Elizabeth Johnson Harris, Life Story
Religious Life (pp.14-21)

When a little bare-feet girl I walked faithfully about the Hill with a subscription list to the doors of both

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white and colored, soliciting aid to build the Rock of Ages Church. I was then about ten years old and I received several donations from different persons in aid to the Church, which I very proudly presented to the officers of the Church - and since then from time to time I had very frequently arranged programs and assisted others in programs in the same for benefit of our churches and others, and yet I stand ready to assist in turning the wheel of assistance to any church that may need or accept, altho I am not as strong physically as I was in past years, but my will remains voluntary the same - I was raised up in a Christian home, attended church regular, sometimes as often as six times a day.

First, early morning prayer meetings, nine o'clock S.S., eleven o'clock Service, Three o'clock afternoon service, Four o'clock S.S. and night Service, then very frequently during the week, I had to attend these services by the orders or rules of my dear old grandmother, and also as company to be with her - yet I was mostly always willing and I believed I pleased the Lord and I know he has blessed me.

On the first Sunday in Oct. 1876 I joined Trinity C.M.E. Church

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during the Pastorate of the late Rev. Edward S. West. My desire was to be baptized by Emersion, but owing to the rules of the Methodist Church which he held strictly, he was reluctant to receive me by Emersion baptism. So I abided by the rules of the Church of my choice, and was baptized in the usual way of the Methodist Faith.

I was young, but proud to be a member of the Church by true conversion and was always proud to fill my seat in Church at every opportunity. The services in past years, or rather in my Childhood Days were more regular, more spiritual, more interesting and more inviting to both saints and sinners and the entrance free. Certainly money has always been needed, and will always be. But it was not so frequently called for in those days, or either in such great measures or extreme collections.

In those days, ministers and others, were working faithfully for the cause of Christ, and the increase of some for his Kingdom. But in these days they are working more in their own interest and the increase of the Purse money being so rapidly and frequently demanded at most all services it seems that we might as well have a door keeper and pay a certain entrance

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fee. The people in these days seem to be money and pleasure mad, and with half the majority or even, there are more pleasure here and there on various occassions than in the house or Church of God.

Well again and on then - my Childhood Days. While I was a constant visitor to the churches in company with my dear old Grandmother and sometimes with Grandpa and with Mother and Father when on a visit to them - I was always taken near the front seat. I enjoyed class meetings and prayer meetings I joined the Church on a Thursday night at a great Love-Feast meeting.

The Church was about crowded and the Holy Spirit seem to have had full control of the house. I was a small figure in the large crowd, but at the appointed time, I arose willingly and stood before, or in the midst of this great crowd, and fearlessly related the fact of my conversion and the good news that God had given me to tell. Blessed be the Lord. And up to this date, after forty six years in the Church and Christian faith, I am proud to think of and to say that the greatest portion of my life and my time here has been given to my Heavenly Father - And I believe and I know, that I have worked and

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proved out some ends in my work in helping to gain souls for Christ through my prayers - even those that were many years my seniors. During prayer-meetings at the Churches, and at the homes of my grandparents and others, there have been souls converted and the same have acknowledged to me when I was only a girl and shook my hands freely saying that tho I was only a child, but my prayers had touched their hearts and minds and on to a throne of grace and the seat of mercy which had helped to bring about their conversion. A few of the names are as follows - Flora Spead, Missouri, Horton Williams, Henry Greene, Walter Avery, Clara B. Auffling, Mary L. Jones, and others, including my dear old Grandfather, whom was converted at the late age of Sixty one years. Certainly I feel proud to feel and to know that I have added these numbers to the Kingdom list, and the same as stars in my crown, besides advising and persuading many of my play-mates to join me on the way to Sunday School. As that is the first steps or invitation to a child to draw them to church, and to consider the glories and kingdom

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of God, I remember well the old-time Bush meetings, which were generally carried on by the Methodist people, Large Bush Harbors were built out in an open field - during the summer seasons and hundreds would attend from near and far. Many came to the early morning service, and would remain until the last services at night. They would come in old fashioned buggies, wagons etc. - and would bring baskets well filled with good eatables, such as one would purchase for a picnic lunch. During the recess between services, these tables were spread, the ministers, and visitors were invited to the different tables, where all would engage in cheerful conversations while engaging the copious and well prepared meals.

The regular visitors in family circles at grandmother's house were families of the late Bishop L.H. Holsey, Rev. Robert Browns, Rev. A.J. Stinsons, Rev. David Walker, Rev and Mrs. Smalley and Many others that I do not remember all names, including the Rev. Alex. Owens of the Christian church on lower Greene St. The Rock Of Ages

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C.M.E. Church is known as a Branch from the old Trinity C.M.E. Church, Rock of Ages, has a small membership at the present time, with many members deceased. The first meetings for a start with this little church, were carried on for some considerable time at the simple little home owned by my grandparents, Peter and Lousia Steward. I am now residing on a portion of the old home grounds, located on Cumming St.(between Williams and Mt. Auburn Sts.)

Through a child at an early age I always took great interest in the work and uplifting of this dear little church. My interest was so great, and broadly manifested that they used to call me "little pastor" no.2. I remember several names of the different Pastors, beginning with Revs. J.W. Winsfield, Robert Brown, Saml. L. Stinson, Geo. C. Taylor, W.F. Allen, R.A. Carter, now Bishop of Texas. C.A Waddell, R.M. McKenzie, W.H. Wiggins, Morrison, Clay, Smith, Beckham, Montgomery, J.R. Henry and the present R.C. Stinson of 1923. Many other names that I can't recall. There have been many brilliant services at this little church from time to time - prayer meetings, class meetings, love-feast meetings

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Sunday-School, and great preaching, including numerous protracted meetings in which many souls were converted, joining Rock Of Ages, and the various churches of the city.

After many years of use and service in the first little building, during the three years Pastorate of Rev. R.A. Carter, He built a larger church on the same spot of ground, while the first building was repaired and used as the parsonage. The Sunday School of past years was interesting and flourishing with good crowds and classes of both young and old, also from other churches. Adolphus N. Gordou was then Supt. of the S.S. at Trinity Church in the mornings, and at Rock of Ages in the afternoon. Many visitors from Trinity would attend and assist. Mr. Saml. H. Harper was the first organist, and was followed by Miss Gerraldine Rainey, both of Trinity Church and the two leading colored musicians of Augusta at that time.


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