Prophecy ’72: Together Again

Prophecy '72

 

By all indications, I was an at-risk child, doomed by an unfortunate fate to end up in one institution or another.

I’m just so thankful it was a church and not a jail.

Rose Hill Baptist Church in Columbus, Ga., to be exact.

Patsy Ward, herself only sixteen, not only invited me to Rose Hill, she drove from her home downtown all the way out Macon Road to pick me up and carry me to church because I was too young to drive. She did that Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday, never asking for or accepting a dollar for gas.

When I gave my life to Christ it was primarily because of Patsy Ward. I wanted to grow up to be just like her. Only Patsy never really got the chance to grow up much. She died  of an aneurysm shortly after giving birth to her firstborn son. Patsy would be so proud of how her boy turned out. He works in law enforcement, has a beautiful family, and he loves Jesus just like his mama did.  Patsy won’t be joining us this weekend as the youth group from Rose Hill Baptist Church gets together for a forty-year reunion, but I know she will be on everyone’s mind.

We weren’t a particularly extraordinary group of young people, but time and hardship has proven that we were graced with a remarkable faith.

We came from high schools throughout the city – Columbus, Jordan, Hardaway, Kendrick and such. Some played ball, a few were scholars, some were cheerleaders, others were class officers, but most of us were simply good kids trying to make our parents proud.

We have lived out our faith in a world whose brokenness we would only come to understand as adults, when we faced the death of our own children, divorces of our own, and the losses of business and homes and all those dreams we had way back when we were the kids known as Prophecy ‘72.

They called us that because it was in the summer of 1972 that we, the youth choir of Rose Hill Baptist Church, embarked on a trip that would take us to Quitman, Homerville, and Sylvania, Ga. Then on to North Carolina where we performed at churches in Moorehead City, Irwin, and at that wonderful Baptist mecca, Ridgecrest.

I never saw the inside of most of those churches because that first day out, we made a stop at the Okefenokee Swamps where I was bitten by a snake. I didn’t know it was a snake bite, of course, until the swelling in my foot subsided enough to see the fang marks. I spent most of that week sleeping in the air-conditioned bus.

That snake bite kept me from performing in the Sunday service some 40 years ago, when Prophecy ’72 concluded their trip with a hometown performance. But this coming Sunday, July 15, Prophecy ’72 will once more host a  hometown concert at 11 a.m. at Rose Hill Baptist Church. And although I never could and still really can’t sing a lick, I plan to be there alongside all those friends who first prayed and loved me to Jesus.

(Don’t look for us to sing Revive Us Again, Lord. It has a different meaning for us now that we are over fifty.)

We marvel at who we have become – lawyers, bankers, people of commerce and businesses, educators and medical professionals, and, yes, even a scribe, who records the stories as best she can remember.

Had it not been for those friendships formed at Rose Hill Baptist Church all those years ago, and the prayers of the people, I, like Paul, would likely be writing letters from prison.

 

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Janie

    The bond that the members of this choir share is beyond human understanding. After 40 years, the love we have for each other is still there. The impact that Rose Hill Baptist Church had on our lives is remarkable, to say the least. I am thankful that, 40 years later, we have the opportunity to give back to the church that meant so much to us as teenagers. We should be aware in our own lives how our influence may impact someone 40 years down the road. Love you lots! We’re gonna have a great weekend.

  • Pjin2

    I saw Myra last night out shopping for this weekend. She was talking about the group. I sense the bond the group shared, and even though I enjoyed growing up in Bibb City and attending North Highland, we didn’t have the bond in our youth group that the Rose Hill group shared. Many of members of this group, I met and became friends with at Jordan. Enjoy your weekend with old friends, recalling the memories of the times, both good and bad, you had together.

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      I think the thing that impacted us the most was the praying. We met every Monday night for prayer and we didn’t chatter, we really prayed. Most of us have life-long relationships that were pulled from this group. Our bond wasn’t our school. It was and remains Jesus.

  • Al

    I am always thrilled to hear how One Faithful Believer can make a life long change in someones life for Christ. Saturday, 9 May, 1970 I gave my life to Christ. The “Hippie” that led this young Marine to Christ, told me he’d pick me up for Church the next morning. He did. And we drove for almost an hour to get to church! I was touched to know he’d risen early on a Sunday to drive an hour out of his way to fetch this ‘Marine’ for church service. I concluded there was something important in his Faith I needed to pay attention to. Lonnie and I were friends for years after till his untimely death. 43 years ago he led the way to Christ for me. Lonnie’s faithfulness is still my example.

  • Gloria

    I wish I could be in the audience to hear you all sing! Our Lord said only to make a joyful noise! He never commanded that we have a beautiful voice but I think He hears our hearts sing anyway and doesn’t care whether we hit the right notes. Blessings on your trip and the time you spend with friends!

  • Sharon O

    wow. I found the Lord when I was a teen too.

  • Eddie dease

    When you put this picture up a year or so ago and had us guess which one was you, you never did say. I am still curious. You all looked so similar. Nice looking group of young folks.
    So, where are you in the group?
    Eddie

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      Eddie: Second row, third from right.

  • Alphazulu99

    And then Jesus came upon his disciples and said, “What, brethren, is this ridiculous bullshit I’ve been hearing about me being a human sacrifice for your sins!!? Hast thou lost thy fucking minds!!!!? What in the goddamned hell kind of Neanderthal bullshit is that!!? Blood sacrifice!!!!!!!!?? Are you all insane!!? Listen, brethren, as I tell you a secret. Love me, adore me, praise me. But, please, for the love of the Buddha, stop with this sadistic, immoral, disgusting, sickening, vile, wicked, pathetic bunch of Stone Age bullshit about blood sacrifices!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It makes us all look like a bunch of deluded, brain-dead, goddamn lunatics!!!!”–Jesus Christ, the Lost Gospel

  • Eddie dease

    Now I can see it. :-)


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