Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My wife's graduation

Last Saturday (May 19) my wife graduated from Columbia International University (CIU) with her M.A.

She is the 6th member of our family to graduate from CIU -
my brother Billy (M.Div. '99),
myself (M.A. '99),
our daughter Sarah (B.S. '04),
our son-in-law Lee (B.S. '05),
our daughter Charity (B.A. '06)

Gloria and Dr. Murray - President of CIU

Gloria, me and Dr. Hulbert - the first school that Dr. Hulbert taught in after graduating from Dallas in 1950 was London Bible Institute in Ontario, Canada. My dad was a student of his back then, and both my brother and I took a class from him while we were in seminary.

Gloria and Dr. McKechnie

Monday, May 7, 2007

Photographic history of Cataboo Baptist Church

From my dad's memoirs:
The Cataboo Baptist Church was a large shack with a thatch roof, down on the sea level in a swamp area. On one occasion during a service the floor suddenly dropped about six inches while I was preaching. We had some precious times in that old building, with many salvation decisions and baptisms. The church had bought a new piece of land and Jim (Green) was eager to begin construction on a building.

after a Baptism
those dressed in white were the believers who were baptized

We baptized in the YS River a couple miles down the road from the church. I recall the first baptism, how I was a bit apprehensive. Alligators frequented the spot, and would come up onto the road in the evenings searching for stray goats, chickens, and small farm animals. However, the church folk said they would seldom see them early in the day.

We baptized at seven o'clock in the morning. One of our deacons would help me into the river near the bridge, and stay with me till the baptism was over. As I entered the water I stared into the tall morass for any sight of alligators. The water was clear at first, then muddied as the candidates came and went. the people had built a small "changing room" near the river bank, out of thatch for the candidates and myself, and these were precious times with the people. A great service followed in the thatch roof church, and no one seemed concerned about time.

The new building would be made from cut limestone, which was easy for a stone mason to work with. A Christian mason was located and before Jim left to join Edna in Oshawa, a 20X40 foundation was built. Jim had introduced me as a builder simply because I had a truck that could transport materials.

One of the problems we faced in the building project was mosquitoes. It was a 17-mile drive from our home at Rock Cliffe, and when I arrived at 4am each day I could hear the steady low roar from the pests. We would build a smudge fire upwind and the smoke would help to drive them away. The men from the Cataboo community went to work early in the morning planting rice along the river. I would prepare the materials, and they would come to church to work on the building after they finished planting, arriving between 8 and 9.

We continued to build until the church ran out of funds, and then began a building project at Forest Mountain Baptist Church. I found the same enthusiasm there, and we worked many long hours, even spending an entire week near the end of the project on the site without going home. I slept in the church, cooked breakfast on a small kerosene burner, and the women of the church cooked lunch and dinner for the men and myself. There were many nights that I told the men that I would work as late as they were able to, and quite often we never quit until 11:30pm.

The new building at Cataboo was finally finished and dedicated in 1955.

the crowd at the dedication service

front row, L to R
Jack McKillop (my dad)
Leander Robbin (Benton Street Baptist Church - Kitchener, ON)
Jim Green (missionary)
G. W. Smith (pioneer missionary with the work in Jamaica)

another view from a few years later

Currently they are in the process of constructing a new building around the old.

As I reflect on those early days, it seems that I may have been thinking too small, not anticipating the potential for growth.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Dr. Roberson - now with the Lord

Dr. Roberson was the Founder and President of Tennessee Temple University, Chattanooga, TN. I went to Temple in 1975 as an 18 year old, and felt sorely out of place, primarily because I was an MK. I only stayed 1 semester before being asked by Dr. Roberson to leave (that is a nice way of saying that I was expelled).

I returned 2 years later, stayed another semester, then transferred to Northland Baptist Bible College. There was a young lady at Northland that I had a strong desire to be close to. I stayed at Northland for a single semester, and moved back to Chattanooga to prepare for our wedding. Gloria and I were married in June 1979, started school that fall and only stayed in school for about a month.

We never expected to resume our schooling, but in 1985 I returned to Temple, with Gloria returning in 1986. We graduated in 1990 and 1991 respectively. For me it was 15 years after I had begun school.

I am grateful for the education that I received at Temple, and thankful for Dr. Roberson. It was always a pleasure to see him on campus and to shake his hand.

Dr. Lee Roberson Now with the Lord.
Report from Dr Roberson's funeral
On the Passing of Lee Roberson

Thursday, May 3, 2007

1952 - Jack and Doris McKillop arrive in Jamaica

From my dad's memoirs.

It was July 14, 1952 that we loaded the largest airplane that we had ever seen in our lives, a Trans Canada Airline North Star. It even had four motors! And it held 44 passengers! We sat in the tail section, supposing that was the safest place. All aboard with its brakes on the four huge props were screaming, and the plane vibrating like a huge bird eager for flight. It would be ten hours before touch down, counting a one-hour layover in Tampa.

I slept much of the way from Tampa to Kingston. Awakened in time to keep looking for any sign of our little island. Then suddenly I saw little lights glimmering here and there in an ocean of darkness. I bowed my head and prayed, "Dear Lord, make me a little light in that ocean of sin and darkness. Knowing the layout of the airport and runway, I picked out the runway as we circled for landing. It was 9:30 P.M. Peering into the darkness I saw the harbor coming toward us rapidly. Then the touch down, it seemed barely on the end of the runway.

Jim Green, the missionary that we were to relieve for his first furlough, was there to meet us. Edna, Jim's wife, had gone home prior to this for medical reasons. Their first child, a little girl, had been born up in the hills without the help of a doctor, and lived about 15 hours. They called her Lucy. Now Edna was several months pregnant with their second child, and decided since it was furlough time, she would go home early for the birth in Ontario.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Congratulations to my wife on her graduation

Gloria took her final exam on Sunday, and is now finished her graduate program.

You can read her April 30th blog, and see a picture of her Kindergarten teacher and class. In the picture she is on the right in the third row.

Congratulation's dear, you've come a long way!