James R. Scott, Conroe, Texas
The Firm Foundation, June 18, 1946
Yesterday morning at eight o’clock, June 6, here in the auditorium of the Mathis church building, the first formal session of the Blanco Singing School got under way. As had been planned, Brother Austin Taylor of Uvalde, one of our very best teachers, and a man known and loved by the entire brotherhood, was on hand to serve as instructor. Approximately forty students wore on hand for the first classroom session, and interest apparently was very high.
Shortages of material, which prevented at this time the building of the permanent quarters at Blanco, forced the temporary transfer of the school this year to this quiet South Texas community. Through the generosity of the local Rotary Club, a large upstairs hall was secured rent free. This hall serves as a dormitory for the boys, and also as a dining hall. Steel cots, part of the permanent equipment of the school, and a part of the kitchen installations, were transferred here early this week, and everything was in readiness when the boys began to arrive. Likewise, the kindness of the Board of Education of the Mathis School District made possible the use of certain facilities at the schools by the students —showers in the athletic department, tennis courts, baseball field, and lights for night games if desired. Those supervising the school are deeply grateful for these courtesies, as well as for the goodness of heart of the elders of the Mathis church, who are furnishing the auditorium for classes.
Next year it is planned to have the permanent quarters at Blanco in operation. The cost of attending will be kept, so far as possible, at the nominal level of fifty dollars for approximately four weeks of instruction. Ages of those attending this year run from nine to about twenty-one or two.
For years our colleges have been doing a very excellent work in preparing young men to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, but very little, if anything, has ever been attempted along the line of training song leaders. Every congregation which is lacking in competent leaders, and they are legion – every preacher who has so often been compelled in meetings to lead the singing as well as to do the preaching – and every person who has oftentimes attended a service and gone away ashamed of the miserable impression left on outsiders by an ill-directed song, should be whole-heartedly behind these brethren in their wish to do something about this deplorable condition. Churches who had no one to send this year would do well, in the opinion of this writer, to begin now to look around for some likely candidate for next year’s session, which Brother Furr hopes can be hold in the permanent quarters at Blanco. Sessions each year will begin early in June, allowing sufficient time each year for the closing of public schools.
Both Brother Furr and Brother Taylor, neither of whom stand to profit personally from this effort, would appreciate any encouragement you can give. They are to be commended for their faith and for their labor of love. Brethren, let’s get behind them in this thing.