Life as a Preacher's Daughter

     When asked to write this article as to how it was to be raised up having a father as a preacher, my first thought was, well, it wasn't any different than having a father that was a bricklayer or a salesman--I was wrong. I really don't even know what it would be like to have been raised in any other environment because my Dad was a preacher when I was born and was a preacher when he died.

   I saw him as a very godly person and one dedicated to his calling. I watched Dad study the Bible hours on end because he was only able to finish the fourth grade in school but his knowledge of the Bible through God's giving powers made him a very educated man. Having been raised by Christian parents, I was taught to honor them and to be very respectful of everyone.

     I can remember Dad literally stuffing all of us in the car to go to church. Yes, we were in church whenever the doors were opened. Back in my earlier life, we usually had church services only once a month but Dad always traveled to other churches to preach. He would sometimes pastor more than one church at a time and this took him away from home quite a bit but what a joyous reunion when he would return from one of those trips. As described in the book "A Chosen Vessel," written by Bro. Kenneth Massey about the life of Dad, a typical night in our home would go like this. Mother, with the help of all the girls, would clear the table and wash the dishes. Then it was time for our evening family devotion and discussion about the scriptures. Everyone that was old enough to read would sit around with their Bibles and take turns reading a scripture from the selection that Dad had made. Actually, we couldn't afford for everyone to have their own Bible so we would share the ones we had. Of course, we would get the giggles from time to time when someone would pronounce a word wrong. The ones of us that were too young to read would know immediately that someone had said something wrong because one of the older ones would start giggling as soon as it was said. This would set us off, so, needless to say, we would spend a lot of time standing with our nose in the corner of a room until the Bible reading was over. I can remember a time when Mother got the giggles so bad that the devotion was just canceled for that particular night.

     Dad was a strict disciplinarian but he was very gentle and kind. He loved us all very much and we all knew it. There was a good balance between my Mother and Dad. Mother was sweet and funny and knew how to use that paddle but Dad a little more on the serious side would sit us down and talk to us when we had done something wrong. I would have taken that paddle any day.

     We were not allowed to dance and I can remember one day my fourth grade teacher came to visit my parents at home because she had asked me to be in some sort of play that required me to do steps in time to music. I refused to do this because I told her I was not allowed to dance. She wanted to assure my parents that I was not really dancing. After she explained it to them, of course, it was okay for me to participate in the play.

     I am honored to be a "PK" (preacher's kid) and have many fond memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am told I was taken to church when I was so small they would place me in a box in the corner of the church where I would sleep during the services. In fact, one night the family was in the car on the way home and had actually left me in the box asleep. Yes, they did turn around and go get me.

     Thank you God for the opportunity to hear the true gospel preached early in my life and for saving my soul when I was 10 years old. I was fortunate enough to have my Dad baptize me in September 1951.

    Life as a preacher's daughter was great.

Pat Schmidt
Daughter of Elder F. L. Ray
Postscript: Dad had many favorite scriptures but his most favorite was, Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  I John 3:1

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