By David Pace

(On October 4, 1998, according to a newspaper report, friends ďcame in droves from near and farĒ to Judsonia to honor Glen Pace on his 50th year as a Church of Christ preacher.  Speaking to this gathering, Glenís son David Pace painted the following word-picture of his fatherís early audiences.)


ne of the fond memories of my parents as a young boy growing up were tent meetings.  I remember them clearly.  Pop held a number of them and I suspect we went to those held by other preachers in the area.  Pop has always supported his fellow ministers and brother congregations.
             Two things stick out in my mind about tent meetings:  The sounds and smells.  Sounds like the soft swishing noise made by a hundred hand-held fans stirring the summer heat.  You remember those, the ones made with tongue depressors for a handle and funeral home ads on the paperboard.  Mom always fanned my brother and me.
            I still hear the sharp slap of an open hand on a bare arm, sending some mosquito to his early reward.
            Popís voice coming over those old portable PA systems was a little tinny and often accompanied by a slight background ring.  Sometimes it wasnít so slight. 
            My brother and I would sit up on the front where Pop could watch us.  The singing was always good in the sense that food always seems better when eaten outdoors.  The Paces all sing and I donít know why, but we all seem to sing a little louder than most others.  My Mom sings a real sincere soprano and Iíve always thought she has a pretty voice.  Pop sings his version of the tenor part a little absent mindedly, never too worried about getting all the words or the tune.  I think heís distracted from looking for people in the audience or thinking about his sermon.
            Nothing reminds me of Pop quite like the smell of old canvas and fresh cut lumber.  I never pass a lumber mill with aroma of cut pine timber in the air that I donít remember sitting on those hand-made benches the men would put together for us to use.  My feet didnít touch the ground and they were especially hard and splintery on bare legs fidgeting around waiting for Pop to wrap it up with that magic phrase, ďWonít you come as we stand and sing.Ē

            Glen Paceís lifelong vocation was determined when he preached his first sermon in Hawaii, where he was stationed while serving with the United States Marine Corps in World War II.  Following his discharge from the Marines, he preached two years for Air Base church in Newport while he was completing his degree at Arkansas (Lyon) College in Batesville. 
He preached for eight churches during the next half century.