Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Spiritual Awakening: From Sandy Creek To Buffalo Ridge To Clear Fork

In the early 1700's the moving of God’s Spirit touched, convicted, and converted thousands of Americans, who found themselves swept along in a mighty outpouring of God’s saving grace. It began in the New England area and quickly spread South.

The man responsible for carrying the fervor of the Great Awakening to the South was Shubal Stearns. Born in Boston in 1706, Stearns was converted to Christ around 1740. In 1754 God called Stearns from his home in Connecticut to fields farther South. He labored for a short time in Virginia, then moved to Sandy Creek, North Carolina.

Backwoods North Carolina was a spiritual as well as a physical wilderness, and into this religiously barren land came Stearns and his family. The small church at Sandy Creek began with sixteen members, half of whom were Stearns’ own family, but when Stearns began preaching, God’s Spirit began to move. In a short time, the Sandy Creek church swelled from sixteen members to over six hundred.

The churches that grew out of Stearns’s ministry banded together in 1758 as the Sandy Creek Baptist Association. This group, under Stearns’ leadership, sought to advance God’s work throughout the southern colonies. Aflame with revival, the churches in the association continued to increase in number and influence.

North Carolina officials regarded Baptists and Quakers as enemies of Anglican order and, because of the success of the evangelism of Stearns and others, a hindrance to the growth of the Episcopal Church, which was the state Church of the colony. Governor William Tryon imposed unjust taxation on the frontier settlers, who confronted the state's militia on May 1, 1771 in The Battle of Alamance. The poorly armed, poorly led frontiersmen were defeated. Seven months after the battle, Shubal Stearns died. The Awakening had ended, but the story did not.

The majority of the Sandy Creek refugees fled to Washington County, Tennessee, where they established Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church. Its first pastor was Tidence Lane. In his youth, Tidence had been convicted and converted under the ministry of Shubal Stearns. Most exciting stories had been told about the piercing glance of his eye and the melting tones of his voice as he preached the word of God. Tidence once held "the most hateful feelings toward Baptists," but it was curiosity that led him to make a horseback trip of some forty miles to see and hear Shubal Stearns speak.
"When the fame of Mr. Stearns' preaching reached the Yadkin River, where I lived, I felt a curiosity to go and hear him. Upon my arrival I saw a venerable old man sitting under a peach tree with a book in his hand and the people gathering about him. He fixed his eyes upon me immediately, which made me feel in such a manner as I had never felt before. I turned to quit the place, but could not proceed far. I walked about, Sometimes catching his eyes as I walked. My uneasiness increased and became intolerable. I went up to him, thinking that a salutation and shaking of hands would relieve me, but it happened otherwise. I began to think he had an evil eye and ought to be shunned, but shunning him I could no more effect than a bird can shun the rattlesnake when it fixes its eyes upon it. When he began to preach my perturbations increased, so that nature could no longer support them, and I sank to the ground." - Tidence Lane

When Tidence Lane began preaching, one of his converts was 18-year-old Isaac Denton. Isaac's father, Isaac Sr., had been a charter member of the church at Buffalo Ridge in 1779. Another charter member was John Crouch. Most of the Denton and Crouch children were toddlers when the Buffalo Ridge church was established. When the children grew older, James Crouch married Agnes Denton and his sister, Martha, married Agnes' brother, Isaac. Later, those two families migrated West to a new frontier that had opened up in Kentucky.They settled at Stockton's Valley, which later became Albany, and helped organize Clear Fork Baptist Church. Isaac Denton was 26 years old when he helped organize Clear Fork. He was her first pastor, serving for 46 years. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Preaching: A Selvidge Legacy

(John C.J. Selvidge)

John Selvidge was our church's 6th pastor. He served seven months, from April to November of 1889. The church had hired Alvin Bertram as its pastor following the death of Joseph Denton. Bertram served for 17 months before stepping down so he might preach at various other churches. Bro. Bertram was back as pastor in January of 1890. John Conway Jefferson Selvidge was born on March 14, 1838 and died on Jan. 21, 1915 at Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Powell Selvidge (1860 - 1945).

