Introduce them to nationally recognized locations. The discussion points will guide intentional dialogue.
1819—The City of Memphis was founded (incorporated in 1826). Share the story of your physical birth as well as each of your kids.
1852—Elmwood Cemetery was founded and remains Memphis’ oldest active cemetery. The Entry Bridge and the Carpenter-Gothic Office Cottage are on the National Register of Historic Places. Are there people in your past who have had a lasting impact on you?
1850-1880s—The Cobblestone Landing was constructed and is the last remaining authentic, usable stone-paved landing on any US water-front. Walk the cobblestones and ask, “What am I doing today that will still be valuable in 150 years?”
1876—A. Schwab Dry Goods Store opened and is the only original business remaining on Beale Street. The Schwab family is dedicated to preserving the old general store and to telling the story of Beale Street through artifacts and merchandise. You’ll also find a turn of the century soda counter inside. Discuss five things in your home that you want to be preserved for the next generation.
“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
1890—The Orpheum, originally called The Grand Opera House, opened and was considered the classiest theater outside New York City. The theater has survived several bankruptcies, a devastating fire, and threats of demolition. Where in your life are you willing to stand firm, in spite of difficulties?
1892—The Great Bridge (later named Frisco Bridge) became the first bridge spanning the Mississippi River south of St. Louis and featured the longest span of any bridge in the US at the time. Drive by/over a couple bridges and discuss the cost and effort needed to build. Discuss how Jesus spanned the gap between God and sinful man.
1894—The D.T. Porter Building was Memphis’ first steel-frame skyscraper and offered Memphis’ first elevator and circulating hot water! Drive by this building and consider the electronic advancements over the last 100+ years. Imagine the changes that may come in the next 100 years. How can we take advantage of them for Jesus’ kingdom.
1899—Church Park and Auditorium opens—Robert R. Church was an African-American entrepreneur and landowner. He purchased the city’s first bond in 1893 as the city was emerging from bankruptcy. Visit the park at the corner of 4th and Beale. Church Without Doors meets here each Sunday providing physical and spiritual food for the homeless. How have we been “bought”? Who paid our price?
1909—W.C. Handy writes the “Memphis Blues” and is later considered the Father of the Blues. Visit the W.C. Handy Park at 200 Beale Street. What things have given you the “blues” recently? What will you be remembered as the mother/father of?
Psalm 78:4b “…we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”
How will your family tell of God’s wondrous deeds toward you?
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