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HOME BIRTHDAY RABBIT RIDGE RETREAT A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY MEXICO 2009 MEXICO 2014



LET'S TIME-TRAVEL BACK INTO THE 1960'S THRU THE 1980'S AND REVISIT
RABBIT RIDGE RETREAT
WHERE MANY NEW CHRISTIANS WERE 'BORN' AND MANY MORE, WHO WERE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST, WERE RENEWED IN SPIRIT!
RABBIT RIDGE RETREAT CAME ABOUT AS A RESULT OF A MOVEMENT OF GOD IN THE 1960'S CALLED THE LAY WITNESS WEEKEND.  TOMMY WOODS,   A COTTON FARMER AND GINNER FROM BYHALIA, MISSISSIPPI  WAS OFTEN INVOLVED AS A SOLOIST AND MUSIC LEADER IN THESE WEEKENDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY,  AS WELL AS BEING THE FEATURED SOLOIST AT LARGE GATHERINGS OF THE LAITY, PARTICULARLY IN THE SOUTHEAST AND SOUTHWEST.  AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE EXPERIENCED RENEWAL,  TOMMY AND HIS FAMILY WERE INSPIRED TO HOST ANNUAL WORSHIP/FELLOWSHIP GATHERINGS ON THEIR FARMLAND JUST SOUTH OF BYHALIA, MS.. TO WHICH ANYONE AND EVERYONE WAS INVITED.
THERE WERE TWO EVENTS:   ONE THE WEEKEND CLOSEST TO JULY 4th, AND LABOR DAY WEEKEND. AT ITS PEAK THE RETREAT WOULD DRAW   500 - 1000   PEOPLE FROM AS FAR AWAY AS OHIO, KANSAS, TEXAS, KY, AND FROM ALL OF THE MID-SOUTH STATES. THEY STAYED IN CAMPERS, RVs, TENTS, AND SOME GROUPS BUILT THEIR OWN CABINS.   THERE WAS A TIN-ROOF COVERED TABERNACLE WITH A SAWDUST FLOOR AND A SMALL STAGE AREA WITH AN UPRIGHT PIANO. THE WEEKEND BEGAN WITH A FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICE,   CONTINUED WITH SAT. MORNING AND SAT. NIGHT SERVICES,   AND FINISHED WITH SUNDAY MORNING.   AS YOU WILL SEE, THE FINAL CELEBRATION WAS THE BAPTIZING IN THE NEARBY CATTLE POND.   BUT, A VERY SPECIAL ENDING ON SAT. NIGHT, WAS THE SHORT WALK TO THE FOOT OF THE TALL, LIGHTED CROSS FOR A TIME OF COMMITMENT AND PRAYER.
SATURDAY AFTERNOONS WOULD USUALLY INCLUDE GOSPEL-SINGING GROUPS, OR INDIVIDUALS.....ONE FAVORITE GROUP WAS   THE FOUR AMERICANS  ..A FATHER, HIS TWO SONS, AND ANOTHER YOUNG ADULT, PLUS  BOB BELEW   PLAYING THE PIANO.   THEY WERE FROM THE TRI-CITIES AREA IN NW ALA.
WELL KNOWN PREACHERS WERE FEATURED AT EACH RETREAT....IN 1972 THE YOUNG PREACHER WAS FROM FLORIDA AND HAD JUST ANSWERED THE CALL TO COME LEAD   BELLEVUE BAPTIST   IN MEMPHIS,   AND WE WERE ALL INTRODUCED TO   ADRIAN ROGERS.  IN ADDITION,   JIMMY BUSKIRK,   ARNOLD PRATER, AND  CECIL WILLIAMSON WERE GREAT TO HEAR...PoP WAS INVITED ONE SUNDAY MORNING, LIKELY IN 1976,.. TO FILL IN FOR JIMMY BUSKIRK (HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO TULSA TO BEGIN HIS NEW MINISTRY AS THE FIRST DEAN OF THE ORU SEMINARY) ....CAN YOU IMAGINE THEIR SURPRISE WHEN FOLKS REALIZED THEY WERE NOT GOING TO HEAR DR. BUSKIRK, BUT A SEMINARY STUDENT?   HOWEVER, GOD HAD A SURPRISE OF HIS OWN AND DID A MIRACULOUS THING FOR ONE LADY FROM MISSOURI THAT DAY. ASK PoP SOMETIME TO TELL YOU THE REST OF THAT STORY! HE WILL NEVER FORGET THAT DAY!
THE FOLLOWING ARE PICTURES TAKEN, AND SENT TO PoP, BY THE RICHARD RHODEN FAMILY OF GREENVILLE, MS. YOU WILL SEE THEM IN SOME OF THESE PICS.   WHAT GREAT MEMORIES MANY PEOPLE MUST HAVE OF HOW GOD'S SPIRIT MOVED IN THEIR LIVES AT RABBIT RIDGE....HOW THANKFUL WE ARE THAT THE WOODS FAMILY LISTENED WHEN   GOD WHISPERED.....
  'YOU BUILD IT AND I WILL BRING THEM!'

THIS LIGHTED CROSS WAS VISABLE FROM U.S. HWY 78. MR. J P WOODS, PATRIARCH OF THE FAMILY


TOMMY WOODS AT THE EDGE, AND AMIE R. WATCHING PoP IN THE WHITE COVERALLS LEADING HER DAD, RICHARD RHODEN INTO THE WATER FOR BAPTISM. SOME OF THE GROUP GATHERED AFTER THE BAPTISM. BTW, WE HAD TO CHASE COWS OUT OF THE POND BEFORE THE BAPTISM.


THE HARDINS WITH JIMMY BUSKIRK...HE AND HIS BOARD OF ADVISORS PROVIDED A LOT OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR US WHILE WE WERE IN SEMINARY. WILL, MAGGIE, OWEN, DREW THESE ARE YOUR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS ON YOUR GRANDMAMA BERTHA'S SIDE, JIMMY AND BERTHA LOU THOMPSON.


DREW WILLIAMS ON THE LEFT WITH HIS EVER-PRESENT BALL CAP, ONE OF THOSE WITH A SERVANT'S HEART, PREPARES BBQ FOR THE SAT. EVENING MEAL. MARJORIE, DREW'S WIFE, CAN BARELY BE SEEN HOLDING GRANDDAUGHTER, LAUREN. ON EITHER SIDE OF PoP ARE GREG & PAM ROBERTS, LAUREN'S PARENTS. PoP DID THEIR WEDDING MARCH 17, 1979.


THE OLD TIN-ROOFED TABERNACLE, SCENE OF SOME WONDERFUL WORSHIP SERVICES... TESTIMONIES, SINGING, AND PREACHING.. THE KIDS ALWAYS GOT TO GO ON A HAYRIDE...WITHOUT THE HAY..


MINNIE BELL RHODEN WITH BILL..


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