Roy Falls at Norris' gravesite

Roy Falls at Norris' gravesite

Books for Sale

Books for Sale

Friday, December 17, 2010

J. Frank Norris ...... THE CURSE OF LIQUOR

Volumes could be written about the curse of liquor inflicted upon humanity.  In his early life, J. Frank Norris recalled many unhappy experiences.  These experiences account why he was so adamant in addressing this issue.  In this 21st century, people in general, have become complacent about this menacing curse.

As a youth, Norris witnessed first hand, the devastating affects of the curse of liquor upon the life of his own father.  At the age of  7, Norris recalled an incident, which so infuriated his father and almost ended the boy’s life.  Young Norris was caught breaking bottles of liquor hidden in the family barn, whereupon, his father, Warner, preceded with a merciless beating.  After the incident, the sobered father, tearfully regretted the incident and is quoted as saying:

                         “Oh God, liquor has ruined my life, and my home.
             Take this boy that I have been so cruel to,
             and send him up and down the land to smite
             the awful curse that has wrecked his father’s life
             and broke his mother’s heart.”

But the memories of his mother are altogether a different story.  He honored his mother as no other person.  He attributed whatever success he attained to that of his praying mother.  To you who view this video, you can be thankful if you have a praying mother.  If you get to Heaven, most likely it will be as a result of a praying mother. 

The song  “Tell Mother I’ll Be There”  is reminiscent of every message J. Frank Norris preached.  This song we sing is in memory and honor of  J. Frank Norris. 

TELL MOTHER I'LL BE THERE 
When I was but a little child how well I recollect
How I would grieve my mother with my folly and neglect;
And now that she has gone to Heav’n I miss her tender care:
O Savior, tell my mother, I’ll be there!
Refrain
Tell mother I’ll be there, in answer to her prayer;
This message, bless├Ęd Savior, to her bear!
Tell mother I’ll be there, Heav’n’s joys with her to share;
Yes, tell my darling mother I’ll be there.
Though I was often wayward, she was always kind and good;
So patient, gentle, loving when I acted rough and rude;
My childhood griefs and trials she would gladly with me share:
O Savior, tell my mother, I’ll be there!
Refrain
When I became a prodigal, and left the old rooftree,
She almost broke her loving heart in mourning after me;
And day and night she prayed to God to keep me in His care:
O Savior, tell my mother, I’ll be there!
Refrain
One day a message came to me, it bade me quickly come
If I would see my mother ere the Savior took her home;
I promised her, before she died, for Heaven to prepare:
O Savior, tell my mother, I’ll be there!
Refrain

Friday, December 3, 2010

NORRIS ' BASIC THEOLOGY ..... (From time to time I wish to add articles relating to the basic beliefs of J. Frank Norris)

Dr. Norris could take crucial doctrines and by use of illustration, make the most unlearned person understand the mysteries of the scriptures.  This is what made him the great soul-winner throughout his life.  For instance, he would lead the sinner in praying that most important prayer ever uttered; "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner".  When a sinner, with a humble heart, recognizes the condition of his sinful nature, he has no other place to turn except from pleading for mercy from God the Father.  This is the message of the cross, which convicts of sin as the spirit of God moves upon the wicked heart.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Norris' Letter to President Truman

NORRIS' LETTER ON ISRAEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMAN

First Baptist Church
4th and Throckmorton Streets
Fort Worth, Texas

Oct. 2, 1947

Hon. Harry S. Truman President United States Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. President:

Mr. Matthew J. Connelly wired me New York October 1st and suggested that I write you certain matters of my trip to Palestine.

First, I want to thank you for your very kind personal letter of August 5th, which was of invaluable assistance in all my travels.

I have given extensive study to the Jewish Palestinian question. The issue is whether we will take the authority of the Bible of our mothers or the Koran with the sword and flame.

In that whole controversy the big issue is who owns the land, who has the title to that land? If that question is settled there is no other question.

The Lord God Almighty in Genesis the 17th chapter, specifically states that the title to Palestine is given not to Ishmael, the ancestor of the Arabs, but to Isaac and his seed for ever.

