A Blessed Life (8)
Summertime meant two things for sure. Little League baseball and Revival Meeting were as certain as summer itself. July of 1957 marked my eleventh birthday, second year of organized baseball, and my baptism.
Summer evenings inside the Salem church building were extremely warm to put it mildly. Hand held fans furnished by Smith-Reese Funeral Home were on the benches, available to all, and used to stir what air was coming through open windows. The building was usually packed which added to the heat and discomfort. It always seemed to me that the better the preaching, the more bearable the conditions.
That summer of 1957, we had the best preacher in our brotherhood to “hold revival.” Orell Overman was a tall slender man who had great presence in the pulpit. He spoke with a deep, powerful voice, yet one with a tone of gentle grace. He always carried a white handkerchief, and I never heard him preach without seeing him use that handkerchief to dry some tears from his eyes when he spoke of the grace of God.
One evening during that revival while the invitation hymn was sung, I walked down the aisle and took our minister’s hand and made my profession of faith. Bro. Dale Jorgenson was our minister, and after he took my confession, arrangements were made for my baptism the next day.
The day of my baptism sticks vividly in my mind. For one thing, I was scheduled to pitch that afternoon, and the baptism and game time were pretty close together. My mind was not as spiritual as it probably should have been. The baptism was in a large pond on the farm where we lived. We chose a gently sloping bank on the north-side of the pond. I’ll never forget the eight or ten head of Hereford cattle standing quietly on the south bank, as if they had some God given awareness that this was a special moment for this eleven year old farm boy. As they looked on, Bro,. Jorgenson baptized me in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
– Terry A. Morrison