Charles Finney: Grandpa - The Baptizing

Thursday, June 10, 2021 - by Charles Finney

It was late July. Hot and dry. The grass that once was tall in the hay field was now ready to be cut and bailed into bales of hay. All that was left was to haul it from the hay field to the barn. Grandpa said his job was to stack the bales of hay and my job was to help bring the bales to him in the wagon pulled by his old mule.

All was going find till about the tenth load. An hour till sun set. As we approached the hay barn, we heard a thump. A slight moan. Grandpa done fell in the hay loft.

About two stories from the ground. We all went rushing to check on him. He looked dazed. So I asked him if he knew who the president was. Grandpa said, “Not personally.” He followed with a reply, “and I did not vote for him either.”

Grandpa then said, “Well I guess I done scared everyone. I could tell you all thought I was dead. I was laying here remembering the circuit preacher tell of Paul and one day when he was preaching." Acts 20-9 - And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.10And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing himsaid, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.11When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.12And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

Grandpa said, "They were glad he was alive, and so I was glad to be alive. Let's go to the house and wash up. Tonight is the night the Deacons meet to talk about all the new church members and needing a baptismal."

Even though I was just a kid, Grandpa thought it be a good idea for me to go to the Deacon's meeting. I guess he figured I could see how men discuss things and how they could work together. The meeting started with Grandpa, cousin Jordan River, Second cousin J.R. (Jordan River number two as the name Jordan River was already taken), the circuit preacher and myself.

The preacher opened up by saying, "We have had several people wanting to join the church. They have asked when they could get baptized. Knowing most folks either ride a mule or come in a wagon and that the river is four miles away, I think it's time we consider getting a baptismal tub." Everyone agreed, but Grandpa asked where could we get the money to buy one. Then where would we put it. Our little church was only twenty-four feet by twenty-four feet. Just slabs of lumber nailed together to make a building. It only contained four pews.

About that time little J.R (Jordan River number two) spoke up and said, “I can get us a baptizing tub and it won't cost us a thing and I know how and where to put it in the church." Grandpa looked worried for the first time tonight. The circuit preacher called for a quick vote and it passed with Cousin Jordan River, Second cousin J.R. (Jordan River number two) and the preacher agreeing. Grandpa remained silent. The circuit preacher said he be back in three months and hope we had everything taken care of by then.

I guess now a month or two had passed. Grandpa seemed kinda out of sorts. He was not smiling. I asked him what was wrong. Grandpa said, “One thing I hate more than a liar, it is a thief.” I asked what was stolen. Grandpa said, "You never believe. I went out to help your Grandma feed her chickens and when I opened the screen door, it just fell." I asked him how that happened. Grandpa said some one done stole all the door hinges off all the screen doors. The front door, the back door and two side doors. Grandpa said, “Now what any one want with that many hinges. Twelve hinges.

Suddenly we heard an old 30s model truck come up Grandpa's long dirt drive. It was the circuit preacher. He said he got a call and came as quick as he could. Grandpa asked “What call”? The circuit preacher said there been a rash of screen door hinge stealing going around.” Grandpa said “Yep, they got me too” I am ashamed to say I just was not watching for no thieving. Revelation 16-15 - Behold, I come as a thief. Blessedishe that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

The circuit preacher said, “Well Sunday, I gonna preach on it." He left.

Sunday morning Grandpa and the whole family went to church. Second cousin J.R. (Jordan River number two) had said a baptizing tub we would have today. On our way to the church house, Grandpa looked over at the lower part of his pasture field. He gasped. He said, “Them thieves done stole my cattle water trough. Now after church, I gonna get the sheriff.”

The organ music was playing as Grandpa entered the church. He looked toward the back of the church. There stood a wooden box with what looked like a baptismal. Grandpa went closer and look into the box. There it was. His cattle watering trough... He wondered how it got in here. He then looked at the back wall of the church. It looked like some one done sliced a part of it and he could see what looked like hinges. Now he knew where his hinges went. Someone done hinged up an opening in the back wall and put his watering trough in there as a baptismal.

Grandpa was about to say something where the circuit preacher said it was time for the baptizing. First up, was a little girl, maybe nine years of age. The preacher was saying his part and the little girl began giggling. The preacher dunked her and she came up laughing with joy. One older sister in the back of the church yelled out, “The joy of the Lord is upon her.” Psalm 32:11 - Be glad in theLord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Now came time for her mother. She was led to into the dunking tub. She begin to shutter. She then started crying. The preacher dunked her. She came up shrieking in a language unknown to any church member present. She jump out of the baptizing tub and ran to the back of the church and out the door.

The circuit preacher was a gasp. Grandpa was sitting in his pew and quieting laughing. I asked him “what was that all about?” Grandpa whispered in my ear, “That's my cow's watering trough he dunked them into. I know cousin J.R. (Jordan River number two) done stole all the hinges. He made an opening in the back of the church wall and placed the trough inside. He did it all but one thing. I asked Grandpa, “What was that?” Grandpa said he forgot to remove the tadpoles out of the trough. Them things done grew into little frogs. That what the little girl was giggling about and they done scared her mother into another religion.

That Sunday afternoon a new church sign was nailed to the old cornfield church building. It said F. R. O. G. Cornfield Church. I asked Grandpa, 'FROG church?" He said, "Yes. F is to fully R is to rely O. is on. G. is God. Fully Rely On God."

Proverbs 3-5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

---

Charles Finney
ccfinney@yahoo.com


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It was late July. Hot and dry. The grass that once was tall in the hay field was now ready to be cut and bailed into bales of hay. All that was left was to haul it from the hay field to the barn. ... (click for more)



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