(James Selvidge)

John's son, James David Selvidge, was the 12th pastor of Clear Fork. He served from February of 1934 to December of 1936, for a total of two years and ten months. He is a rarity, in that he was born in Clinton County. Most of our church's pastors were born elsewhere. James Selvidge was pastor at Stony Point Baptist Church for 26 years. He also pastored at Beech Bottom Baptist Church. James was born on May 22, 1876 and died on June 12, 1959. He was married to Usley Sounders Selvidge (1877 - 1944) and is buried at Elk Spring Cemetery in Monticello.


James Selvidge's brother, John W. Selvidge, was also a preacher. John W.'s grandson, Wendell Selvidge, was the uncle of Clear Fork members Mike and Sandi Rogers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Curt Gowdy

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now- legendary voices and characters. Today, I want to pay tribute to Curt Gowdy.

Curt Gowdy made his broadcasting debut in 1943 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, calling a 'six-man' high school football game from atop a wooden grocery crate in subzero weather with 15 people present. He later worked at the radio station and newspaper there. In 1946, he accepted an offer from KOMA radio in Oklahoma City to broadcast Oklahoma college football and Oklahoma State college basketball games.

Gowdy's distinctive play-by-play style earned him a national audition and then an opportunity with the New York Yankees in 1949, working with (and learning from) the legendary Mel Allen for two seasons.

Gowdy began his Major League Baseball broadcasting career working as the No. 2 announcer to Mel Allen for New York Yankees games on radio and television in 1949–50. In 1951, he became the voice of the Boston Red Sox for 15 seasons. It was there that he became America's premier sportscaster. He spent most of his career at NBC, but also broadcast for ABC and CBS Radio. The winner of 13 Emmy Awards, Gowdy was the first sportscaster to win a Peabody Award, a prestigious honor in broadcasting. He broadcast 16 World Series, nine Super Bowls, eight Olympics, 12 Rose Bowls and 24 NCAA Final Fours. He hosted ''The American Sportsman" on ABC for two decades.

Gowdy was present for some of American sports' storied moments, including Ted Williams' home run in his final at-bat in 1960, Super Bowl I and Hank Aaron's 715th home run in 1974.

Curt Gowdy died on February 20, 2006 at the age of aged 86.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Wes Strader

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now- legendary voices and characters. Today, I want to pay tribute to Wes Strader.

Known as the 'Voice of the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers,' Wes Strader spent 36 years, from 1964-2000, calling play-by-play for Hilltopper football and men's basketball, and he was behind the microphone for some of the most memorable moments in WKU history, including men's basketball's appearances in the 1971 Final Four and the 1993 Sweet 16 and football’s trips to the 1973 and 1975 national championship games. Strader still works for the Big Red Radio Network. He hosts a radio show, and has been doing pre and post-game shows for football and men's basketball games.

In 2010, I was sitting beside Sid Scott in the front row behind the broadcast tables at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green waiting to do a broadcast in the boys regional tournament. On the opposite side of the arena, up at the very top was the Big Red Radio Network press box. I had been a visitor there a few times in recent years and on one occasion, a couple years prior, had actually met Wes Strader.

Previously, I had spoken on the phone with Wes maybe twice in my life. He is familiar with radio folks here in the Lake Cumberland area, specifically my dad, Sid Scott, Welby Hoover, Steve Staples, Stephen Staples and Ray Mullinix. As we sat there at court side awaiting our turn to broadcast, I looked to my left and noticed that Wes was making his way toward our area. I figured he had spotted Sid from the press box was coming to chat with him.

I was surprised when he stopped directly in front of me and said, "Randy? I thought that was you!" Well, I sat up a little straighter as he continued, "I was up in the press box, looked down here and thought it was you." At that point I was sitting up a whole lot straighter and I am pretty sure my head started to swell. After all, I was sitting beside one legend and had another legend standing in front of me saying he had spotted me from across the arena and had made his way down and across to where we were sitting, and instead of going straight to Sid, he first spoke to ME! My first thought, after the initial shockwave had passed, was that I had officially arrived!

And then he said, smiling, "Wait, is this THE Sid Scott sitting beside you? And then, he began a conversation with Sid, whom he had not seen in a while. As they 'caught up' with each other, I wondered if anyone had noticed Wes Strader standing there speaking to me, or even better, had anyone heard what he had said? I actually looked around. No doubt, he had noticed Sid beside me and that is the main reason he made his way from the press box to us, but I was happy with the attention Wes Strader had given me. Yes, I had arrived, lol! Wes Strader is a class act.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

When God Has Another Plan

A friend, with health issues similar to mine, died yesterday. I had been hoping and praying that he would make it through his darkest hour, but I guess God had something else in mind.

