The Maynard Gang

Events such as the fourth Sunday in June Homecoming at Palestine used to be common throughout the Upland South. They were more viable when families lived for generations in the same community and when “family” had an extended meaning far beyond parents and siblings.

The Brakebill Church of Christ Homecoming was a major event in my childhood in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Others that I remember are Siloam Methodist and Columbia-Jarrett and Antioch Baptist. Mt. Pleasant Baptist at Pittman continues the homecoming tradition.

Those of us invested in our heritage celebration would like to know when it began. Cecil Wilson made an effort in the early 1980s to establish the year of its advent but was unable to do so. Like most of us on nostalgic inquiries, Cecil waited too long to ask. Uncle Ran or Uncle Burt Shaver or Aunt Mary Waddle could probably have told him.

There have been only three speakers for Palestine Homecoming. Burt Shaver preached until his death in 1953, Cecil Wilson held forth until his death in 1984 and I have presided since.

All three are direct descendants of John Shaver who at age 70 brought our clan to the community where Mud Creek and Fourche River meet in 1815 from Sumner County, Tennessee. Uncle Burt and I descend from Peter Shaver, John’s eldest son, while Cecil descends from John’s daughter Leah who married Matthias Mock.



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