Getting rid of old books is a difficult task at best but over a long period of time it simply becomes a necessity.

Last weekend, Joyce, Cameron and I sifted through several shelfs of books that contained everything from sports to education to entertainment. Some I don't even remember buying much less possessing them.

Getting rid of old books is a difficult task at best but over a long period of time it simply becomes a necessity.

Last weekend, Joyce, Cameron and I sifted through several shelfs of books that contained everything from sports to education to entertainment. Some I don't even remember buying much less possessing them.

Most brought a lot of memories but none like the two old church songbooks that we uncovered. They dated back to the late 1950s and 1960s. They were worn and frayed around the edges from much use. If I remember correctly my brother, Mike, bought them home to practice to lead the singing at church when he was just a teen.

Those old songbooks made me remember the old white rock church building that I attended while growing up. I can vividly remember almost everything about that structure – from the pews to the pulpit. I can even recall the color of wood from which they were made. The building was constructed by German prisoner of war soldiers during the 1940s. My grandfather was a carpenter and may have had a hand in making some of the furniture.

There was a matching building next door that was originally used to house the preacher and his family. When the church bought another house for a minister who had a much larger family the building was utilized for additional classroom space.

The main building had a vestibule where the men hung their hats and the ladies their umbrellas when the weather was inclement. As a six-year-old the building seemed large enough though it would probably only seat about 200 comfortably.

Ceiling fans kept the congregation cool during the summer months and old radiators along the wall provided the warmth during the winter time. There were two sections on either side of the pulpit with folding doors allowing the space to be used as a classroom for the teens.

I have a whole lot of fond memories of that old church building. I remember singing "Jesus Loves Me" in Sunday School and squirming in my mother's lap while the sermon went on and on and on.

Mostly I remember the great men that influenced my life during my formative years – the men that led the singing, prayers and occupied the pulpit.

One of my most tragic memories I recall in connection with that old building was the death of one of those great men. George Parrish died of a heart attack while serving communion on one otherwise beautiful Sunday morning. I clearly remember the sound of the crash of the trays on the concrete floor and the thud of his body when he hit the floor.

A doctor lived just across the street from the church building but he declared that Brother George had died before he hit the floor. I recall the feeling of shock throughout the congregation as the remainder of the service was cancelled.

I still find myself thinking at times that what a wonderful place a church building would be when called home to meet The Father.

In 1964, the Osceola Church of Christ broke ground on a brand new building just a few blocks away. That old building was converted into an apartment building and as far as I know it is still standing – at least it was the last time I visited my old stomping grounds.

As I thumbed through the pages of those old songbooks, I vividly recall the hymns that we as a congregation sang to praise our God. We still sing many of those songs today.

I remember leading singing for the first time in front of that loving congregation. I sang my favorite song, "Sing to Me of Heaven."

I'm not sure whether or not "Precious Memories" was among the collection of songs in those hymnals but it certainly would be appropriate.