Mrs. McMillian Will Have To Ride
When the congregation of the Church of Christ, here in Whitewright,
moves to their new building around the First of August, Mrs. J. C. (Marion)
McMillin will make the move with mixed emotions.
Mrs. McMillin, who readily admits to being 75 years of age, but
certainly doesn't look it, is the only charter member left in Whitewright.
She has always attended the local church and was baptized at the age of
13. She is the third generation of her family to worship at the present
location which has been the site of three church structures.
Mrs. McMillin is a retired school teacher, and still does private
teaching in her home. She also substitutes when the need arises at
the school. She has taught in the Ida, Tom Bean, old Cannon schools,
and began teaching in the Whitewright school in 1917.
Fifty-five years ago, she began to teach a Sunday School class and
has done so ever since, missing only in the case of illness. She
prefers the beginner and primary age groups. The Sun staff visited Mrs.
McMillin in her Sunday school rooms this week at the present church and
she remarked; "I feel so at home here in this class room, since 1923, you
know." She also said, "There are so many nice memories, and it hurts
to leave this building, breaks my heart."
Mrs. McMillin said she has been able to walk to church all her life
and this will be the first time that she will have to ride to church.
Her home, where she has lived all her life, is just a block from the church.
She hopes to keep her attendance regular, but said she didn't drive after
dark. But friends have promised to come by for her.
The first church that Marion McMillin remembers was established
about 1876; a short time after the city of Whitewright, and the second
building was erected around the early 1900's. The first minister
was a man named Beard.
Since 1923, the congregation has worshiped in the present brick
structure. There have been some 25 ministers that Mrs. McMillin can
recall. One stands out in her memory. He was an evangelist
named T. B. Laramer who held an old-fashioned meeting, and she compared
his popularity then with that of Billy Graham's today. She remembers
the yard and windows full of people when he conducted the meeting.
She also recalls a story her grandmother told of the church leaders
heating railroad cross-ties and putting them in the baptismal waters to
heat them when the weather was cold.
Seventy-one years ago, the church had red carpet and Mrs. McMillin
remarked that for the first time since then, red carpet would be installed
in the new church, and she seemed pleased about that.
This week, still thinking about her Sunday school class, Mrs. McMillin
was preparing to make new curtains for her classroom. Although it is with
a touch of sadness that she will move into the fourth church building,
she says it is a lovely building and it will be wonderful having the entrance
at ground level. It is located at the intersection of U.S.69 and
Those who know Mrs. McMillin feel that, with the devotion she has
for her church, it won't be long before she will be collecting new memories
in the new building where the Church of Christ congregation will gather.