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Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This very spirited black horse was ridden by the owner of all the horses used on this trip. Sam is a skilled rider.
The only mule in the bunch. My friend Bill said he was the best "horse" here.
My close friend, Ed, stood by the mule while trying to make up his mind if he should consider going on this trail ride. I'm so glad he decided to go.
The preacher standing by me who rode this mule today has been a friend since he was 16. He's now 80. What a great time of reminiscing.
Today, my friend Ed Williams and I drove over to Signal Mountain to the Annual "Ministers Retreat" to visit with friends we have known over the years. Also we had the opportunity to make a few new friends. So many new young men are now pastors of our churches. At one time I could name all 300 pastors in the state. Now I doubt if I can name more than 50 to 60 of them.
While we were there, we participated in a trail ride with six other men. Three of us were 72-plus years of age. One man was 82, one was 80 and I came in third place at 72! I told Frances this evening, "It is great to feel so alive! And it HURTS too!" Anyone out there have any horse liniment for my aching joints?
We then had lunch. After lunch a little target practice with pistols. Later there was the skeet shoot with shot-guns! We watched the skeet shooting and watched as a brother patiently caught fish out of the pond. The venue for this retreat is always our Church's 80 acres on Edward's Pointe near Signal Mountain!
- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.