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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

George Dyer's childhood in a Primitive Baptist Church

George Dyer's parents raised him in a Primitive Baptist church, but he switched to Missionary Baptist and Methodist churches as an adult. He and Tessie believe people should always be free to choose which denomination suits them best.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

LU ANN JONES:
What kind of church did you belong to?
GEORGE DYER:
This here was Primitive Baptist. They usually were the "hardshell" Baptists.
LU ANN JONES:
What does that mean?
GEORGE DYER:
That religion, they believe it and don't believe in no other kind-"hardshell." They just believe in what's to be, what's going to happen to you, that's the way it supposed to be. God intended and that's the way it's going to be. I don't believe that way. I joined the Missionary Baptist Church when I was a grown man. I married my wife here, I converted to the Methodist Church. I don't believe in switching one church to another.
TESSIE DYER:
He says he is still Baptist, but he's joined the Methodists.
GEORGE DYER:
When you're raised up, I don't think that parents should think their kids are going follow what they are. Cause you got a mind to think what you want to be, whether you want to be a Baptist, or Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist or Catholic, that's the way it is now. People generally follow their parents' religion.
TESSIE DYER:
We had two sons. When we were married, he joined the Methodists because I was a Methodist, and both of my sons, they belonged to Methodist. One of them married a Presbyterian, and the other married a Catholic. So we're Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, and Presbyterian, all in my family. All of them's good. They worship the same God.
LU ANN JONES:
In that church, was there a lot of singing. Do you remember ever being frightened at a sermon?
GEORGE DYER:
Yeah, I was a little boy. They didn't get frightened, they got happy. They shouted. They'd sing and hug each other and all that stuff-men and women both, old people. When I was a boy, my brother would hold to me, he'd say, "George, what are they going to do? I'm scared." I said, "They ain't nothing to be scared of." They'd just get happy and shout. They was good people. That's what they knew. All they knew was hard work and go to church. They didn't have time for all this other, the wordly things like people does now, all this wordly stuff goes on.