One summer Sunday afternoon in 1955, several children were baptized by the preacher of the Klein Baptist Church in Logan’s Creek. As I recall, he had a weekday job at a factory in a nearby town. But on Sunday he preached and inspired the community’s churchgoers. On a previous Sunday morning, we had all walked to the front of the church when called to be saved. My friend, Mary Ann Logan, and I went down; her mother played the piano in the one room church. “Have thine own way, Lord”. Then we found ourselves sitting by the creek bank, waiting for our chance to walk into the water onto the submerged roots of the big tree that marked the edge of the creek, to be baptized by the preacher who followed in the steps of John the Baptist. Those attending sang, “Shall we gather at the river?... where bright angel feet have trod.”
During the summers of the ‘50s, Mary Ann and I went swimming every day in the creek that flowed through the Logan land, the Scott-Bradford place adjacent to Klein from which the Logans are descended. The creek served as our playground, as our bathtub (neither of us had running water), and now it was our baptismal font.
I recently reconnected with Mary Ann after sixty years. She and her husband had returned to live on the land, in the midst of cotton fields, and are pillars of the Klein Baptist Church. She recalled my grandmother’s floating in the creek (the swimming hole was actually too small for an adult to swim), saying how grand it was… and that we are now the same age as my grandmother was. Probably, neither of us would swim in the waters of the creek where snakes could occasionally be seen dangling in the trees or on the sides of the creekbed. I’m sure I wouldn’t…. not that we could as the creek exists no longer. It and the pasture surrounding it are now a backwater of the Coosa River system. Thomas Wolfe was right… “You can’t go home again.”