Hillbilly Country Boys
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Schuyler People 26

Hillside Shacks

Hillbilly HouseFive miles down the railway track in hillbilly country, lived another group of people in rough timber shacks up in the hills. Their main occupation in those Prohibition days was the distilling and bootlegging of illicit or bootleg whiskey. Our dark-gray Church Army uniforms and peaked caps made their lookouts jumpy. Hillbilly Country boys scampered around barefoot. A concerned Christian lady from Schuyler tried to teach them but their parents simply did not care. These children had not even heard the Lord's Prayer before. I decided to try to bring new hope into these sad lives somehow. So, a group of young people from Schuyler Virginia and I held a series of outdoor services in "bootlegging valley" near an old brick power house.

Episcopalian Baptism

Schuyler RiverWe quickly assembled and began to sing to the accompaniment of a lone saxophone. Little groups of people in their tartan shirts and denims slowly ventured out into our riverside auditorium overcome by curiosity. A hot dog roast provided an treat, much to the delight of the gangs of children. After a year, twenty boys and girls, with no Christian backgrounds at all, asked to be baptized. Somehow, word leaked out to a nearby Baptist Church that an Episcopalian was to baptize these youngsters. The Elders sent a message to our candidates, "The only real baptism is by immersion, which the Episcopalians do not hold with at all." Undeterred, we went ahead with a public baptism anyway.

"Hillbilly Country Boys"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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