Friday, April 25, 2014

Newspaper Tidbit: Pastor Writes from Kentucky (1920)

Manassas Journal
February 6, 1920
Page 8


Rev. Mr. Rixey, Now at Theological Seminary, Recalls Prince William Days

The Journal is in receipt of an interesting letter from Rev. R. P. Rixey, of Fredericksburg, a former Prince William pastor, who is now at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Ky.:

“You may be surprised that news from your paper reaches to this city of 250,000 in far off Kentucky, 700 miles from Manassas.  Some mutual friend sent me a clipping from a late copy of The Journal with the letter you published from Rev. R. T. Hayes, of Pendleton, Va., telling of his work in Louisa county.

The reading of that letter brought back a flood of memories of about five years ago when I was the pastor of Woodbine and Bellehaven churches in Prince William county, and Brother Hayes was debating the question of giving up his position with the Standard Oil Company to enter the ministry.  I have never had cause to regret the fact that I then urged him to make the sacrifice needed and concecrate [sic] his life to so noble a calling.  I saw him take his departure shortly for Louisville, Ky., to make the preparation he needed.  I saw him two years later when he returned and began his good work in Louisa county.  I have helped him there two years in special meetings at one of the churches.

So much impressed was I with the intellectual and other help he had secured at the Seminary, that I made up my mind that I wanted the same.  It is seldom a man of my age, who enters the ministry as late in life as I did, ever goes to a Seminary.  However, I resigned my two churches and came last October for special work, and have greatly enjoyed the course of study.

I am by far the oldest man at the Seminary this year, but have no difficulty keeping up with the young men in my studies and have successfully passed all examinations.

I wish more of our older men would come here for preparation for this work.

My mind runs back over the past five years, and it seems but a short time since I enjoyed the hospitality of the homes I shall never forget; and the names Woodbine, Independent Hill and Bellhaven will never be forgotten.  The kindness and consideration of the people, in view of my imperfect work, will be to me always a source of gratitude and wonder.

Such names as Hayes, Hill, Cornwell, Smith, Russell, Luck, Merrill, Tubbs, Donohue, Wolfenden, Lynn, Storke, Lowe, Wine, Wright, Abel and many others, too numerous to mention, will live with me so long as memory lasts.  I wonder if Mrs. Sam Lowe remembers that little homemade rug she gave me!  It is on my floor in far off Kentucky, and I see it as I write this letter.  Considerably worn now, but still in use.  Mrs. Donohoe and her sisters loaded down my buggy many times with good things for my folks at home.  So did others, who were church members.  I refer to Mrs. Sam Lowe and Mrs. Donohoe and her sisters specially, because they were not members of my churches, which made their kindness the more remarkable.

I hope when I get back to my home in Fredericksburg next June to have the pleasure of a visit to these churches again and a chance to persecute each of them at least once, with a sermon.”

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