Carol Belew Memories

     It is impossible for me to talk about living in Burden without romanticizing those experiences. We lost both mother and daddy in 2000; so all those memories are especially valuable now. The years we lived in the Baptist parsonage in Burden were happy years for me. Over the years mother and daddy would reminisce about the good people in the church at Burden. Daddy also enjoyed remembering the assortment of pies at the Sunday night covered dish suppers, held in the basement of the church.

     My memories of mother and daddy during those years are that they were very busy. The church was the center of our lives. We had come to Burden from Daddy's first church; a very small, newly founded church in Galveston, Texas. Those church memories are that mother and daddy were constantly visiting homes and teaching the Bible. Lots of time was spent in mother and daddy meeting with small groups of young people and families, teaching Bible study. Daddy spoke at lots of community meetings about building the church community. Recently, I found an old newspaper clipping from Galveston, talking about a young minister Rev, Belew raising funds to get a church bell for a new church building.

     In 1999, Daddy and two of his grandsons were able to attend the 50-year Founders Day celebration of the church in Galveston. Daddy was able to see many of his old church friends at what is still an active church community.

     When we moved to Burden we found a larger, active church and church community.  I remember how much daddy appreciated the deacons in the church and how he respected their knowledge about how to guide the church. I still remember the kind faces of men like Cal Dyer, Lige Tredway, Bill Headley, Robert Ore, Jeanne Harris' dad, and others. I respected them as wise and strong church leaders. I remember how Ruth Headley always brought baskets of beautiful flower arrangements to place at the front of the church on Sundays. Ruth also played the piano at church. I remember how hard Mrs. Delbert Hensley worked on getting the weekly church bulletin just right. I doubt that these people knew they were leaving lifelong positive impressions on the young minds around them.

     Burden Baptist Church was a spiritually rich environment for a developing child. The church provided Girls Auxiliary for girls, Royal Ambassadors for boys. We studied the Bible and Christian stewardship in our Baptist quarterlies' to prepare for Sunday School and Training Union. We memorized Bible verses for competition Sword Drills. We learned about foreign mission needs from visiting missionaries. In the summer we had Vacation Bible School for the nursery clear through high school age children. We studied the Bible some more. We also had a lot of fun in our small groups and with the larger group. We sang silly songs; teased each other and our teachers laughed, studied about young people in other places, had kool-aid and vanilla wafers and did handcrafts. We took pride in our own and everyone else's work. The church had a big dinner at the end of Vacation Bible School. All the parents came and admired what we had done.  I remember feeling very sad when we left Burden. Daddy said God was calling him to another church so I knew it had to be for the best. I am very grateful for the experiences I had at the church in Burden and grateful for the people who gave of their lives to build that good church.

  Carol (Belew) Snyder