Over the years a lot of people have incorrectly assumed my father was a pastor. My Dad was a plumber and a well-beloved leader in the local churches he attended. His father was a school teacher and plasterer, and my grandfather also was a great Christian. Both of these men worked hard at blue collar jobs, and impacted my life positively for Christ.
My Dad’s grandfather was a pastor. I never met my great-grandfather, but James Tracy McKissick (1877-1957) was a Disciples of Christ pastor in Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas. He was a well educated man, with degrees from TCU and Harvard. He also attended the prestigious Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. He was a college president at Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee and two other institutions in Texas.
Even though he had high academic prestige, he would preach to the common man. Able to speak multiple languages, Rev. McKissick preached in spanish to the Mexican migrant workers in west Texas.
This weekend the descendants of Rev. McKissick’s nine children will gather in Houston for a family reunion that occurs every three years. Of all his descendants, I’m the only pastor in the family we currently know of. I’ll be conducting a chapel service over the weekend for our family, as we honor the Lord through the great Christian heritage we have.
I love this picture below of my great-grandfather baptizing in some river. I love the dress of the people on the shore, during a far more elegant time. I don’t know the details of this picture, but perhaps I’ll learn from my cousins over the weekend.