1966-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1966 May Voice RS - Page 8

"SADDLEBAGS EAST” Project of the Methodist Church makes good use of Tennessee Walking Horses 'Jwtn Mobile to baJhimee... yke bevemd, jLeitee Spurn, tu wat/ on koueixuk to celAwte tie bicentennial off MlethdUm Walking Horse enthusiasts in many parts of the country will be pleased to note that horses of our beloved breed are well represented in the "Saddle­ bags East” project of the Methodist Church. This is a re-enactment of the rides made by many Method­ ist circuit riders in the early days. This project is described as "more than a publicity stunt.” It is a graphic reminder to the Methodists and their friends across the land of the rich heritage out of which this denomination came. One hundred twenty-eight hardy horse enthusiasts responded to the idea of "Saddlebags East,” and one of the twelve selected was the Rev. LESTER SPENCER (no kin to your Editor), pastor of the St. Mark Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama. The Rev. Mr. Spencer embarked* on his journey from Montgomery, Alabama, on March 14, following an impressive service at the Post Office there. The presiding Bishop of the area, W. KENNETH GOOD- SON, presented the saddlebags with their contents of a circuit rider’s Bible, a hymnal, and a Methodist Discipline. The Rev. Mr. Spencer dressed for the part with a three-cornered hat, a black cloak with crim­ son lining, and riding boots. The route selected by Rev. Spencer included Mont­ gomery, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Lake Junuluska (a North Carolina Methodist retreat), Asheville, Lynch­ burg, Va., Charlottesville, Washington, D.C., and Bal­ timore. These were some of the major stops along the way, which included many small towns en route. The Bi-Centennial Celebration is scheduled to take place on April 21 in Baltimore and the travel schedule is slated to cover sufficient ground by horseback and trailer in order for Rev. Spencer and his two sturdy Walking Horses to arrive in plenty of time for the event. 8 In discussing the trip with your editor, Rev. Spen­ cer said that he knew his horses were Tennessee Walking Horses, but did not know whether or not they were registered. He did attest to the ease of handling, gentle nature, and smooth ride that they gave him. His horses are both owned by Mr. TOMMY GILBERT of St. Elmo, Alabama. Mr. FRED GILBERT of Mobile made the trip with Rev. Spencer and helped care for the two bay geldings, whose names are Pep­ per and Junior. (Perhaps their real names are Go Boy’s Pepper and Midnight Sun, Junior.) A note of interest was the fact that Rev. Spencer was indeed familiar with the Walking Horse activity in the Mo­ bile area. He asked your editor if we knew a Capt. E. A. SELF, from Mobile, who happened to be one of his parishoners. Walk on, Rev. Lester Spencer! TRAGEDY STRIKES MINISTER ON "SADDLEBAGS EAST” PROJECT - HORSE HIT BY A TRUCK in a late news item, the VOICE learned that the Rev. WI