When times were hard, no work on the railroad, no work down on the farm, some of my ancestors took to preaching. It was not so much of what was said as the way in which it was said. “The horn shall sound and the dog will bark and though you be on the highest mountain or down in the deepest valley when the darkness comes then you will lie down, and as the day follows the night you will surely rise again. The Lord our God hath made both heaven and earth. Oh, my dear brothers and sisters we know so well the ways of this world, think then what heaven must be like.” It required a certain presence, a certain authority. The preacher was treated with respect and kept at a bit of a distance, like a rattler. There wasn’t much money in it but it was good for maybe a dozen eggs or a chicken dinner now and then.
By Louis Jenkins