Memoir Front Cover I Went To Bishop College
Front Cover - A Light in the Bottom
A Girl Dreams of Preaching
Saying Amen through Advent
New edition - Church In the Mirror
The Learning and The Burning
40MidWeek-Meditations - Cover
SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG - Front Cover
A Necessary Transition
SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG - Front Cover
SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG - Front Cover
SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG - Front Cover

I Went To Bishop College

A Memoir

By Thomas W. Spann

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Memoir Front Cover I Went To Bishop College

About The Book

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The title of this memoir comes from an expression that I have often said to my
family. Whenever I succeeded in doing even the smallest task, I would say “I went
to Bishop College.” This was my way of reminding them that while I did graduate
from other schools, I received my start at Bishop College. In this book I share NT experiences that shaped and defined me while at the college from August of 1971
to May of 1975. I cover topics such as Dormitory Life, Zale Library, the Cafeteria,
Chapel, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, and Lessons from Teachers and C Staff. A distinguishing feature of this memoir is that at the end of many of these
experiences, I share lessons for living with young people.


Also, I share a brief timeline of Bishop, from its beginning to the year the school
closed.

The book ends with four speeches that were delivered in a college context. The first speech was delivered during a Bishop College alumni reunion luncheon. The second speech was delivered as the J. N. Ervin Lecture at Jarvis Christian College (now University) in Hawkins, Texas. The third speech was delivered at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. The fourth speech was given at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas.

“Lesson: My parents made the most of what they had. They were not solely defined by their environment. They used their creativity and mother-wit to overcome seemingly impossible odds. Hard work was not their enemy. They were ….”
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What’s inside

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Preface

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The Bishop College Experience

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Social Context of Bishop's Founding

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Historical Timeline

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Appendix

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Acknowledgments

Introduction

This memoir is written with young people, especially my great-grandchildren, in mind. While it is addressed to them, the adult reader will, hopefully, find merit in turning the pages of this book.

I had a decision to make. I could write about the breadth and length of my life from childhood up to the present. That would take a much larger volume. I have done this, in part, in a memoir titled “Broad Shoulders,” dedicated to my daughter and son. That memoir mentions my journey at Bishop but not to the degree that I do so in this work. You are urged to read that book in the archive belonging to either ………..

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Chapters

Pages

This book is my heartfelt down payment on the debt I owe to family, teachers, and friends. Many people poured into me wisdom, knowledge, and prayers, that guided me through Bishop College. I mention some of them in this book; however, I want to express my gratitude again to a few of them. ……..

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A Light In The Bottom

A History of Shiloh Baptist Church

By Thomas W. Spann

Foreword by Rev. Dr. Johnnie R. Bradley, Sr.

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(Photo Credit: Front and Back Cover Photographs by Clair Kennedy Redmon)

Front Cover - A Light in the Bottom

About

A Light in the Bottom: A History of Shiloh Baptist Church

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This book is the story of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church that was organized in 1911 in Dallas, Texas, about eight years after Oak Cliff, Texas was annexed to the City of Dallas. The neighborhood in which the church was founded referred to itself as “The Bottom”—a seemingly godforsaken piece of earth. Early African American residents of Oak Cliff transformed this tough piece of real estate into a habitable space. Simple dwellings crowded the bank of the Trinity River which separated Dallas from Oak Cliff. Houses in The Bottom were frequently affected by the flooding of the river. While trying to make ends meet, a handful of residents in The Bottom responded to an evangelistic invitation to gather for worship. A small group met from house to house. Out of this spiritual hunger arose a worshiping congregation called Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. Within two decades of its founding, Golden Gate Baptist and Greater Shiloh Baptist came out of Shiloh and were established in the same geographical area. For one hundred years, Shiloh told its story by word of mouth and short rehearsals during observance of the church’s anniversary. Not uncommon for many churches, Shiloh did not have a substantial written history. The author, having been a member of this congregation during a portion of his college years, decided to provide a fuller account of this congregation’s story in celebration of its centennial in 2011. This book is a revision of the account produced for the church’s centennial. It records the joys and struggles of a small congregation that stayed in the same geographical area for over one hundred years, until it relocated to another area of the Oak Cliff neighborhood.
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church
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What’s inside

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Chapter One

Background

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Chapter Three

The Significance of the Name Shiloh

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And more ...

