"The Just Shall Live...by Faith" Romans 1:17

          Anniedeen Bateman Creel
           February 13, 1922

      In Memory of
James Lemuel Creel
Jan. 24, 1920~Aug. 29, 1989

 Anniedeen’s History...in Her Words

    My personal story began in Joplin, Missouri, and has taken me around the world.  My father was Boyce Bateman and my mother was Villa Roark Bateman. My father, the youngest of twelve siblings, was a World War I veteran. After Armistice in 1919, he trained to become an eye doctor. He was a traveling eye doctor, or (as we now call them) an optometrist.) Most of his work was done on the road rather than in an office.  He met my mother in the farming community of Linwood, Texas and they married in that town.
     The couple moved to San Antonio, Texas, probably in late 1920 where they had their first home. My mother, Villa, responded to an advertisement in the newspaper for a sewing girl. A Design House managed by a Madam Meck placed the ad. Villa had sewn for her whole family of 7 siblings and liked it. She trained as a dress designer with Madam Meck in those early years of their marriage. Madam Meck soon recognized mother’s skills and talents, and taught her even finer skills as her protégée. Mother never used a pattern and could make any style of dress to fit any figure from a clipping or sketch.  She sewed because she loved it, but the money she made was always welcome.
     From San Antonio, the couple moved to Joplin, Missouri.  Boyce’s brother, M.B., had moved there and also was an optometrist.  The two families were close as their children arrived. M.B. and Clara had 3 children. Boyce and Villa had one child, Anniedeen.  I was born February 13, 1922. We lived in Joplin or nearby Springfield for the next 12 years.  Mother took in sewing to “occupy” herself, even though my father always earned ample income—even through the Great Depression. As I grew, my talents in music and art became apparent, and, being an only child, opportunities for training were obtained in both areas.  When I was five years old, a woman knocked on our door and asked Mother,  “Are you Anniedeen’s mother?” She told my mother that I had been “taking piano lessons” by climbing on the piano bench with her daughter during her own lessons. She suggested that I be given piano lessons. My first piano recital was while I was five years old. I have been able to read music since before I started school. My teacher soon discovered I had “perfect pitch”—such a good ear for music that I simply recognized the note wherever I heard it.  I also discovered I could draw anything that I could see.  Mother got me art supplies and an art teacher, and I haven’t stopped from then to now. Watercolor painting is a great joy even in my 90’s!! Art has been my profession all these years. I’m still teaching it at age 92.
     My mother and father divorced due to his abuse and alcoholism when I was about 12.  We moved to Alto, Texas, where Mother had inherited a farm from her father, Walter J. Roark, at his death. Momma started a Burial Dress business to support us as we had no support from my father. She bought crepes and laces and made an assortment of very pretty dresses—open down the back. My Aunt Annie, Mother’s sister, went with us and we took the dresses around the countryside to funeral homes where she quickly sold them all. Fairly soon, individual women discovered her talent and she had all she could do without the travel of the Burial Dress business. As a matter of fact, she put me through college at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, TX (1939-1943,) and I came out with no student loans! Debt free! ---due to mother’s sewing.  Mother had clientele up to the time  of her death—just before her 80th birthday in the fall of 1970. She died of pneumonia. She was with me in Baytown although she still had her home in Alto, TX.  She is buried in the Old Palestine Baptist Church Cemetery in Alto, TX. 
     My mother was a good businesswoman—a remarkably level headed and good person. She had great faith in God and had received the Holy Ghost as an 18 year old girl in the spring of 1909. Harvey Shearer brought the Pentecostal message to her community. Mother’s staunch Baptist family, together with 100 other Baptists, were excommunicated from the church because of their new Pentecostal experience and beliefs. Due to this, the people built their own Pentecostal church, and this was the beginning of the formation of the United Pentecostal Church in Alto, TX.
     My majors in college were art and music. I received my Bachelors Degree at Stephen F. Austin at age 20 and Masters Degree at age 25 from Texas State College for Women, now Texas Women’s University.
