Recently joined St John Missionary Baptist Church in the 90’s on Facebook. Funny seeing all the threads starting with ‘Remember junior usher board’ ‘ Remember church camp’ ‘Remember Brother so-n-so on the drums and keyboards’ ‘Remember Sister so-n-so always catching the Holy Ghost’…
Even though as a adult on my journey through life I have no urge to step into church to celebrate/worship through some organized religion, I do have to admit I actually had some good moments in the house of God. I remember we used to have ‘lockdowns’…I think that’s what it was called. And these lockdowns would consist of all the pre-teens and youths sleeping over at the church. We would camp out with our sleeping bags, sleeping under pews and on top of pews or all of us just hundled in the banquet room. And in those days, nobody was quite that fast…yet. So sleeping quarters were all co-ed. Girls ‘innocently’ snuggled under boys, limbs haphazardly and/or purposely sprawled across each others bodies, girl-talks going on until 3 or 4 in the morning. There was no curfew…we were in church.
Then there was choir practice. Which was simply an easy attempt to get out the house and hangout with your girls, (or boys). Sure we practiced singing. But thats not the only reason we were there. It was the after choir hang outs that everybody came for. In the church parking lot was the good gossip, in the banquet hall you heard whispers of breakups and makeups, and right outside the dining room door you saw everything from first kisses to first punches. We purposely told our parents to pick us up about a half hour late just so we could hang.
These were good times because we could have been anywhere. Perhaps on the streets acting a fool like half the kids my age were doing. But no, we were at church. And it was actually cool.
But I do have to say that sanging the ‘Old One Hundreds’ are one of my most vivid memories. And anybody that knows these hymns know that they can last anywhere to 5 mins to half a damn hour to forever. But it was tradition and I was raised up on singing the Old One Hundreds. Crazy how when I tried to research it, for one couldnt find anything and two the churchs that sung these were of course down south churchs. Mississippi…Lousiana…but Im from a church in Southern Cali and we were representing the ‘Old One Hundreds’ lol, funny how people continue with tradition no matter where they relocate to. Im blessed to have been even bought up in this tradition. I have some folks (black baptist folks) who don’t even know what the “Old One Hundrends” are. Here’s a little clip of an actual ‘Old One Hundred’. However, it is clearly a snippet because they usually last anywhere from 10 mins to like I said forever…gotta love em