“Uncle Bob’s Eulogy”

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Sandra K. Gorin, Gorin Genealogical Publishing   Volume 2 of Barren's Black
Roots, Michelle Gorin Burris, (c) Aug 1992). By permission of the author.


“Uncle Bob’s Eulogy”


This was in an article entitled “More History of Cave City” which appeared in the 1965 issue of the Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, 100th Anniversary edition.


“The Cave City Colored Baptist [Church] has long been noted for the strictness to which it held its members. For many years they held to the belief that no one except a Baptist could possibly go to Heaven and that it was nothing short of sinful to have anything to do with members of a different denomination. Many years ago a colored Methodist church was organized in Cave City and a building erected about where the filling station of R. W. Brown now is. The church did not attract many members and those who did join were ostracized by the colored Baptists. After the lapse of some time, lightning struck the Methodist Church, colored, and this was convincing proof to the colored Baptists that the Lord disapproved of the Methodists as much as they themselves did.


“Uncle Bob Bethel, Sr., was a Methodist. He moved to Louisville and lived for some 20 years and returned to Cave City a short time before he died. After his death the question of a funeral came up, and, since there were no Methodists left in Cave City, several of the colored Baptists were asked to officiate but one after another declined fearing the rod of chastisement would be used upon their own church. They took all that was mortal of him to his lasting resting place without one word being said when his children made a long earnest appeal to Uncle Alex Anderson, who was a life-long friend of Uncle Bob’s and who is still a respectful citizen of Cave City, to say a few words of eulogy. Uncle Alex feared the wrath of his brethren but the appeal was so touching he could not refuse and looking about the crowd he saw on Baptist faces looks of disapproval and incredulity. Uncle Alex was in a tough spot but with the tact and diplomacy for which many of his race are noted he made the following eulogy which satisfied both his brethren and the sorrowing children of Uncle Bob:


                “Brethren and Sisters: We have gathered here to pay a last tribute of respect to Uncle Bob, who you know, was a good and kind father; a good neighbor and an honest man. He hated that which was wrong and clung to that which was good but he was a Methodist and all I have got to say is that if he gets to Heaven he will be a Methodist Negro in a Baptist Heaven.”