Gladys McCullough Alexander:
Looking Back at the Long Ago


Memories on Parade

Meet the Family

A Town is Born

The Growing McCullough Family

A Church Becomes a Reality

A Closing Word

The Man Called Guelcksie

A is for Arthur

The Coffin House

Poet and Philosopher -- Aged Seven

The Two Room School House

Open the Windows and Open the Doors

Sixteen Girls in White

Four Girls and Five Boys

The Poet in Hot Water

Windows Open for Edith

The Great Decision

Bo Peep




One morning our mother overheard the youngest child say, "This must be Sunday, I see we have a funny paper." She could stand it no longer and expressed her wish for a church. My father responded as he always responded to any wish of his beloved Nannie. He would build a church, and he did. He placed an order for lumber, windows and hardware, and the First Baptist Church of Alicia was built in 1897. There was no pastor, no organization ..... only volunteer leadership. But there was Sunday School, and a bell that rang out so all the town could hear. Literature was ordered - lesson leaflets and beautiful cards with memory verses. Christmas was marked by programs and carol singing and Easter was a season to love and remember.

Sometimes, in summer, church held what was called Protracted Meetings, when visiting preacher spent several days holding services. Five or six would be gets in our home, and we gladly gave up our upstairs rooms and slept on pallets on the floor down stairs. I was allowed to attend services at 10:00 a.m., and again in the evening. I always fell asleep and stumbled home over the wooden sidewalks, holding to my brother's hand. A new world was opened for me.

My father died in November, 1903. I sat at my mother's feet in the surrey and watched strong men carry his coffin down the steps of the church he had built. He was burried on his own land a quarter of a mile north of town, and on the west side of the railroad. Later his remains were moved to Roselawn Cemetery in Little Rock, where the family relocated when I was ten years old. Because Roselawn had a policy that all grave stones would be uniform, his original monument had to be left behind. It was toppled into the excavation and is still there. All the children memorized the inscription on the base, an inscription he had requested -- "I will not be afraid, though the dark grave I see -- For Jesus has died and has risen for me."

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Copyright 2011 Ellen Wilds, all rights reserved. Redistribution and/or reuse terms of license. Disclaimer for this document: "Gladys McCullough Alexander: Looking Back At The Long Ago is published here with the permission of Ellen S. Wilds and transcribed by her, December 1999. The materials published here are presented "as is", without warranty of any kind to the extent permitted by applicable law, and without any promise of validity and/or accuracy."