     I taught Music in Anahuac, Texas, for 2 years, then Art in elementary school in Conroe, Texas, the next 3 yrs.  In 1947 I had an opportunity to teach Art at Baytown Junior High. World War II was now over, and the economy was booming—especially in Baytown, where houses and apartments for rent were scarce. Nevertheless, my new principal assured me that the school system would “see to it that I had a place to live” before I would sign the contract.  By mid summer we had heard nothing of a place to live, and Mother and I went home to Alto. Then my mother, a woman of great faith, said, “We need to go to Baytown.” We drove to the school and then started down a street leading from it. We passed what appeared to be an empty house. Mother said, “Stop. Go ask a neighbor about that house.”  We were told that the people had moved out, and the landlord lived in another town. They gave us his phone number. Upon calling him, he told us he did not know the renters had moved and consented to rent to us on the spot. We had a house to rent within walking distance of the school! So, in September of 1947, we moved to Baytown, TX.  The principal was pretty surprised!! They did not have a place for me to live, but GOD had provided—as He has done so many times in my long life! Thank You, Jesus.
     Rev. Forest Ford, pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Conroe, TX, introduced me to Rev. V.A.Guidroz, pastor of the Pentecostal church in Baytown—Peace Tabernacle. I was asked to start a choir as soon as we were moved. I remember that none of the men could “carry a part” at first.  After about 2 months of practice, we had learned a few Christmas carols in 4 parts and were able to perform downtown in the Light building. That year we had our first choir supper in my house.  I made a casserole (type of hamburger meat and chili beans) with cole slaw, garlic bread, and punch served in a thoroughly clean dishpan in lieu of a punch bowl. The next year the choir had given me a real punch bowl!! That was the beginning of a long tradition at Peace Tabernacle and a wonderful relationship with my new church family. Later, Bro. Guidroz asked a group of 3 people, Tim Sonnenberg, R.L. Downing, and myself, to get together and come up with a program that would help the church to retain its young people. He was concerned about the number of young people who “dropped out” of church during their teen years.  The result of that meeting was the forming of Conqueror’s Club. It involved an individual training program and social events. The training was to help a young person to become self-disciplined in reading the Bible, participating in church work, praying, etc. They used a check sheet to chart their progress and received ribbons and certificates at the end of the year according to their individual efforts. It was successfully carried out for many years in the Bayshore area where 6 other churches also participated.  (We also introduced this program in the Rocky Mountain District when we moved there.)
     This was the beginning of close family friendships—which eventually resulted in true family relationships.  The Creel family eventually became my own family. I married Lemuel Creel in November. 1963.  He had been widowed, and his four children became my children. Lemuel and I had one child together, Rocky, born in August. 1965. God had answered another prayer of mine: to have a Christian family.
     In 1971, Lemuel, Rocky and I moved to Casper, Wyoming.  Lemuel had been voted in as pastor of the United Pentecostal Church there. We pastored that church for 17 years until his passing in August of 1989. We had 26 happy years together. We had both planned to retire (from teaching and pastoring) and go teach in foreign Bible Schools. Though Lemuel did not get to live that dream, I eventually was able to carry it out. In 1993 I received an invitation from Bro. Stanley Scism, Foreign Missions Director of the United Pentecostal Church, International, to teach in the Bible School in New Delhi, India. I went through the A.I.M program and taught for 15 years—12 years in New Delhi and 3 years in Sri Lanka. 
     At the end of that time, I came home to Casper, sold our home, and in May of 2009, moved to Conroe, Texas, close to family and friends.  I now teach Art/Watercolor classes and Search For Truth Bible studies to those interested in the apartments where I live. I have met new wonderful friends and have seen 5 people in the Bible study group come to my church (Bethel Tabernacle) and be baptized!!  I feel like I have come “full circle”---where my Art teaching career began many years ago.

