Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     On 15 and 16 April 2016, the 140-year-old First United Methodist Church of Joaquin will host the first Rio De Sabinas Heritage Days in Joaquin, Texas. The festivities will celebrate the history, faith, and fortitude of the pioneers who settled the lands along the Sabine River, especially in the perilous times when the area was literally a “no-man’s land.”

     The general public is invited to attend all events. School children will be special guests on April 15. On Sunday, April 17, a special service will be held in the Methodist Church’s Sanctuary to commemorate 140 years of ministry in Joaquin.

     Heritage Days will open at 9:00 a. m., April 15, with the keynote address by special guest, Texas State Historian, Dr. Bill O’Neal. He will lecture on the well-known War between the Regulators and Moderators. The conflict included battles and shootouts on both sides of the Sabine River and involved the towns of Joaquin and Logansport, Louisiana.

     To familiarize younger generations with the way their pioneer ancestors worshiped when Protestant services were forbidden in Texas, a dramatic feature of the Heritage Days will be a traditional “Brush Arbor.” They will also learn about later settlers, living on scattered farms, who gathered for religious services at “camp grounds.”

     Members of various heritage and historical groups, such as the William Carroll Crawford Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, will be conducting demonstrations pertaining to traditional crafts like spinning and dying cloth, sewing, weaving, quilting, cooking, and preparing frontier medicines. The organizations will also provide exhibits and activities for children.

     Of special interest to many will be an exhibit and demonstration of historical musical instruments. Performances by various groups will take place every hour and some will be given under the brush arbor. On April 16, a concert of old-time gospel music, featuring three well-known gospel groups, will be presented.

     While the outdoor areas will have a fair-like set up of displays and demonstrations, the church’s Fellowship Hall will house an exhibit of works by local artists and authors. Several authors will be available to autograph their books and talk with visitors. Local storytellers will take turns entertaining visitors with their tales.

     Authors, artists, musicians, and storytellers interested in participating in the event can get in touch with Rev. Robert Ortego at 903-407-3570 or Frances Freeman at 318-347-9318.

     On 23 April 2016, the East Texas Genealogical Society (ETGS) will present a seminar from 8:30 a. m. to 3: 30 p. m. at the Fairwood United Methodist Church in Tyler, Texas. The theme for the seminar will be “Genetic Genealogy Analysis and Tools: Stepping up to the Next Level.” Featured speaker will be Debbie Parker Wayne, who will discuss DNA inheritance, comparisons of genetic genealogy companies, and tools and applications for mtDNA, Y-DNA, and atDNA.

     Costs for the event are $10.00 for ETGS members and $20.00 for non-members. Box lunches are available for $10.00. Walk-ins are welcome, but are not guaranteed to receive any hand-out materials. Checks, payable to East Texas Genealogical Society, may be mailed to ETGS, c/o DNA Workshop, P. O. Box 6967, Tyler, Texas 75711-6967, or you may register online at . For more information, contact Scott Fitzgerald by e-mail at or call him at 903-539-5572.

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