Friday, August 28, 2009

Shepard Family Update August 28, 2009

Nor need we power or splendor,
wide hall or lordly dome;
The good, the true, the tender
-- these form the wealth of home.
-Sarah J. Hale

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings from the Great Northwest, in particular Anacortes, Washington where Cindy and I are visiting with my mom Maida Shepard and other family members here who "form the wealth of home." I am struck again by the fact that August is a wonderful time to be in this part of the world.

As I continue to reflect on my visit to Indiana earlier this summer, I can't help but be struck by how Church affiliation has been a strong value in our family for many generations. To be sure, almost all American families are church related to some degree. But ours has church connections that seem to be stronger and more enduring than most.

I have mentioned before that our family has an exceptionally long history in the Churches of Christ, at least as far back as 1866. That's when my GGGgrandfather Alexander Davis became the first of many family members to belong to the New Union Church of Christ near Spencer, Indiana. The connection may go back even farther, because Alexander Davis came to Indiana from Belmont County, Ohio, which was just a few miles from where the Stone-Campbell Movement originated in the earliest years of the 19th century. In 1866 (which, coincidentally, was the year that Alexander Campbell died) the Stone-Campbell Movement was still young. So young, in fact, that there was no distinction between Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, or Disciples of Christ. Those three groups were not separate identities until the 20th Century.

The New Union Church of Christ outside Spencer was just the first of many congregations where people in our family have clustered for several decades at a time. There were members of our family in the New Union Church for most of its 100 history until it died in 1956.

About 1910 some of our Davis kin (including Bura Davis) migrated from Indiana to Beaver County Oklahoma, where they helped start the South Flat Church of Christ. It became the church home for Will and Bura's family until 1928. It was also home to many other Davises for many decades after that.

The first picture I am including was taken in front of the South Flat Church in Oklahoma in 1989. On the front steps is my father, Eugene Shepard, who was baptized at this church (in a horse trough!) as a youth.

When Will and Bura moved to San Diego in 1940, the El Cajon Blvd Church of Christ became the church home for them and some of their family for nearly 60 years. Other Church of Christ congregations in the San Diego area where some of our family have belonged include Linda Vista, Allied Gardens, Bostonia, El Cajon, and Poway. For over 30 years now the 32nd St. Church of Christ in Anacortes has been the spiritual home for many of Eugene and Maida Shepard's part of the family.

There are, of course, many other congregations that folks in our larger family have been affiliated with over the years in Oklahoma, Texas, California, Washington and elsewhere. If you are a part of our larger family and belong to another congregation, I would be glad to hear from you. You are welcome to send me an email with the particulars.

This brief summary of Church affiliation does not even include the ways that some in our family (including myself) have developed religious ties to groups besides the Churches of Christ. And a number of our family members, of course, have chosen to develop no official religious ties at all. Yet it remains true that one way to tell our family's history is through the congregations around which they have clustered over the last 150 years.

Happy 19th Birthday tomorrow to Lyndsey Aquiningoc! The second picture shows Lyndsey in a picture taken last month at Weatherford, Texas where she and her family live, including mom Kerri and sister Mandi. She is the first GGgrandchild of Will and Bura Shepard. In the picture with her is one of her Ggrandmothers Maylo Enderle. Thanks to Barbara Shepard for this picture.

-- Steve

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