September 19, 2005
Dear Rev. Severns,
Our visit with you at Tabernacle Baptist Church meant so much to my sister and me. We deeply appreciate your time, your tour, and the opportunity to see that unique and splendid tree gracefully spreading its arms over the sanctuary, sprouting colorful leaves, celebrating families, and celebrating the grace of seasonal change. The tree is an engineering marvel, a piece of poetry and a symbol of God’s spirit rooted in the past and reaching ever outward to new generations. I LOVE THE TREE! And I love the book, The First Hundred Years, which you presented to us along with other materials. The book turned out to be a treasure trove of information about our grandfather, Robert Moss Smith, as well as a beautifully written story of the birth of the church, its subsequent growth, and its continuing commitment to service in the community. We knew little about our grandfather other than that there was a plaque honoring him next door to the church, and that he had died as a result of a fall.
The biographical sketch of Robert Smith on page 226 of the book contains a priceless bit of family history for us. I also discovered that Robert Smith had written a history of the church which was never published, but which Margaret H. Emery used as a reference especially for the early development of the church. My sister and I were unprepared for how relevant the book would be for us, and decided we really needed to take you up on your generous offer to give each of us a copy…