Saturday, August 20, 2016

Church Bench

My daddy started Tennile First Church of the Nazarene in 1950 after finishing a two year program in Bible classes at Trevecca Nazarene College (now University). He described himself, "a poor, country boy who God saved and called to preach." 

He often told the story of hearing his name called out in prayer from the Youth Prayer Room. He was saved on a Wednesday and called to preach a week later while hoeing cotton. He said, I stood that hoe up in the dirt and went and told Mama that God had called me to preach and I had to go."  

Daddy had only the clothes on his back. He had to borrow the money from an uncle to buy a suit of clothes and a suitcase to put them in. He hitch-hiked his way to Nashville, TN from Scott, Ga. He worked to pay his way to college by digging ditches and being a night watchman. He lived on peanut butter and crackers and pork and beans.

He and two friends held a tent meeting the following summer and as they say the rest is history.

Daddy served the same church until his death. He was Sr. Pastor from 1950 until his retirement in 1997. He was appointed Pastor Emeritus and served as visitation pastor until his death in 2011. 

You can understand why this church pew is so special to me. These benches were added to the new church that was built in the late 60's.

It sat on my front porch back home. I had  painted it black. Its temporary dwelling has been my sister's home. My brother in law gave it a make-over. The boards were weather damaged. He glued and sanded and painted it.

Seating has been an issue when the kids come over. We only needed seating for two back home and now we need seating for at least six adults.

The bench will stay. Maybe a farmhouse table is in the future to seat everyone including the grandchildren. It's my favorite spot in our new home.

As the grandchildren gather, each one will hear the story of their great Grandaddy's legacy and where the church bench came from. 


  1. What a special memory:). Love the bench! So many will enjoy it for years to come. Have a blessed Sunday dear friend. Hugs

  2. An awesome legacy your daddy left. I'm glad you have that pew as a reminder. It is a blessing to have so many to fit around a table. God bless you, friend. Have a blessed Sunday.

  3. How awesome is that, Bonnie!!! I like the table you have now and understand why you need extra seating/table space. I have a round country table like yours that hubby had made for me for my 40th birthday and he also had a leaf made for it and now when needed (rare) it sits 12-16. Have a beautiful day, friend...thank you for the smiles.

  4. Love the story about your daddy, love the bench! My daddy was a preacher too....a Mennonite. No education beyond 8th grade for him. But the call to serve was strong and he studied his Bible. Lots of people were saved and encouraged to grow in their Christian walk. Its one more thing we have in common, my friend :) oh, and my family (sister, nieces, nephews in several states) are connected to the Nazarine church.
    Sending my love to you today! Blessings

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this special story with us. I've always wanted a church pew/bench but now I don't have room for one. It's such a beautiful piece with a lot of history.


  6. That bench is a true treasure! I love the memories it holds and that you are now making more memories using it.

  7. That is a lovely story - lucky grandchildren to have had such a grandpa and such a wonderful legacy of faith. The bench is a treasure!

  8. Such a lovely memory! Nice bench ♥


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