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When I was growing up, my family never missed a Sunday service at Pine Grove Baptist Church. My grandparents raised my parents in that church, so my parents did the same for my sister and I. There were a lot of great people there who genuinely cared about me and my family, but the church had its shortcomings. Over the years, long after I stopped going, the numbers began to dwindle as the members either left or passed away. In 2019, although much smaller in size, the church still stands. A few loyal members still attend as routinely as they have since the "good old days."


Recently my wife and I joined my parents, my grandfather, my sister and her husband for Pine Grove's 70th annual homecoming service. Walking through the front door of that place brought about a tidal wave of nostalgia. I walked through the basement of the church and saw the old, near deserted rooms where I once attended Sunday School. Some pictures and other relics that hung on the dusty cork-boards appeared to be frozen in time - as if the walls of the church were protecting the many memories that took place inside.


As is tradition, the women of the church prepared a feast of epic proportions to follow the sermon. My family and I made our way to the "fellowship hall", where countless holiday celebrations took place, to enjoy a meal that would surely be as good as it had always been. Sitting at those brown folding tables and eating that fried chicken took me right back to age 10. Once people began to leave, Bridgett and I snuck back into the church because I wanted to check out the old piano. To my disappointment, it turned out to be a newer, digital piano that was housed in the shell of a baby grand...but the thing still sounded beautiful. What the video above does not show is how the sound of that piano filled the church. I still clearly remember listening to Joyce Owenby wail on the piano in that exact seat while the choir sang "Never Grow Old." The acoustics in that church are phenomenal, but what is even more beautiful is the innumerable amount of memories that still live there.


P.S. - the piece that I'm playing is from "I Don't Know" by Paul McCartney.


CH

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