The First Saturday before the First Sunday in every May is a family Tradition called "Decoration Day". My mother Mary O. Cowser-Alexander is one of 10 children, who were all raised in a little town (understatement) outside Gadsden, Alabama, called Ball Play.
I asked my mother yesterday how did that name come about and she stated that my Great Grandfather was part Cherokee Indian and they came to Ball Play many years ago and they loved to 'play ball', hence the profound utterance of this very well thought out named town.
Our family can trace our roots back to a grave yard which is across the road from the main house where my mothers oldest brother raised his Children (my first cousins, of whom some were my mothers age and a little younger). My Grand mother and Grand father are burried here. My Great Grand mother and Great Great Grand mother and Grand father are burried here. We can trace our roots back, at this particular grave (family) plot, over 170 years. God willing, this will be where myself and my wife are laid to rest when our time comes, and YES our spots are marked!
Family from from all over the United States to Ball Play and fellowship and rekindle familie ties that have been severed over many years and with our family, you only need mention ONE PERSONS name, whom ever it may be, and YOU ARE IN!
The day begins at about 11am on Saturday morning with a Church Service at the family Church, New Bethel United Methodist Church, directly adjacent to the cemetary. Many men of God have preached at this Church and MANY of our family have had their funerals in this Church. My earliest recollection is the funeral of my Grand-father, Hurley Cowser, who was burried in this Church in 1973 (I was 8 years old) and I refused to go inside because I was scared. Another Uncle of mine, Rev. W.D. Cowser was the Pastor at this Church for many years, and he himself was laid to rest from this Church, and it was a true honor for me to be so Blessed to be able to Preach the Service this morning and what a GLORIOUS TIME was had by the over 300 friends and family members in attendance. It took ever ounce of Courage and blessing from the Holy Spirit to keep me from crying such great Tears of Joy, to be able to be in the position of Blessing my own Family with what God has blessed me with.
Many of you already know that I am the only Black Catholic Lay Evangelist in full time ministry in the United States, and as a Convert to Catholicism, I have heard horror stories of so many who have converted and their families have deserted and left them, called them idolators, etc., but I am such a Bless young man, to have not only the support of my Gift from God, my Wife, but my beautiful Daughter as well as my ENTIRE FAMILY! What a blessing from God...He is TRULY so GOOD!
Yes, I know, I treasure my entire family, the functional and especially the dysfunctional members as well, because we are not only related by blood, but more importantly, we are brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus - TOTALLY COMMITTED.... TO YOU JESUS!!!
Cowser Clan, Glovers, Adams', I love you with all my heart and will continue to keep you all in my daily prayers!!!
All the Time, God is GOOD!!!
Catholic Evangelist Richard L. (Cowser) Lane