Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 26, 2018

Once Upon a Time we Moved Back to Texas

More Big Changes

During my last year of active service in the United States Navy I was transferred to what was called, “floating land duty.” This simply meant that although I was assigned to a ship we came back to port every day and on most evenings I could leave the ship if I wanted to except when I had duty and had to remain on the ship.

This kind of duty meant my beloved wife could join me so we rented a very small apartment, which had once been part of a front porch, and we set up housekeeping there in Norfolk, Virginia on Sturgis Street just off of E. Ocean View Avenue on the coast of Chesapeake Bay.

Adele on Porch on SturgisOur apartment is the enclosed area on the corner.

The owners of the house and front porch, which included our tiny apartment, were named Paul and Eunice Blanchard, a precious couple who attended Bayview Baptist Church.

For a short time after my wife joined me in Norfolk we did not have a car so the Blanchard’s agreed to take us to church in their car provided we attended Bayview Baptist Church. Considering the circumstances that was an easy decision. The pastor there was Brother Burkes and he was a good Baptist preacher who taught the eternal security of the believer with conviction and clarity.

My wife had been raised in the Christian church and found eternal security hard to believe so a new friend loaned her a rather surprising book which really captured her imagination, “Revelation, 35 Simple Studies in the Major Themes in Revelation” by M. R. DeHaan.

It was while she was reading this book she was born again into the family of God; while she had been a faithful church girl she was now a child of God; things had eternally changed for her! Although I had been born again as a child I had never started to grow in my faith and had almost no knowledge of the truth’s of Bible doctrine; it was at Bayview Baptist Church that we both started to learn and grow in our faith.

The Short Timer

In the Navy, a sailor who is reaching the end of his enlistment is referred to as a short timer, meaning he has only a short time left to serve. As a short timer my wife and I were already thinking about going home to Texas.

It did not take long for us to develop a sincere appreciation for the ministry at Bayview Baptist Church, the pastor, Brother Burkes, was a powerful preacher who taught the Bible.

While there we met a young man who asked us, when he learned we were from  Houston, if we knew of Berachah Church and we answered in the negative. He told us when we got back to Houston we should be sure to visit there as it was a remarkable church.

Before too long we had purchased our first car, a 1954 Volkswagen which cost us $1,800.00 and change (around $16,500.00 in today’s dollars). This was a new car and was beginning to develop a good reputation as reliable transportation.

Texas License Plates Rev.Texas License Plates at Last!

GTT (Gone to Texas)

Since I had been a student at Texas Christian University before entering Naval service; we returned to Fort Worth and lived there a little over a year before deciding to return to Houston. While in Fort Worth our first son was born.

For some unknown reason we developed a conviction we needed to move back to Houston. I now had the benefits of the G. I. Bill and had the financial assistance for schooling and that made a big difference. On our return I entered the University of Houston to finish up my college and worked part time to help pay the bills at a High Fidelity store in Houston. The G. I. Bill and my two jobs meant my wife could stay home and take care of our son.

The other of my two jobs was bass soloist with a paid quartet at St. Paul’s Methodist Church on South Main. From a musical perspective the job was a lot of fun; we would rehearse with the choir on Wednesday nights and serve as section leaders for our respective sections of the choir. The choir would sing at the second service and the quartet would sing at the first service; the challenge came in because the quartet would not even see the music they were to sing until the Sunday morning it was to be performed; we would go over the music once for interpretation and then perform it in the service. That required a pretty good sight reading ability which was an entertaining challenge at the time.

Berachah Enters the Scene

We had never forgotten the subject of Berachah church which had come up in Norfolk so when I started my job as soloist at St. Paul’s my wife started attending Berachah Church.

Since I had to be at St. Paul’s very early on Sunday mornings and we only had one car, I would drop my wife, who was expecting our second son, off at a drugstore about a block away from Berachah. At that time Berachah was meeting in a large WWII Quonset hut in downtown Houston.

I would leave her there with our son, Kevan so she would have Kevan, his diaper bag, her Bible and her notebook plus her purse to carry while she waited for Berachah to unlock the doors to the church.

It so happened the pastor of Berachah, Colonel Bob Thieme, popularly known as Bob, also visited that same drugstore for coffee on Sunday mornings; when he would leave for the church, my wife would follow.

After the Sunday services were over I would come back by Berachah and pick up my family and listen to the glowing reports of the teaching at Berachah all the way home. It sounded wonderful and exciting to me as the Lord had given us both a hunger for His Word. (to be continued)

(Updated and expanded from an earlier blog.)

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