Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our Old Country Church.......

The Original Handwritten Note I Stuffed in the Church Door in 2003
In October of 2003, Cindy and I moved to Plano, Texas from Atlanta, Georgia.  On weekends we would explore our new state.   Since I enjoy genealogy, I knew that my great grandfather, William Ellison, had donated land for a church in the now defunct town of Bazette, Texas (near present day Corsicana); and I knew that this old country church was still in existence.  We set out to find it.

Lydia's Letter to Cindy and Me

Lydia's Christmas Card to Cindy and Me
After doing some research, we were finally able to find the church---about as far out in the country as we could imagine.  It was a brick structure just off a dirt road. 

It was pretty thrilling to see that a historical marker had been placed in front of the church by the state, and to see that my great grandfather's name was mentioned on the marker.  It was also nice to see that the churchyard behind the church held the remains of my great grandfather and his family, along with many other graves.
My Daughters, Diane and Debbie, Next to the Historical Marker in Front of the Baptist Church at Bazette, Texas.  Picture Taken C 2005.
It was a neat little church.  After we had looked around, Cindy said I should leave a note in the door of the church, informing the membership that I, great grandson of the founder, had stopped by.  It turned out to have been a great idea.

After returning home that evening, I received a call from a lady named Lydia.  She was a life-long member of the church, and she and her husband, Bill, were movers and shakers in their community.  Cindy and I made plans to visit there.

That vist led to several visits over the years that we lived in Texas.  The little Baptist church had a small congregation.  They were a very friendly group, and we really enjoyed worshipping with them and getting to know them.

Cindy and I stayed in touch with Bill and Lydia over the years.  When we moved to Tennessee last May, we wrote them to let them know.  Yesterday, in the mail, came a wonderful missive from Lydia.  Lo and behold---enclosed with her letter was a Christmas card and the original handwritten note I had crammed in the door of the church back in December of 2003.  I had to write about this.  Dang---I'm gettin' a little teary-eyed as I think about it. 

The note reads as follows:


1:30 PM

My name is Clint Ellison.  My great grandfather was William Ellison, who donated the land for this church in 1881.

I have recently moved to Dallas from Atlanta, Ga. and would like to attend (visit) church here one Sunday.

Could someone please call me at my home phone # to let me know when services are held?  I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you!

Clint Ellison


  1. It seems like it was only yesterday that we left that little note at the church. I also remember the friendly dog who lived next door who came over to check us out. It is a blessing that we were able to visit the church some and meet such sweet and faithful people. Isn't it wonderful that your grandfather left such a legacy! How many of us now could do that and be remembered in such a way over a hundred years ago??

  2. Precious Memories! Isn't it wonderful to taste the sweetness of yesteryear's blessings

  3. What a wonderful, touching story! I love connections like that. I think your great grandfather must be in "that great cloud of witnesses" and smiling at this.

  4. what a great piece of family history, and even better that it brought you together with some present day souls! :)

  5. What a beautiful thing, Clint. I'm so glad you shared it.

  6. Wonderful memories Clint, it's interesting to find out one's ancestors, I did mine and got on very well, found out my great grand mother on mums side maiden name was Lewis, I too married a lewis ......strange.


  7. How sweet.
    Reading your story gave me goose bumps.
    Those are wonderful memories and what a very Special man your grandfather was.
    gloW ☼

  8. That's a wonderful story Clint. Thanks so much for sharing it. : )

  9. Oh my goodness what a wonderful gift that was to you!

    I didn't know you lived in Atlanta, GA!

  10. You've touched my heart with your story Clint, what a moment in time... a beautiful moment!

  11. Great story and really a wonderful gift.

    Thanks for sharing my friend

    take care and have a beautiful weekend


  12. Clint, what a wonderful story. Just stopping by for the first time in a long time. You came to mind cuz once again I'm in your neck of the woods. God bless, hope to connect soon!

  13. That is a wonderful story! Years ago my mom took my sister and me to find the house that my great grandfather built in a small town in Missouri, the house where my dad grew up. We drove around on some dirt roads outside of town till Mom recognized the house. We went up to the door and introduced ourselves. The nicest young couple owned it. Mom showed them the corner stone with my grandfather's name on it and the date. They invited us in and let us look around. Isn't it wonderful to make those connections with our past?

  14. *sniff*
    What a wonderful post....and how sweet of her to mail that back to you.
    Memories are treasures, so are people.

  15. Oh Clint, what a wonderful story and continuation...and your daughters look so sweet. God is good!! Love for Christmas, Ray and Crystal