“And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” (Gen. 17:19)

This covenant was confirmed to Isaac, Genesis 26:3:

“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;

This covenant was also confirmed to Jacob, Genesis 28:13:

“And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

The covenant was likewise confirmed to Moses in Deuteronomy 30:3-5:

“That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

David specifically states the title to that land is to the Jews and the descendants of Jacob: Psalm 105:9-12:

“Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.

Thirteen hundred years ago the Arabs were usurpers, Mohammet with fire and sword, and they were robbers of property that belongs to the Jews.

A second and very important authority in addition to Scriptural authority, Great Britain was given mandate over Palestine for the purpose of Jewish immigration into that land and for making it a national home.

This mandate was confirmed by the United States Government and by the 57 Nations of the League of Nations.

The tragedy and the cause of all the present trouble is that Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister, put on a two-fold appeasement in 1939:

First, with Hitler, and that brought on World War II.

Second, with the Arabs, who were the allies of Hitler.

Chamberlain violated the international law giving that land as a national home for Jews in 1939, and said only 70,000 Jews would be permitted to go for the next five years, and after that none except by the consent of the Arabs. But the mandate made no such restrictions.

Therefore the present Jewish immigration into Palestine is not “illegal”; it’s legal.

Based on the mandate given to Great Britain over Palestine, and confirmed by the United States Government and confirmed by the League of Nations, the Jews invested six hundred and fifty million dollars in Palestine, built cities, public works, and the curse of God Almighty is on every hand that violates this most solemn agreement­-the mandate three times over confirmed.

Now, Mr. President, it certainly is a matter that should cause us to stop and think that the Arab leaders from the Grand Mufti on down were allies of Hitler, and it ill becomes them to come now into court with their hands dripping with the blood of the Jews, six million of them murdered by Hitler.

I interviewed many Arab leaders, and without question I found that the whole crowd are for Stalin, just like they formerly were for Hitler.

While this country was fighting Hitler, thirty thousand young Jews from Palestine volunteered and went to the battle front and not a single Arab regiment.

If the Arabs and Jews in Palestine were left alone they would get along and settle their troubles.

Russia is doing everything at her command to foment the trouble.

The time has come, and long past, when the United States should keep its promise and take a firm stand for law and order in that land that has given the world its Bible and Saviour.

Yours very sincerely,

(Signed by J. Frank Norris)









                    IN 1947, J. FRANK NORRIS WAS ONE OF A VERY
                    FEW WHO DARED SUPPORT AN UNPOPULAR
                    CAUSE AT THAT TIME.  PRESIDENT TRUMAN'S 
                    DECISION HAD A MONUMENTAL IMPACT.  WHERE
                    WOULD AMERICA BE TODAY WITHOUT IT'S MOST
                    LOYAL ALLY. (Opinion of Roy Falls)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2DCpQcj2sg


----------------------------------



THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON


                                                                    October 7, 1947



Dear Dr. Norris:


I am most grateful for your thoughtful letter of October second.  I deeply appreciate having the benefit of this expression of your views because I know that you have given long and extensive study to the Jewish Palestinian question.


                                                                   Very sincerely yours,


                                                    (Signed by President Harry Truman)


                                                                     Harry Truman
                                                                     President


Reverend J. Frank Norris,
First Baptist Church,
4th and Throckmorton Streets,
Fort Worth, Texas.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An unparalled story giving insight to a story you have never heard !

His name is William Blevins.  A stenographic report of his testimony is as follows:

"I was in the liquor business for 40 years.  I organized the Malt and Retail Liquor Dealers' Association of Texas and was its only head until it went out of business.  When J. Frank Norris came to Fort Worth it wasn't long until I recognized that he was going to put us out of business unless we put him out of business.  I called our gang together and we got in touch with the churchmen together of the various denominations, and it wasn't long until we had all the preachers silenced except this young fellow Norris.  I went out to hear him and I was convinced that we had a dangerous foe.  He would never let up.  We thought we had him down and out when we got him indicted and tried, but he was vindicated so overwhelmingly and then his church grew as never before and we were in worse fix than ever.  Then he did begin his war on us in dead earnest.

