Stomping, clapping and shouting allowed
Stomping, clapping and shouting allowed
Balsora Baptist Church will host the Second Annual Old-Time Tent Revival beginning at 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6, continuing each evening at 7 p.m., through Wed. Oct. 9. Services will be conducted under a large tent erected in a pasture owned by the Eason Ranch at 13000 FM 2210 just into Jack County near the Wise-Jack county line. Experience the way meetings were conducted in an era that saw horse-drawn buggies parked next to automobiles and the preaching was as lively as the music. Again this year, Bro. Jim Allen of Ropeville, will provide the preaching. Chad Stephenson will direct the music along with keyboardist Vicki Tillery, vocalist Shelly Swan and Pastor B.J. Nunley, all from Bible Baptist Church in Jacksboro. Old fashioned foot-stomping music from the Heavenly Highways Hymns will showcase the preaching before and after. Stomping, clapping and shouting are authorized and encouraged. You are cordially invited to come hungry and enjoy a free meal on WEDNESDAY served afterward by the participating churches. The driving force behind the tent revival is Bob Eason, owner of the Eason Ranch. He and Robbie, his wife of 43 years, have been members of Balsora Baptist Church for ten years. It's hard to live in this part of Jack or Wise County without having met Bob. He's often out tending cattle or fences while driving his utility vehicle or diesel pickup. It's no wonder he is involved with the tent revival here.

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He took time out from putting up hay, getting his fields ready for fall and preparing the tent revival. He sat down for an interview. "I had this idea that it would be good if Balsora Baptist's sister churches in the area, Gibtown Baptist and Joplin Baptist, along with the local residents, could get together and do something outside of church. I wanted us to get to know each other and do it having a good time and glorify the Lord, too ..draw the community together in a good way. I thought that some people would go to a tent revival who may not want to go to a church," Bob told me in his calm deliberate way. It was plain he had no trouble talking about his project, though he was humble in his every word. He went on to say, "Last year, about this time, I brought the idea up in Sunday School Class and we discussed it for awhile. I volunteered my pasture on FM 2210 for the location. Our pastor, Glenn Connell was in the class and he took it up with the deacons. I got the go-ahead to try it once to see how it would go over. We had 76 people show up the first night, Sunday, and the fourth night, there were 143. We had to go to the church to get more chairs." "I was pleased at the number of people who went to the altar which was a couple of hay bales," he chuckled. "The churches served dinner, and we had more than enough, with some left over. This year, we ordered a bigger tent and more chairs. We're planning to serve dinner each night after services this year also. We'll serve food until everyone is full or we run out." When asked what he'd like this year, Bob said, "I'd like for it to be bigger this year with more people. I want God to be glorified and I'd like to see it lively, with people obviously and noisily having fun in an old-time revival way." As I asked for his and Robbie's picture, Bob cautioned me in his unassuming manner, "I don't want this to seem to be about Robbie and me. I want it to glorify the Lord and do what's good for the church and people who want to come see what it's about."