Ever since I heard about Brian's passing, I have been thinking a lot about what God wants for our lives, mine in particular. There have been times in my life when things didn't go as I wished: the loss of my brother and my dad, for instance.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." - Isaiah 55:8
Of the health issues I deal with, if God thinks I can serve him better in this role, then I absolutely do not have a problem with it. I have never questioned Him about where I am in life, and despite any trial I may be confronted with, I pray that my faith and my service to God will bring praise, honor, and glory to Him.
"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." - 1 Peter 1:6-7
Even if my current situation is not where I hoped I would be, help me, Lord, to reflect your image.

When God has another plan
Walk on and just say yes
When God has another plan
Be assured that he knows best

When all your dreams are shattered
Rest in his sufficient grace
We don't have to understand
When God has another plan
(Amy Keffer Shellem and Daryl Williams)


In the past two years, every time I saw Brian, he had his grandchildren with him; carrying one and holding the other's hand. I am going to miss seeing that. R.I.P. Brian Thompson, you will be missed.

*(Photo by Amy Cross)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Jim McKay

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now- legendary voices and characters. Today, I want to pay tribute to Jim McKay.

Growing up, one of my favorite things to watch on Saturday afternoon was ABC's Wide World of Sports. Jim McKay was the host of that program for 37 years, from 1961 until 1998. ABC's Wide World of Sports had other hosts but no one ever matched McKay's long tenure. Several well-known play by play announcers worked on the program, including Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford, Curt Gowdy, Keith Jackson and Brent Musburger, as well as McKay. Reporters included David Letterman and O. J. Simpson. Analysts included Mickey Mantle and Bill Russell. In 2007, ABC's Wide World of Sports was named by Time Magazine on its list of the 100 best television programs of all-time.

"Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition... This is ABC's Wide World of Sports! ” (Jim McKay)
ABC's Wide World of Sports'melodramatic introduction, voiced by McKay, became a national catchphrase that is often heard to this day. While "the thrill of victory" had several symbols over the decades, ski jumper Vinko Bogataj, whose dreadful misjump and crash during a competition on March 21, 1970 was featured from the early 1970s onward heard over the sentence "...and the agony of defeat", became a hard-luck hero of sorts, and an affectionate icon for stunning failure. Previously, the footage played with that phrase was that of another ski jumper who made a long, almost successful jump, but whose skis lost vertical alignment shortly before landing, leading to a crash.

The Munich Massacre

McKay did other things for ABC outside of Wide World of Sports, including the Kentucky Derby, the British Open and the Indianapolis 500. Who can forget his memorable reporting on the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics? While covering the 1972 Summer Olympics for ABC, McKay took on the job of reporting the events leading up to the massacre live on his only scheduled day off. He was on air for fourteen hours without a break, during a sixteen hour broadcast. When the rescue of the athletes held hostage failed, McKay came on the air with this statement:

"When I was a kid my father used to say "Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized." Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were 11 hostages; two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone."
- Jim McKay, 1972.


McKay was born into an Irish American Roman Catholic family in Philadelphia in 1921. When he was 14, his family moved to Baltimore. Later, he received a bachelor's degree from Loyola College. During World War II, McKay served in the United States Navy as the captain of a minesweeper.

In 1947, McKay gave up his job as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun newspapers to join that same organization's new TV station. He joined CBS in New York in 1950 as host of a variety show, called The Real McKay. Through the 1950s, sports commentary became more and more his primary assignment. He moved on to ABC and in 1961, became host of ABC's influential Wide World of Sports for 37 years.

Jim McKay died in 2008 at the age of 86.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Metropolitan Quartet - I Will Sing Of My Redeemer

Roll Over Beethoven: Walking In My Sleep

I walked in my sleep a few times as a child. On one occasion, I was about eight years old when I sat down at the piano and started playing "Roll Over Beethoven" at like two in the morning.

Right then and there, my parents should have taken me straight to Nashville. Instead, they sent me back to bed. :/ smh....