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Churches at Tap, Texas

Written by Georgia Martin Pace

Tap, Texas, a little store and post office located in the south end of Dickens county about 12 miles southwest of what is now Spur, Texas, was a very active little community, serving about a 30 mile radius of country homes, there were really more occupied farms in the locality during the late 1880's than there are now. The farms have been combined and it is now the mechanical age and one man can handle a very large amount of farm and ranch land, but at that time about 160 acres was enough for one man and his family to take care of. Churches of different faiths met in the school buildings and everyone attended each time the doors were opened, regardless of their faith. Someone came up with the idea of building a permanent tabernacle for the churches to meet in during the warm months of the summer and to have protected meetings under. Each person, regardless of his faith, was to donate what he was able and also to help in the construction of this tabernacle. This project went over with perfect results. The frame work was made of 2 X 4 lumber and the posts were 4 X 4 lumber. The arbor was about 40 X 40. When big meeting time came, one congregation would set their date to have a meeting, get a preacher and start their meeting, everyone attended and helped out. I am sure there were some arguments but no real hard feelings.

Sometimes they held camp meetings which lasted as much as three weeks. Someone would donate a beef, which was butchered and cared for by someone with storage space, a cook was hired, the only one I can recall was Mr. Ned Richards, who lived at Dickens. I am sure there were others, he would bring his family and their beds and come and stay the whole time during the meeting.

A brother of mine, Edd Martin, was asked to make the bread and he accepted. he would make up a 50 lb. sack of flour at one time in a wash tub, and bake it in an old home comfort range cook stove. I can't say how much he could bake at once, but he made two big bread pans full. Just a wild guess, I would say at least as much as 100 biscuits at a time and they were real nice. Most everyone brought their beds and slept on the ground. We always had a crowd as we lived close to the arbor. These meetings usually lasted two or three weeks and everyone brought their clothes and beds and spent the whole time. There was many additions to the church, during the meeting. There was a brush arbor built by the men of the community and used for a long time but was eventually replaced by a sheet iron building several feet square, I would say maybe forty or fifty feet square. It was used by all the churches in the community for their summer meets, but was eventually torn down. The churches eventually were allowed to use the school house so the tabernacle was torn down and moved away.

The Baptist church was the last one to disband so they donated their building to the cemetery association and it is still in use for the place to serve the lunch and have meetings.

Source: Dickens County History...its Land and People © Dickens Historical Commission; Printer: Craftsman Inc. Lubbock, Texas 1986

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