Strolling Down Memory Lane


By Cindy Hart

Dairy Boy. Jim-mie’s Grocery & Market. Sharpe’s. Gibble Gas. The family home. The Church. On our way home from district conference, my husband and I recently took a stroll down memory lane in Okemah, his hometown. I’ve heard many stories of his childhood and younger years, but now I can visualize where some of these things happened. A flood of memories invaded our thoughts as we drove by the family home, and stopped at the Dairy Boy across the street for a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone. A few blocks down the street was Jimmie’s Grocery, formerly known as Tipton’s Grocery. In the same area is the old armory and the high school baseball and football stadium known as “Pecan Bowl”.

My husband occasionally tells the story of the family’s house burning. He recently told us that he heard a noise in the house while it was burning. He opened the front door and ran. When he looked back, his Dad came stumbling out the door. After the fire, he, along with his mother, father and four siblings, lived in a two-room apartment until they could remodel their house. Sharpe’s Department Store was another landmark, as well as the old Gibble Gas Station. As we drove by the United Pentecostal Church in Okemah, another flood of memories came rushing into our minds as we remembered the many Saturday night church services during our dating years.

Healings. Prayer Meetings. Camp Meetings. Youth Camps. Conferences. Church Services.

We’ve all seen or heard of miraculous heal-ings, people being healed of such things as rheumatoid arthritis, cancers, warts, kidney stones, heart conditions, rotator cuff tears and blindness. Oh, the days of the old fashioned prayer meetings. Some were held in homes, others in churches. I remember coming home from a rally and going to the church with several others from our church and praying until the early morning hours.

The camp ground brings memories of the saw-dust floors, open air tabernacle and sitting outside the tabernacle in the lawn chairs with my grandparents. I remember hearing the shouts of joy as a new born soul came running down the hill to call or tell their parents or pastor they had received the Holy Ghost. Youth camp brings memories of more youthful events, such as horseshoe games and the staff versus the camper’s softball game on the hill.

As a child, going to General Conferences was one of the highlights of the year. Mom and Dad always tried to take at least one day to do a little sightseeing. Some of these places include Disneyland, Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore, and the Liberty Bell. If it had not been for General Conferences, I’m sure I would never have visited some of those places.

Do you remember the church services where the Shekinah Glory of God would fall upon us and worship would overtake the service. You could almost guarantee that a victory march would happen when we sang, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set”. (Proverbs 22:281).

I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t want to live in the past, but I am very thankful for the heritage that I have been given. Are you making memories and remembering the ancient landmarks which have been set for us?

The above article, “Strolling Down Memory Lane,” is written by Cindy Hart. The article was excerpted from Forward Magazine.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.