Memories by Myrt

Christmas, 2000
 
                                 by JimMyrtle Rogers

     Even as a small child, I wanted to play the piano.  I would sit at the kitchen table and pretend it was a piano keyboard.  I moved my hands and fingers up and down the edge of the table playing an imaginary tune and gave a wonderful “concert.”  Mama saw how much I wanted to learn to play, so she sold chicken eggs to pay for my piano lessons which I received from a nice lady named Mrs. Redmon.  She attended a nearby Assembly of God church.  I’ll never forget her, because she recognized how much I wanted to learn and helped me so much.  She charged Mama twenty-five cents for each of my lessons.  I walked to and from her house on Oak Street in Pelly to take my lessons.  I did that for two and a half years and never missed a lesson.
     That was the extent of my piano lessons.  With encouragement from our pastor, Brother V.A. Guidroz, and other church members, I started playing for our church, Peace Tabernacle, when I was twelve years old.  I never learned to play anything but church music; that was my first love.  When I heard a hymn being sung, I could play it without any music copy…it just came naturally.  To this day, I still love to play the piano.
    When I was about eight years old, I suffered a severe case of diphtheria, a serious respiratory illness rarely seen today.  Because it was considered contagious, our whole house was quarantined by the city health authorities.  A sign was posted on our front door by the county nurse.  For days, we were not allowed out and no one was allowed in our home.
    As a small child, I remember wash days especially.  These were always on Monday and were whole day affairs.  Needless to say, we had no washing machine.  Mama had a large black pot in the back yard that she would fill with water and soap.  We would build a fire under the pot using sticks, paper, and whatever else we could find that would burn.  After the clothes were boiled in the hot, soapy water, they were lifted out with a broomstick and placed in a tub of cold water to rinse.  After rinsing, they were then placed in a washtub filled with “bluing” water and re-rinsed.  “Bluing” additive was some kind of stuff you added to rinse water that was supposed to make your clothes whiter and brighter.  Finally, they were placed in a washtub of clear water, rinsed, and then rung out by hand. Their final destination was the clothesline where they were dried by the sun.
Carl with my sister Coya
  
I met Carl Rogers at church when I was fifteen.  The first time I saw him, he was on crutches because he had injured himself while tumbling in gym class at Robert E. Lee High School.  He was a senior and I was junior.  We dated for a year, and on July 24, 1942, we were married.  The marriage ceremony did not take very long…it was after a Wednesday night service at our church.  The service was dismissed, we had our marriage ceremony, and that was it.  By this date the United States was deeply involved in the war, and young men were being drafted right and left…and we wanted to get married before he got “called up.”  We had six months to ourselves before Carl was drafted.  He went into the service in January, 1943, and was active until the war’s end, finally being discharged in October, 1945.  He was a medic, serving on the front lines, for most of his active service and was involved in the Battle of the Bulge in Europe in 1945.  As the result of that battle, he was the recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
     We had our first child, Michael, on May 8, 1948, and four more followed: Delene, Kevin, Velda, and Larry.  We lost Velda to breast cancer on September 20, 1988.  After the war, Carl went to work for Shell Oil and remained there for 43 years until retirement.  After a few years of enjoying retirement, he contracted Alzheimer’s Disease and passed away on April 13, 2003.  We had been married for 61 years.
     I now live at Remington Park Senior Living Center in Baytown, Texas.  I am blessed to have my brother, R.L., living next door to me, along with many long-time close friends, such as Ilet Smith.  Her husband, Chester (Chuck), was a childhood friend of both R.L. and Carl.  Also Maudie Starling, mother to my son-in-law, Weston (married to my daughter, Delene,) is here.  Then there is Dena, cousin to my sister, Daris, by marriage, and Nell Shirley, who is the mother of Mike, the husband of my niece, Pam.  I am thankful that the Lord has brought us together at this time in our lives.  We know how we are blessed!

