It’s been an annual event for over 100 years at County Line Baptist Church; the traditional New Year’s Stew (both chicken and beef!) and All-Day Singing. Decades ago, County Line parishioners would hold the event in a cramped church house which overflowed outside to tables near where the stew was cooked on church-owned property. Today, the church sits on a portion of the original property on FM275 near the Hopkins/Rains County line. It houses a spacious Family Life Center with kitchen and dining room, Sunday School rooms and office space and a brand-new sanctuary. The most recent building process was accomplished through monetary gifts, donated labor and neighborly help.
The All-Day Singing is led by the Texas Southern Gospel School of Music. This organization provides instruction for church groups in five states. The school’s annual travel circuit begins with the singing at County Line on New Year’s Day. During open classes, guest gospel groups, quartets and soloists can offer their musical gifts and receive free instruction from representatives of four music companies. These companies also provide curriculum for the school. Some were once associated with the early Stamps and Stamps/Baxter Singing Schools shaped-note instruction books. In the tradition of the late Sam Speed, Pastor Darty and Deacon Lewis Watts continue year-round promotion of the popular event hosted at County Line.
County Line Pastor Wayne Darty
Stew Cooks Woody Garmon and Clinton Lennon
There was plenty of stew and desserts to go around.
Singer Randall McDaniel chats with Gail Garmon and Nell Ross Garmon
A trio of second-generation gospel singers at the singing school
Students form a quartet for personalized instruction in harmony
Don’t miss the next one on January 1, 2018!