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Celebrating Black History – Pastors, members keep hope alive

Celebrating Black History – Pastors, members keep hope alive
Celebrating Black History - Pastors, members keep hope alive | Black History Month, Miles Chapel Church, Brady Weldon, Col. Bob Smith

Brady Weldon
Some of early pastors were Rev. Sam Britt, F.M. Dickey, Mose Meriweathers, Earl Whitlow, Dewitt Douglas, R.L. King, Walter Debro, L.M. Rowsey, R.A. Allen, Al Crawford, A. Richardson Doss, Dan Adams, Jack Hunter, William Jarmon, Mario Murphy, Robert Copeland, Terrence Miller and Dr. Russell Morrow.
Some of the older members like “Uncle” Leander Erving, Oscar Phelps and the Parhams came to church by wagon, buggy and mule or would walk as far as four or five miles through rain, sleet or snow. They wrapped their children in blankets covered with water-repellent tarps. They would have them there in time to thaw them out with our old cast-iron stoves. Later, when they could afford cars, there were 10 or 12 people in one car.
Sis. Emma Martin, with the help of Geo Dodd and others, would bake and sell German chocolate cakes to help with the payments. Emma was so fond of the Dodds, when asked, “What’s your name?” she would say with a big smile, “Miss Emma Dodd.”
We can never forget the dedication and devotion of Tommie L. Diggs. She gave to Miles Chapel by serving as chairperson of our annual building fund tea and playing piano. She also served on the board of trustees. After her husband, Bro. Jerry Diggs, passed away, she was very instrumental in having J.W. Campbell, a building contractor in Martin, install new windows here at Miles Chapel at a very low, accommodating price.
Bro. Campbell filled a lot of pots of turnip greens for our church families. So has his son-in-law Keith Pettit.
Thank you Lord for these bountiful blessings. We want to thank these women, commendably, for their faithful endeavors – Ann Ervin Brown for her out-of-pocket donations to many who needed help. If the is in need of money, she will help finance our needs or whatever.
Ann’s sister, Norma Jones of Lansing, Mich., has also been very nice to Miles Chapel.
Some of our white sisters who have been very kind donors include our former mayor – Virginia Weldon, Evelyn Blythe, Donna Winstead and Mary McConnell. Virginia’s grandson, Brady Weldon, preached his first sermon at our church in the 70s as a teenager.
Dr. Ann Looney Cook has donated since our first annual fundraising tea in 1971. She calls from her hometown of Crossville to let me know that she will have a check in the mail for our tea on the third Sunday in May.
Mary Pritchett was our speaker on Women’s Day a few years before she passed. Others who are no longer with us were Lenny Travis, Grace Beard and Mary Bonnie Dodd. These women were angels in disguise.
Some of our most devout men donors are Beckcum Ryan, James Riley Jr., former mayor H.C. Brundige, Morris Vowell, Elmer Counce, Houston Patrick and Bill Pritchett.
George Harrison and his son David have allowed us to park on their lot for many years. Miles says thank you also to Billy R. Turner, Emanuel Easley and Ed Crockett.
My childhood friend and 35-year-donor, George “Bo” Dodd sang “Follow Me” at Uncle Leander Erving’s funeral. One doctor in Martin donates yearly. I know he don’t want his name to be called, but I’ll give you a hint — we’ll just say “Dr. Automobile.”
Ray Ellnoir of Sharon has blessed us many times with a “no charge for his labor for plumbing and electrical work. We’ve also been blessed by Yoder Bros. Construction Co. for their free work on our fellowship hall and Bro. Dan Donaldson and his M.M. Mission Ministries.
You see, Madison County was the start of many things for Miles, but Weakley County is still marching on.
My last article will be about the many outstanding men who came out of Miles Chapel Church.

WCP 2.23.12