"He went and brought that fellow Mordecai Ham here and he was as bad or worse than Norris.  So something had to be done.  We thought we had Ham put out of business when a fellow jumped on him and knocked him in the head one night and we were soon through with Ham and Ramsey, but Norris was still fighting away and we called a representative group of 150 or more of the leading business men of the city together at the Metropolitan Hotel dining room and Paul Waples presided.  We lifted our glasses at the close of the fireworks when we decided to finish Norris, and gave a toast to his exit or finish.

"A few nights afterwards we called a huge mass meeting in the auditorium of the Chamber of Commerce, one block from the First Baptist Church, and Mr. George Armstrong presided and called for fifteen men to go and take Norris out.  I was heartily in favor of taking him out and so was everybody else, but we could not get the 15 men.

"And ladies and gentlemen, I believe the hand of God interfered that night and I am go glad that we didn't deprive his wife and children of their husband and father, and this church of its pastor, and since I would not put him out of business, I decided to join him.  I came to the church, walked down to the front and got down on my keeds and he got down with me on his knees and put his arms around my shoulders while I prayed, and I prayed the prayer 'God be merciful to me, a sinner' and He heard me and this man that I so hated and tried with others at every foot of ground at my command to put out of business, baptized me and I am now past my 80th milestone and in the course of nature will precede him to the other shore, and when I get there I am going to hunt up the Superintendent of the fair land and make two requests of Him.

"First, I want Him to let me know the day that Frank comes, and second, I want Him to let me off the day that I may be standing down at the beautiful gate and be the first to put my arms around him as the man who led me to Christ, by whose grace I am saved."

WILLIAMS (BILL) BLEVINS SAT ON THE FRONT SEAT EVERY SUNDAY AT THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF FORT WORTH.

Civil Practice & Remedies Code - Chapter 73

73.001.Elements of Libel

A libel is a defamation expressed in written or other graphic form that tends to blacken the memory of the dead or that tends to injure a living person's reputation and thereby expose the person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or financial injury or to impeach any person's honesty, integrity, virtue, or reputation or to publich the natural defects of anyone and thereby expose the person to public hatred, ridicule, or financial injury. 

PURPOSE OF THE SOCIETY

Those who may not be familiar with the ministry of the late J. Frank Norris, may rightfully ask, why engage in an effort perpetuating the legacy of one amoung hundreds in the past, who have been just as noteworthy as this one man.

As a close observer, I can only relate my opinion, which is the purpose of this website.  The subject of Christianity never ceases to be an object of inquisitive inquiries.  With myriads of volumns written on this subject, there never seems an end to an endless quest.  The age-long attempt to unravel the mysteries of life demand as never before a clarion call for definitive answers to life's mysteries.

One of the mysteries often inquired about is "What about the millions who have never heard the gospel?"  Spiritually minded persons should be able to give an answer.  More often than not, extensive rethoric tends to cloud the subject, rather than give enlightened scriptural explanation.

These conclusions lead into the "whys" and "wherefores" of this website.

Suffice it to say on this brief summation of the life of J. Frank Norris, he had an innate ability to speak the common man's language.  His messages always had a scriptural basis and were delivered in such a simplistic manner that the common man heard him gladly. 

What could be more simplistic than the sinner's prayer?  "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner".  This one phrase was the cornerstone of every message.  The content of the "Sinner's Prayer" passes the test of scriptural critique as well as the intellectual approach. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

RABBLE ROUSER ?

Scandalous words to impugn another person are like a two-edged sword.  They cut to the very marrow of the intended victim.  Such has been the practice of would-be scholars in attacking the legacy of J. Frank Norris.

In scannning the internet, I ran across on a Baptist Theology website, a statement by the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Paige Patterson, who refered to Norris as a rabble rouser.  This kind of loose rethoric does nothing but cloud the issues which at best are made difficult to keep in proper focus.   Is Brooks Morris a rabble, who was the prestigious conductor of the Fort Worth Sympthony Orchestra?  Was Bob Wood Edmondson a rabble, who authored the English textbook for the State of Texas?  These two people were prominent figures in the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth and followers of J. Frank Norris.

The dictionary defines rabble as a mob of contemptuous low class of people.  I could write volumns on the lives of people who were influenced by the ministry of J. Frank Norris.  I leave it to the  response of multitudes who by no stretch of the imagination could be classified as rabble.  In the absence of honest research, the real J. Frank Norris will never surface.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Memories of First Baptist Church

If you attended The First Baptist Church for any lengh of time, two distinct memories are bound to surface.  The first hymn sung at the 11 o'clock sunday morning service was always that immortal "All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name",

                             Let Angels Prostate fall,
                             Let every kindred, every tribe
                             at His feet may fall.

