From Generation to Generation

by Kay Burnam Evans

Some seventy-three years later, it is difficult for me to be sure just what drew my parents to Broadway when our family moved to Lubbock in 1947, but I suspect the fact that they sensed early on the emphasis this particular congregation placed on its own youth, as well as on that of the myriad of young people brought to its doorstep by Texas Technological College, was a major factor.

Other choices made by my parents during that transitional period are enough to convince me that my well-being as a fifth-grader, as well as that of my third-grade brother, were uppermost in their minds as they decided where to put down their spiritual roots. From day one, Dickie and I were regular attendees in Sunday School , Vacation Bible School, and, later, at all of the various youth-focused activities offered by the elders, ministers, and parents.

When we were growing up, there was no such thing as a paid youth minister, but that does not mean that Broadway’s young people were neglected. Quite the contrary. There was rarely a weekend that there was not some sort of parent-sponsored activity, designed to keep the young people busy and out of trouble. One of the cardinal sins when I was growing up was dancing, and the periodic school dances were always countered by caring Broadway parents with some kind of fun activity that helped to take away the sting of not being allowed to do what “everybody else” was doing.

Group travel (whether for fun or as a mission effort) had not yet been incorporated into the church program (or budget), but that did not keep groups of Broadway kids from getting together with the more adventurous of our Broadway parents and heading to out-of-town ballgames, to nearby points of interest, and/or to various cabins owned by Broadway members, usually in the mountains of New Mexico. The kind of bonding that took place during these various adventures together can best be attested to by the number of friends from that era who still appear on my Christmas card list and/or in my cell phone directory.

Fast forward twenty years, and our three children are blessed to be part of a number of Broadway programs, including the Saturday morning Timothy and Dorcas clubs and Youthreach, the first organized youth program in the brotherhood with a paid youth minister. Once again the elders and the congregation exhibit their love and concern for our young people by investing their time, money, and prayers in the training and encouragement of our young people.

Our eldest child, who now serves as an elder at Broadway, was a part of Youthreach from the minute he graduated from elementary school until the mission trip he participated in shortly before leaving for ACU. Only once in his six years in the program did he indicate a lack of interest in what was going on at Youthreach. This was in the days of Sunday night worship, followed by Youthreach activities after services; and he came home from a weekend camp-out with his Boy Scout troop totally exhausted. When our answer to, “Do I have to go to church tonight?” was, “Yes. We can’t let anything (even Boy Scouts) get in the way of our worshipping God,” he came back with, “Well, do I have to go to Youthreach?” “No,” we said and were totally surprised when he came up after services, asking for money to go get pizza with the kids from Youthreach. “I thought you were too tired,” I said. “I was,” Richard replied, “but I slept through church!” You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink!

Fast forward another twenty-five years, and we, among other longtime members whose families have stayed in Lubbock, have had the joy of watching our grandchildren be blessed by Broadway’s continued emphasis on nurturing its young. This generation not only has mission opportunities in other parts of the nation, but many of our young people have been blessed to be part of mission efforts in other parts of the world! Other programs like Bible Bowl, Pine Springs, and the Broadway summer music and art camps have served to bond our children to one another while nurturing their faith and fortifying them against the wiles of the Devil.

Since I had very little input into the choice of where our family would worship when we moved to Lubbock, I’m not sure how I would have evaluated the congregations that we visited. I know one thing for sure: I would have wanted to raise my family in a congregation that loved and cared about its children. Luckily, my parents must have had pretty much the same criteria when they were making that decision for our family so many years ago. Thanks, Mom and Dad and thanks, Broadway.

One Response to “From Generation to Generation”

  1. Tony & Carole Compton says:

    Good read from you, Kay. Thanks. Miss you. Come back to see us.

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