August, 1896. My mother and father married in Oklahoma in 1902, and he was baptized into the church the following year. Migrating back to Texas, he made many stops along the way teaching singing schools. Not only were both of my parents musicians they both composed religious songs that were published. Two song books are still in my possession with songs written by my mother. Their lives, so closely intertwined with the church, have been an abiding influence on mine.