As an interlude, Dr. Norris would then ask Brooks Morris play a verse on his Strativarius Violin, followed by the congregation singing again the first verse.

A perennial revival spirit was ever present at these Sunday morning worship services.

The parting hymn was always "Take The Name of Jesus With You".

As a World War II Veteran, I have visited hundreds of churches during the great war.  Never have I witnessed anywhere, a church that could compare with what I saw at the First Baptist Church.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Example Of True Friendship

The following quote from Mrs. Craik's book "Life for a Life" , illustrates the lifelong friendship between J. Frank Norris and Dr. Louis Entzminger. 

"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weight thoughts nor measure words, but pour them all right out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away!"

Dr. Entzminger was often needled by friends as to why he chose to play second fiddle to Dr. Norris.  His reply: "It takes a pretty good fiddle to play second fiddle" to J. Frank Norris.

Friday, September 10, 2010

DEBUNKING THE KLAN CONNECTION

By using a broad brush approach, critics can indict an opponent by the stroke of a pen, the truth be damned. These are the tactics of the Norris critics who attempt to besmirch his legacy by alleging a Klan connection.

From the beginning of his ministry, Norris displayed passionate feelings about inordinate evils long before the emergence of the second rise of the Klan in the early 1920’s. The prohibition era was ushered in by a wave of indignant Protestants dead set on eliminating the liquor curse. Research reveals the power with which the anti liquor elements of the Klan infiltrated countless Protestant churches. Using the broad brush tactics, every Protestant congregation were Klan sympathizers because of their support of prohibition. Such was the extent of J. Frank Norris’ connection with the Klan. Time Magazine quotes J. Frank Norris thus; “I HAVE NO BRIEF WITH THE KLAN”. No hard evidence exists that Norris was ever in league with the Klan. One noted and respected governor of Texas, Pat M. Neff, later appointed President of Baylor University was supported by the Klan, (UNT Digital Library). Does anyone equate Pat Neff with the Klan? Thanks to the candid comment in the Dallas News (year 2007) Barry Hankins said of Norris:


    “HE WAS PROBABLY NO MORE RACIST THAN ANYBODY ELSE AT THAT TIME".


The word “probably” is an unintended admission that linking J. Frank Norris with the Klan will not stand the test of real research.

Having observed the man up close, I can conclude the passion of his message was directed towards issues, not intended against persons or groups. He hated the devastating effects of liquor, but he loved the victim. He opposed the priestly concept of infallibility, but could align himself with Catholics with crucial issues. He spoke often of his admiration for stalwarts in all denominations, but resented over-lording tactics of ambitious leaders. The anti-Catholic bias did not begin with the Klan. Thomas Jefferson is quoted in Wikipedia as equating the priest-hood as hostile to liberty. On a personal note, I can testify that J. Frank Norris never unfairly attacked the Catholic faith, at least he never indoctrinated me with such folly. As a World War II Veteran of the South Pacific and Europe, I can reveal nothing but pleasant experiences I had with my fellow comrades of all faiths. I served with Catholic buddies, slept in the same hut, fraternized on a daily basis, but very rarely in unfriendly conversations. Most Catholic lay persons are genuine in their devotion to sacred principles. Open and frank dialogue is in keeping with the spirit of ecumenism. This aspect of ecumenism is commendable and represents the same philosophy which J. Frank Norris embraced. No subject is sacrosanct.

Some elements of the Klan in the 1920’s were vocal in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Anti-Semitic attitudes perpetrated the myth that the Jews crucified Christ. Elements of the Christian world have echoed the “Christ killer” myth, not taking into account the multitudes of Jews were the pioneer followers of Christ. Most all of Christendom has fallen into a fallacious trap. J. Frank Norris split ranks with a number of his fundamentalist brethren over this issue. Early in his ministry, he was passionate about the Jewish right to their inherited land. To equate Norris in league with the Klan would certainly be a stretch of the imagination.

