Down In the River to Pray

Having just seen my nephew, his wife, and my great nephew baptized into Jesus, it got me to thinking about it. I was talking to mom and she told me two stories of family baptisms. One, I knew. The other, I didn’t.

My grandfather, Jim, passed away when my mother was seven years old. So I never got to know him. Mom said that one night, after church, and after having gone to bed, he jumped up in his long underwear outfit and shouted all over the house for salvation. She said that Mammy (my grandmother) said he woke the whole house up!

My Mom’s father & mother, Jim and Dora Stewart.

From there, she said, he proceeded to run out of the house, shouting up and down the holler, praising and worshiping Jesus. He proceeded then to roust people out of bed to take him to the river to be baptized. And that’s exactly what happened.

Then she told me the story I’d never heard. That my brother came to them in the middle of the night, when I was just an infant (my brother was 16 years older than me), also wanting to be baptized. Mom said she was afraid to take me out, as I was a newborn and was ill at the time.

My brother, Audie, with his wife Joyce, and their children, Natasha and Audie Jr.

So Daddy went with him. The story is that they could hardly find enough water to baptize him in, but found just enough to get his entire body beneath, and so he was baptized into Jesus for the remission of sin.


I’m thankful for all the family stories I’m lucky enough to hear. In fact, I collect them! If not on actual paper or in print of some kind, then at least in my head. I think, as we grow older, these fond recollections of days gone by can be such a comfort. Especially to me.

But stories like these… stories that affect eternity… I think they mean the most of all. And I just wanted to record them here and maybe if my own memory ever fails me, there will always be a record of these historical records of such joy!


6 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, Stacey! I forgot to go read this post earlier! So here I am….I can’t tell you how much this blessed my socks off!!! (blown completely off😆) I LOVE to read about stories like this! Your grandparents were a beautiful couple! I loved Jim’s hat!
    Can you imagine if our world would get a hunger like your grandfather did while lying in bed? No doubt, he had to have been lying there praying, when all of a sudden the Spirit hit him and he lept right out of that bed! That is a true hunger and thirst for righteousness! It reminded me of the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night! And then history repeating itself with your brother! Wow! such a legacy to be proud of girl! You have to share mod of these stories from the “holler!” I’m hooked!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Renee! <3 You know, I've thought about it myself... about the events leading up to his shouting and praising and running up the holler in his long underwear 🙂 What JOY there must have been in his heart!! And after church, nonetheless! I would love to have known what they preached on that night. And then, thinking about all of THOSE things makes me think about how important it is for us to share our stories... even in what we feel to be the mundane! I wouldn't think to write, very often, of the contents of a sermon (though I've done it a few times, lol), but here I am, wishing someone had made a record. Wow...

      And you're right. That truly IS a legacy! And now... my nephew that recently got baptized... is THIS brother's SON! And the great-nephew is my niece's son, my brother's grandson!! I just love it! And they're all in the Truth <3

      Can you imagine the reunion we're all gonna have one day????!!!

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