Remember when we didn’t have city water and had to fill the baptismal pool bucket by bucket? What a process!
Remember when we had the tent revival to start our church? Our first convert was the kid who lost control of his bicycle and brought the tent down!
Remember when that boy brought firecrackers to church in his shirt pocket? The sunlight through the stained glass window set them off! He was afraid to move because his mother would know but the smoke streaming from his pocket was hard to hide.
These memories and more are priceless to the church’s story. They bring life and color to facts and dates. Senior citizens are a wonderful historical resource and are glad to share memories of people, pastors, events and most of all, how they have seen God at work in the church and in their lives and the lives of their family.
The perspectives will vary and that’s valuable because none of us see things the same way. A newer church plant could have some of its first members participate and remember how they worked to get the church established. An older church might have many generations of the same family involved and their memories could uncover events long forgotten.
For suggestions on how to collect oral history, check out the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives website: www.sbhla.org. Click on Helps and go to: “The Way We Were: Documenting Church History Through Oral History.”