The Klan in Texas emerged in prominence in the early 1920s, so powerful in fact, that one-half of the Texas Legislature were in the grip of Klansmen. This was true in vast regions of the country, brought on by the increase of foreign immigrants, most of whom were Roman Catholics. The heart of the Catholic issue centered around the authoritarianism of the Catholic Church. While Norris was in the center of the issue, he was no more different than the vast majority of Protestants, even though he was more vocal.

As an afterthought, the illegal immigration is a prominent issue facing us today. Good people are on both sides of the issue. Honesty insists on fairness and freedom to discuss the issue openly, just like it was in 1920.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reprinted below is the editorial eulogy, published by The Fort Worth Star-Telegram on August 21, 1952.

"The newer generation may not fully recognize, in the death of Rev. J. Frank Norris, the passing of an unusual personality and the close of a life in which strife and storm and the exercise of dynamic leadership played dominant chords.  Although a clergyman, Dr. Norris could perhaps have achieved prominence in almost any field of human endeavor.  He possessed ambition, and brillance and the ability to gather others to his will."


"After 74 years, almost half a century of which was spent in the ministry, he had come into semi-retirement and had surrendered the pastorate of two tremendously large churches, the First Baptist here and the Temple Baptist Church in Detroit, and the presidency of the Bible Baptist Seminary, which he founded.  But his intimate association with the activities of his denomination had not ceased.  He reassumed the pastorate here only a few months ago, and death overtook him as he participated in a youth encampment near Jacksonville, Fla.  His promotion of the Fundamentalist Fellowship spread it across the nation and into foreign countries.  He preached internationally, and commanded throngs wherever he spoke."


"The force of his personality was enormous.  The controversies surrounding him were frequent and noisy.  He had the faculty of binding his friends and followers to him with hoops of steel, and the kindred quality of making implacable opponents, whom he always nettled and sometimes frustrated.  But deep in his character, whatever the controversies, was the spirit of the builder.  He built in beliefs, in numbers, and in stone.  These monuments remain."


"Dr. Norris possessed great talent, however critical his opponents may have been of its use.  His intellect was quick, and razor-sharp.  He could sway people in a mastery of mass psychology.  He had strength, and courage, and daring.  He was perhaps a man out of his era, an anachronism in a time which never completely understood the hard temper and evangelistic fervor of his character, but could not escape being facinated by it."


Reprinted by permission of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Amon G. Carter, Sr., Founder and Publisher.


The originator of this web-site was an employee of Mr. Amon Carter Sr.  I knew him to be an honorable and gracious man, greatly admired by his employees.  I assisted him on many occassions carrying a wheel-chair bound employee up the front steps of the Star Telegram.

LEGACY

The legacy of J. Frank Norris has an enduring factor which is best understood if looked at from the standpoint of his deep-seated beliefs.  He is not admired as a saintly hero, as his critics allege, but rather for the beliefs he embraced and propounded.  While I was not privy to the inner circles, my first encounter with his ministry began in 1928.  My family, through the insistence of my mother, visited the Norris revivals throughout north Texas.  Incidentally, these were the compatible years in which Dr. John R. Rice was an integral partner.  As an aside, I was an eye witness observer in 1936 of the Norris-Rice controversy.

As an active member of the First Baptist Church, from 1936 to 1952, I heard messages interlaced with bed-rock truths that have resonated in my mind all these years.  And now at age ninety, these truths have grown to be more precious than at the beginning.  Hopefully, I wish to write and speak, with total objectivity.  Regrettably, much of the website chatter on the Norris legacy is emotionally charged, much of which will not stand the test of real research.

The Norris legacy is fundamentally no different from ordinary people who live out an expected life span.  Every person's past is a mixed assortment of questionable behavior patterns, but because of anonymity, the average person is not scrutinized as in the case of notable public figures.

In dealing with multitudes of diverse personalities, it is not surprising that bitter conflicts emerge with inevitable regularity.  Such was the legacy of J. Frank Norris.  His instinctive ability to align himself with bed-rock principles is the true measure of a principled person.  The embellishment of faulty scruples fail the acid test.  I must add that Lillian Gaddy Norris was the equalizing factor throughout a remarkable courtship.  This Godly woman knew him as no other person could.  Judge him from her standpoint and you will get a greater appreciation for his contribution to the Christian cause.

