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My First-Time Visit to a Brush Arbor

Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.

This depicts how early brush arbors looked.

This depicts how early brush arbors looked.

It's Quite Simple, The Brush Arbor

was first introduced in America as a open-sided shelter built of vertical pine poles dug and drove into the ground with extra long poles placed across the top as aid for a roof of brush, cut branches or hay. Brush arbors came to be in the 1700's and 1800's, country families used brush by some churches to help worshipers from the weather during long revival meetings.

A man known as a circuit rider, an ordained preacher, had a designated route of brush arbor's that he visited to bring the Word of God to these eager believers. As far as guidelines for worshippers, sure they had a few stern rules, but no distinction made between races, occupations and accent. Brush arbors were built for one reason: to pray to God and worship Him without any shame.

Do not be confused. Brush arbors were not flimsy thrown-together shelters made from small boughs of trees as well as the inside furnished with sturdy oak pews, seats, and the pulpit that stood in the very center of the room. Musicians were available, mostly from the church having services, to play the hymns of the day and let believers sing as loudly as they desired. And the fact is, there were no such thing as a microphone or P.A. system to amplify the songs or sermons. The believers' lungs were sufficient.

Rev. Billy Sunday preached many times in brush arbors.

Rev. Billy Sunday preached many times in brush arbors.

It's Quite Simple, The Brush Arbor

was first introduced in America as a open-sided shelter built of vertical pine poles dug and drove into the ground with extra long poles placed across the top as aid for a roof of brush, cut branches or hay. Brush arbors came to be in the 1700's and 1800's, country famlis used brush by some churches to help worshipers from the weather during long revival meetings.

I recall my first visit to a local brush arbor that was held in our neighborhood where we lived during my dad's share cropping jobs. The nights and days were hot. So hot that the heat waves would be seen rising from the asphalt, two-lane Farm to Market highway that ran along our house. I believe that this time was in mid-July, perfect brush arbor weather.

If anyone cares, I was seven at the time of my first visit to a neighborhood brush arbor. My mom did not get to go because she had suffered a very serious burn on her right leg and had to keep it raised, and the doctor said this so the leg would heal proplerly. So dad and I were on our own this hot Thursday night in July. How do you know if you are inside an early brush arbor in summer? There are no hands sitting still. Every woman's hand was frantic fanning with those funeral home fans which helped to weave the American Fabric.

A brush arbor was not anything to be laughed at. To those brush arbor followers, this was serious business and who could blame them? These people, and please, do not think that I am mud-slinging or making un, loved to sing, preach, and testify way past the noon time when most churches dismiss.

I know that this is true. My dad sat near the front and I sat near him because honestly, I was afraid of the looks on the faces of the people who sat around me. I was not a very social child and to this day, I cannot understand why my dad allowed me to go with him and ride with our land lord, Mrs. Vertie Dobbs, the lands that my dad tended for her.

I just chuckled once before the singing began, and my dad quickly-stared at me in a way that put the fear of God in my heart. I did not chuckle or move any limb during this very long service. I would share a lot more about my first visit to a bush arbor, but I fell asleep near 10 p.m., dad told me the next morning. Yes, I slept some more because school was not in session due to Summer Vacation.

This, according to the history of brush arbors, is why the brush arbor was built so these people could worship all day and night. Here is a very admirable fact: the people who made-up the believers who not only built, but worshiped in a brush arbor were of the early Pentecostal Movement and I say this again with a lot of respect, they loved God and even worked in their fields at home, then jumped on their wagon pulled by their mules to get to the brush arbor meeting.

See how the inner-structure of a brush arbor is built.

See how the inner-structure of a brush arbor is built.

Now do You See How The Brush Arbor

has come and gone in our land? According to my sources, worship meetings are still held in rural arts of America where the inside and outside of the arbor is always clean, spacious, and the worshippers carry on the early tradition that their great, great grandparents began, suffered a lot of persecution, but their faith held firm, and now see what the brush arbor is today.

December 4, 2020_________________________________________

These URL's Are to The Photos in This Hub, but Not The Brush Arbor That I Wrote About in This Piece.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=sJpiEYOP&id=B6D2B30EC014AC53436BACAB21181DD41BDB6886&thid=OIP.sJpiEYOPwQek5EGxwsOg1AHaE8&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.capecentralhigh.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2012%2f04%2fCostumes-7.jpg&exph=834&expw=1248&q=brush+arbor&simid=607991967397839810&ck=9B5704C3C9DAA3124408431370F3EC96&selectedIndex=1&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=6Jb%2F681n&id=FB0E423ED7227BDE24516B563C9C3997F99FD2D4&thid=OIP.6Jb_681nr6QDHmOvticOBwHaE7&mediaurl=http%3A%2F%2Fdrycreekrancheria.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F09%2FBrushArbor-24.jpg&exph=681&expw=1024&q=brush+arbor&simid=608006175097163690&ck=55269DB46004D758A6CF5090F6E03054&selectedindex=4&form=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&sim=11

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/503981014533344184/

© 2020 Kenneth Avery

Comments

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on December 06, 2020:

Interesting. My grandmother said that our old home church was a brush arbor before a stone structure was built.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. While my only communal experiences of worshiping are in a church setting, an open-air one like this sounds good.

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