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Chapter Two

Shiloh’s Beginning in 1911

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Chapter Four

Pastors Who Have Led Shiloh

Foreword

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church is an amazing community of faith that has impacted the lives of God’s people since 1911. From the founding of this church, ministry efforts, missions, and outreach have been major parts of its identity. Shiloh was a staple institution in The Bottom and continues to carry out its ministry in its current location on Illinois Avenue in Dallas, Texas.

It was while Shiloh was in The Bottom that we came to know Dr. Thomas Spann. As an undergraduate student at Bishop College, Dr. Spann was an active member of Shiloh. During his time with the church, he exprienced the friendliness, care, and lasting love of congregational members. Dr. Spann remained a faithful servant until he relocated to pursue a graduate degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. Shiloh has kept a great love and affection for Dr. Spann and was godly proud when he returned to the Dallas area to earn his Doctor of Ministry degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.

As I look back to the time when I was called to be the servant leader of Shiloh, I knew the congregation was a great group of people, but I really did not know of the significance and might of this beloved church. As I got to know the history of Shiloh, the pastors who got their start here, and the ministry impact in the community, I was even more honored to be its spiritual leader. With this newfound knowledge of the impact Shiloh made in The Bottom, I earnestly prayed, asking God to show me where to start.

As I opened my heart to hear God’s Word, ….

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Chapters

Pages

PREFACE

A Note from the Author

A centennial birthday brings an extra sense of excitement. Family and community members gather with a heightened sense of joy and reverence to celebrate the birthday of a one-hundred-year-old relative or friend. There is the idea that the honoree had to go through a lot to make it to one hundred. The blessing of long life is acknowledged at a birthday celebration, but behind the blessing is a lifetime of memories, struggles, and strategies for survival. It is not uncommon to hear that a one-hundred-year-old person has seen many changes in society. Likewise, the community assumes that there is a fund of wisdom that has been distilled over the years, and that the centenarian is a proverbial fount of wisdom.

The excitement over a person turning one hundred is carried over to institutions, particularly churches. Church members and pastors enter the joy of a church turning one hundred. They, too, know that church mem- bers who have long tenure have seen many changes, conflicts, challenges, and blessings. It is right, good, and a joyful thing for present and former church members and friends to gather to celebrate God’s blessings.

As a friend of Shiloh Baptist Church, I am delighted to be able to share ……

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A Children’s Book:

A Girl Dreams of Preaching

By Thomas W. Spann

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In Praise for A girl Dreams of Preaching

PRAISE FOR

A Girl Dreams of Preaching

In Praise for A girl Dreams of Preaching

“What an inspiring tribute to girls and women who hear and answer the call to preach! Dr. Thomas Spann’s Dedication tribute to his granddaughters demonstrates his affirmation of young girls who aspire to pursue any career path they are led to embrace, particularly those that historically have been deemed exclusively for our male counterparts. He constructs the story from a female child’s perspective that breaks down the long-held erroneous notion that preaching the Word of God can only be done by men. Spann’s brilliance at weaving “the then” and “the now” in ways that circumvent cultural, ethnic, and gender divides is both thought-provoking and inspiring. I wholeheartedly endorse this masterful piece of literary storytelling.”

Reverend Lynda L. Mayberry,
Executive Pastor, St. Luke “Community” UMC
Dallas, Texas

“At a time when children are targeted and killed in horrific mass shootings, a young girl dreams. Dr. Thomas Spann has, in this book, created a dreamer who defies her misogynistic environment and moments of self-doubt, to put her gifts to work to realize her dreams. Bolstered by her mother’s encouragement and her dad’s prayers, Lucinda presses forward using makeshift props and tools and reluctant audiences.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Spann for his novel literary excursion that lands us in a good and hopeful place where dreams can come true, especially for children.”

Rev. Dr. Henry L. Masters, Sr.,
Publisher, By Faith Magazine

“When I finished reading this book to my seven-year-old daughter, she immediately stood up and started clapping. Needless to say, A Girl Dreams of Preaching deserves a round of applause. It provides a story of hope that imagines a world where little Black girls can be anything they dream of. Lucinda encourages little girls around the world to say “yes” to God and live their dreams, even when they are told they can’t.”

Reverend Jeremiah Johns,
Pastor, Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church
Louisville, Kentucky

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