He is recognized as the father of fundamentalism in the south, so stated by his critics, to which we acquiesce.  Core beliefs of fundamentalism, rightfully understood, is embraced by multitudes and has survived the test of time.

Much of what is written about J. Frank Norris by modern authors is pure fiction and thus the ability of critics to embellish the facts becomes the format for the forming of uninformed opinions.  When facts are met head-on, the legacy of J. Frank Norris takes on a positive image.

Roy Falls

The Chipps Murder Trial

The prime example of poor research is the recent attempts to rehash the killing of D. E. Chipps in 1926.  The redundancy of the episode rings loud with a pure lack of knowledge of both facts and law.  Unsubstantiated statements are picked up by one critic and passed on with abandon.  Calling Norris "a killer of an unarmed man" was not the finding of the 12 man jury.  Acquittal was the verdict.

Acquittal means that the accused defendant has a constitutional right against double jeopardy.  If the prosecutors had hopes of finding some appealable error in 1927, they would have pursued it legally.  Neither do the latter day pundits have grounds for a would be appeal.  So they dredge up an emotional appeal.  And add extraneous factors as well as denigrating reputable people, long deceased and unable to respond.  If the Norris acquittal was a miscarriage of justice, then the critics recourse of blame is upon the state, not some nebulous unknown element, like "nagging at a gnat".  To call "Norris" a "killer" would likely be grounds for libelous slander if he were still living.  But, unfortunately, utterances of emotional irrelevancies are permissible in a free society.

Roy Falls

Saturday, August 28, 2010

MUSIC AS IT WAS

The newer generation cannot fully appreciate the difference between traditional hymnology and the modern day contemporary music heard in most churches.  The Norris legacy cannot be complete without an understanding of the difference between the two.

The spiritual atmosphere of by-gone years was greatly enhanced by a different kind of music from what is heard in this modern era.  My father's account of cherished memories has led me to pursue an appreciation of classical hymnology.  Having studied under Ms. Ozella Oliver Jeffus, who was a contemporary of Brooks Morris, has provided a foundation of my musical appreciation. 

Brooks Morris founded the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 1925, and as a loyal devotee of the First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, Dr. Norris appointed him as the music director of his church ....there could not have been a more perfect association.  As an added bit of information, Lela Rogers (mother of actress Ginger Rogers who danced with Fred Astaire) was appointed as Executive Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 1929. 

My father, Roy E. Falls, used to tell me stories about how my family and Mr. Morris would almost always go (after church was dismissed) to the old "Toddle House" for hamburgers.  This little tidbit no one has ever before known about, until now......just me and my family....but, there's more to the story.  Both my father and mother were so captivated by the music (lead by Brooks Morris) in the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Tx......they were determined to give me the finest classical music lessons.  As a child, music was "my life".  Many years were spent with Ms. Jeffus and at home sitting down at the family piano and singing, along with dad and mom, all our favorite hymns we knew and loved.  Unbeknownst' to me, my parents had instilled in me a most precious gift for life....a true appreciation for "real" music...music that I played and still play on my piano.......and that music came with a huge dividend....100's of hymn verses and choruses that I had memorized all throughout those early years...as a result of playing every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night in church.  And not least will I forget lugging our old pump organ which I played under the tents in those grassy fields during those blazing hot summer months.  And today, that is the music I love...early hymns, played and sung like those in the old First Baptist Church of Fort Worth.  That certain form or style I have never forgotten or veered from.

My father and I are in the process of putting together our first CD....old hymns that some of you may remember from way "back when".  The hymns we select are not only beautiful music, but have a beautiful message and a story to tell....and it appears to me, maybe as a coincidence, the older the hymn the more beautiful...so, as you might imagine, through the years I have searched for unusual, pretty hymns that I believe need to be brought back and made new again...and of course, sung and played as they once were.  The music may bring you "back in time".....if not, it will captivate your heart.  Our best hope is that when you listen, you will be able to imagine it coming over your radio from "long ago"....from the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Tx., under the direction of Brooks Morris.

Great hymns of the faith always accompany great revivals.  But contemporary (bourbon street music) can never supplant hymns of the likes of Fanny Crosby. 

Thank you,

Gail Hawkins