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History of Trinity United Methodist Church, Poquoson, Virginia: 1882-1982, Part 3 of 3.

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We laughed when the "Galilean Service" was less than perfect. It happened like this... The youth of the church took themselves and several counselors to Breakwater Bar for a picnic and vesper service one Sunday afternoon in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Wen this group headed out of Back River, it took a big boat and a patient skipped. We were always fortunate in having people like Mr. Will Joyner, Mr. Tom Messick and Mr. Clarence Evans with boats large enough to accommodate the group and with owners willing to risk them. On this particular date, consensus states that it was Mr. Evans boat which served the group.

After an afternoon of roaming the marsh on Plum Tree, swimming and eating raw clams, the group gathered for a picnic supper. As is customary with Trinity mothers, we had enough food to feed at least five thousand. Following supper, Carroll and Jessie Forrest, counselors, coaxed the young people to the edge of the water on the beautiful white sand facing a small cove.

In the meantime, a small boat had been acquired and it approached the beach from the water. The intention was to hold a vesper service with the program being presented to those people in the boat, and the congregation remaining on shore. The group in the boat was led by Milford Rollins, probably the most outstanding youth counselor Trinity ever had prior to his entry into the Methodist Ministry. With him as the boat rounded the point and headed toward the beach, were Mary Jack Evans (Henley), Dolly Messick (Woolard), Lelia Carmines (Romo) and Dan Freeman. An excellent presentation had been planned, and Milford held the Bible under his arm as he and Dan poled the vessel shoreward. The girls sat on small cross-seats.

Immediately upon rounding the point, it became obvious to the congregation that the freeboard of the craft decreased steadily. Water was rising on the deck around the ankles of the girls. T he ground singing organized by Caroll on the beach began to die out rapidly as they watched the boat sink lower and lower into th water. The girls in the boat stood... Dan kept poling toward shore... and Milford saved the Bible by raising it over his head.

Amid the chorus of laughter from the congregation, Milford, Dan, and the Girls splashed ashore. There was no worship service that evening...all agreed that the atmosphere was far from conducive.

This beach area bordered on the Plum Tree Bombing Range, where the north bank of Back River borders Chesapeake Bay...that that is another be told another time.