Tag Archive for sounds of glory

I Know Where I’m Going

Have you ever visited a foreign country?

 

Other than the ports of call your Mom and I visited on the cruise you kids gave us, my only other foreign country that I’ve visited was a couple of little jumps over the Rio Grande into Mexico when the quartet sang down in Harlingen.

Rather than feeling like I was visiting a foreign country, I felt more like I was in South San Antonio, Texas.

 If I’d have had the money to travel, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it, but feeding, clothing, and educating four kids just kept my nose to the grindstone during my younger years.  I guess I’m weird, but I just don’t have any wanderlust in me anymore.  Some might think me strange, but my main desire and prayer is that my next stop will be to see the One I’ve been singing and preaching about for my whole life!

 Love, Pop

Leddo Me Tell You Something

What is your favorite memory of Uncle Eldred?

 

I’ve thought all day on your question about my favorite memory of your uncle Eldred, and there are so many I’ve not been able to settle on just one. I don’t know whether you know this or not, but his nickname for as long as I could remember was “Leddo,” which was an extrapolation of Uncle Bubba’s way of pronouncing Eldred. MaMaw said he would say “Weddo,” and they thought that was cute, but the boys changed it to Leddo as they got older.

With all Eldred’s excellent achievements in his life, and having known many of the men whom he trained to preach who reverently referred to him as Brother Stevens, it always surprised them to hear me refer to him as Eldred, or even more if I said something about Leddo!

One such person was a young man that Eldred referred to in the last sentence I heard him utter as he was about to drive away from our house, exactly one week before his tragic death on February 20, 1979. He said, “Nier, I can’t wait for you to meet a young man from Arkansas who’s in school at Preston Road…he loves to play the guitar and sing just like you!”

That young man’s name was Randy Green and, as you know, our friendship evolved into the formation of The Sounds of Glory Quartet. To this day, Randy still refers to Eldred as Brother Stevens. I’ve wondered many times over the years if Eldred has any consciousness in Heaven about how many lives have been touched through my getting to meet that young man a week after Leddo spoke those words!

That Ol’ Time Preachin’ Man

Since you knew your grandmother Nancy, what stories did she tell or make sure you knew regarding your grandfather, Texas Hulan Stevens?

 

My granny’s stories about my grandfather were basically the same ones I had heard from my father, his brothers, and his sisters.

He had the pioneer man’s work ethic to provide for his family, whom he loved deeply.  He referred to his wife as Nan, and he was known for his hard work as a farmer to provide for Nan and the kids. They had five kids: Hugh, Laura, Roy, Paul, and Myrtle.  Granddad’s father was named Sam Stevens.  Sam also was a farmer/preacher who was known for his booming voice. Through him, we also trace our ancestry to those early pioneers who came to Texas and that part of the new state (namely DeWitt and Lavaca Counties).

Many of them were Baptists, but they began to embrace the pleas of Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone, who were pleading with the pioneers that, rather than being divided into all different denominations, the cause of Christ would be better served if they adopted their plea to just call themselves disciples or Christians and to drop all (what they called) sectarian names. 

Eventually, toward the close of the 1800s, the ‘issues’ of instrumental music and whether churches could support the missionary society produced a division in the Stone / Campbell movement that resulted in some calling themselves The Christian Church and others Churches of Christ.

Grandad was so persuaded over those issues that, in 1916, he sent his 17 year-old son Roy to a college called Thorpe Springs Christian College.  It was founded by a man named Joseph Clark (ancestor of Madisonviile’s Clarks) to train young men to preach.

When home from school, Roy would travel via train (the old Rock Island Line) with his dad to lead singing for his preaching appointments up and down that line, and it was at Beasley, Texas that a beautiful young 14 year-old girl named Hallie Benton caught his eye. Within a year they were married. He was 20, and she was 15.

An interesting side-note:  Joseph Clark’s sons, Addison & Randolph Clark, brought a harpsichord into one of the worship services (against their father’s wishes). Joseph Clark got up and walked out. The brothers continued the school known as Add/Ran college, which eventually became TCU, identified with what we know as the Christian Church (which, back in the 1960s, added this to their name: Christian Church – Disciples of Christ).

Enough of that–added just so you’d know what drove my dad and his dad to be so committed to what they viewed as  ‘non-denominational’ preaching. Grandad was known for his love for God’s Word, his booming voice, and his conservative preaching.

When I traveled with the Sounds of Glory quartet, I can’t tell you how many people came up to me saying, “You know, Brother Tex baptized me,” or “Brother Roy baptized me.”. That was pretty cool!