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Dub-Yar

I figured if I stood on tiptoe and reached really, really high, I could carve my dad’s initials up where adults would see them on the corner of our garage.

Free Methodist preachers all seemed to go by initials. My preacher dad was known as W.R. Parks, and everyone who shook his hand could then call him, “Dub‑Yar.” My preacher grandfathers were known as G.B. Ingram and B.R. Parks. I rarely knew the given names of preachers in those generations — only their initials.

Males only

It seemed like an all-male club. People used given names for my grandmothers and my mother: Alice Parks, Elma Ingram, Mildred Parks.

Input

I asked the “Growing up Free Methodist” group on Facebook about our ancestors’ initials:

  • Karen Lewan — J. C. Hecocks; L. W. Gibbs; F. E. Butcher.
  • Joy Shewan — I remember E. O. Smith, Sr., and E. J. Cook.
  • Kendell Lockwood —  C J Anderson.
  • Pam Beeman —  E.J. Beeman, my favorite!
  • Belva Johnson Post —  Rev. K.R. Bertholf
  • Deborah Price Horton — E.W. Price & P.W. Price
  • Sally Buckta Harvey — J. D. Harvey, my husband’s grandfather
  • Sharon Hastings — L.J. Crist, my pastor in Indianapolis
  • Debbie Hurd Myers — My dad was Rev. C.D. Hurd
  • Mrs. Geo McKay — E.E. Smith in San Jose California
  • Nancy Ragatz — E.C. Snyder, my Dad; J.J. Zahniser, my maternal grandfather
  • Vianne Dowley Satterfield — R.C. Morell, my grandpa had “circuits” in the Southern Michigan Conference.
  • Mim Carne — also easier for the conference to see the pastors more like employees rather than people.
  • Brian C. Lockwood — V. J. Anderson, East Michigan Conference
We had 2 evangelists that came to our churches–H.S. Bennett and A.C.Archer.
My Father, who was a pastor and Supt in the Ohio conference always was known as H. L. Jones.

In conference business, dad was referred to as “H. C.”. Fellow pastors and friends called him Harold. People of our generation go by nicknames. I have been Bob from day 1.

Dad was pastor and Superintendent in the Iowa Conference until his retirement in 1982.

East Michigan Conference. My father was one of the sweetest, kindness and caring men you could ever know..He was proud to be a member of the conference and served as treasurer many years. I still can see him walking across the grounds carrying his trusty brief case. He has been in Heaven many years. I still miss him, but will see him again someday. No he was never called Dub-yar😀

My grandfather, B.N. Miner, was named Burdette Newton, and I would guess most would prefer to be called by initials if given those names. To everyone he was B.N. except his younger sister, Lucy who called him Newt whenever she was around. To most all he was some revered person. To her, just a big brother.

I had understood that it had to do with pastors not showing vanity and kept people from being too close and familiar with you. My great grandfather was W.W. Eccles.” He was the Director for Education in the McKinley Administration (a Buckeye), and was a Superintendent of several Indian Reservations, including the Southern Ute (Meds Verde, CO), Navajo, Oglala Sioux and Blackfeet Crow. He was not a Christian. His eldest son was my grandfather, William Gail Eccles, going by Gail at church, and Bill at work at Westinghouse in Mansfield, OH. He never went by, or was known by his initials, even though he was on Ohio Conference MEG and placement boards, and was a delegate to General Conference. He built many cabins on the Ohio Conference Campgrounds, and lived about 4 houses down from the grounds.

My great grandfather went by Rev. J.A. Fletcher and to this day no one has discovered what the “A.” stood for although family lore says he through the the initial in to honour Canada’s first prime minister. J.A.’s brother Rev. Tobias Layman Fletcher went by T.L. and my grandpa Rev. John Wesley Fletcher often was known as J.W. Fletcher. I can think of many more relatives, such as Rev. J.W. Haley, who were mostly known by their initials as well.

Our pastor, and a former district superintendent, L. J. Lindsay. When I was in college at RWC in the early 1970s, I bought L.J. Lindsey’s car from his widow. It was a 1967 Rambler, and it had been modified so that the gas pedal on the left. Because of his wooden right leg, Rev. Lindsay needed to use his left foot for driving. 

Not just Free Methodists

Was it a Free Methodist thing? Started by B.T. Roberts? No, says my good Baptist wife, Vickie:  Baptist preachers went by initials, too.

Authors

Plus, Vickie reminds me, that generation knew the authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Never mind what I might do to my parents if they had hung “Clive Staples” on me, C.S. might feel the same about “David Warner.” Sally Buckta Harvey mentioned A. W. Tozer.

Presidents and silos and history books. Oh my!

Becky Stephens calls my attention to USA presidents FDR, JFK, and LBJ. And now I remember those blue A.O. Smith silos filled with chopped corn and alfalfa to feed the cows. Martha L Phillips said to check the general culture at the time: The history books did it this way.

So back there in Spring Arbor, standing behind the Lord house, W.R.P. seemed like the right ID for our garage. But when Dad saw my improvement, he said, “Don’t carve on the house or the garage.”

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4 Responses to Dub-Yar

  1. Kitty Richards March 3, 2017 at 3:16 PM #

    Good read. I have some from the Consevative Holiness movement too: P.O. Carpenter, .J.M. Sullivan, B.H. Lucas, W.O. Kneal. H.E. Schmuel. One I know you Dave will reconize-S.I.Emery! Blessings… 🙂

    • Prof Parks March 3, 2017 at 3:19 PM #

      Oh yes! I remember H.E. Schmuel and S.I. Emery. Thanks, Kitty!

  2. Nancy (Snyder) Ragatz March 7, 2017 at 1:39 PM #

    I like the Dub-Yar!! 🙂 I forgot to add my maternal grandfather who was a FM preacher–JJ Zahniser!

  3. ​Christine Terman Baker March 28, 2017 at 1:23 PM #

    Sounds interesting. Grew up in the Free Methodist Church in Ohio.

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Elijah

Elijah