The Life and Times of Bobbie Nell (Teer) Creel and Cullen Bryant (C.B.) Creel





The Life and Times of Bobbie Nell Teer Creel & C.B. Creel
Bobbie:  January 1, 1934
C.B. :  June 2, 1933—May 24, 2012
Written by Bobbie Creel
     My family moved to Baytown in the summer of 1948 when I was a junior at Cedar Bayou High School.  My sister (Claudine) and I both started practicing with the Blue Battalion, Cedar Bayou’s drill team.  When school started, I met C.B. for the first time.  He would come down the hall to meet me and he always told me to “straighten up and fly right!”  He was a sophomore, but a good football player, and popular with all the students.  He actually asked Claudine for a date first.  I ran around with 5 or 6 girls, and we would spend the night with each other, and since C.B. had a car, he would offer to drive us home after these sleep-overs.  He started taking me home last, and we got to be friends.  Then, on Halloween, he asked me to go to the movies, but I almost didn’t get to go.  We lived out on Tri-City Beach Road in the caretaker’s house at one of the big summer homes.  C.B. had an old car (coupe) with no floorboards and he brought a blanket because it was cold.  My daddy walked out to see his car and almost didn’t let me go with him.  C.B. used his key to start the car, then took the keys out and hung them on the choke knob so they wouldn’t jar out and fall through the floor. 
     Granddaddy Creel worked at Roseland Park, and C.B. worked for George and Jingles Smith’s Humble Service Station.  George and Jingles both drank.  Because C.B.’s car was very hard to start, he took one of the Smith’s old whiskey bottles and filled it with gasoline to pour in the carburetor.  He placed this whiskey bottle full of gasoline in the glove pocket of his car so that it would be available for every start-up.  Granddaddy Creel found the whiskey bottle in C.B.’s car and informed C.B. that he needed to talk with him.  C.B. had a hard time convincing his dad that it was only gasoline that was in the whiskey bottle.  Mr. Creel told C.B. that the seal on the bottle had not been broken.  Finally, C.B. was able to convince his dad that even though the seal on the whiskey bottle appeared to be unbroken, it was indeed an empty whiskey bottle that had been recycled as a gasoline supply for a cranky, old Chevrolet with no floorboard. 

     Granddaddy Creel began to suffer from swollen feet and legs.  As he became sicker and was diagnosed with Bright’s disease, (this is known as End Stage Renal Disease, which C.B. was diagnosed with later), he was finally hospitalized at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.  Granddaddy Creel worked 12 hours per day, seven days per week.  When he got sick and could no longer work, there was no income.  C.B. asked me to go with him to see his Dad on a Sunday.  During our visit, Mr. Creel teased me unmercifully, despite being so sick. 
     We dated steady during my senior year in school.  I was a cheerleader and C.B. let me wear his letter jacket, which was a real honor.  C.B. picked me up after school one day and I had to be back for play practice that evening.  We went to Morrell’s for a Coke and I wanted a hamburger, so he bought me a hamburger but he did not eat one.  I found out later that he did not have enough money to buy a second hamburger for himself.
     I graduated from high school in 1950, and after attending Southwestern Business School in Houston went to work at Culpepper’s Furniture Store as secretary to the buyer.  Mr. Creel passed away in 1950 of Bright’s disease due to kidney failure.  C. B. graduated in 1951 at midterm, as he was eligible to play football one more year, and my parents took me to all of his ball games.  We married in November before he graduated, and he worked, went to school and played football, and although he earned a football scholarship to Sam Houston in Huntsville, he wanted to go to work and stay in Baytown.  He felt that he should stay near his Mom to help, and he also thought that I should stay near my parents.  Our first apartment was in the attic of Mr. & Mrs. Simmons house on Dyer Street, just down the street from Granny Creel, and I remember Buadda going in and cleaning the apartment before we moved in.  C.B. worked construction work, service stations, even tried to be a door to door salesman selling WearEver Cookware, though the only thing to come from that was that we got a nice set of aluminum  cookware!  He went to work for Ted’s Auto Parts shortly before R. L. went into business for himself in Highlands.  Then, in 1954, he went to work for Consolidated Chemical Co., a small plant located inside the Humble (now Exxon) Refinery, and retired after 33 years, surviving several mergers, and transferring to their        Houston plant ten years before he retired.  C. B. suffered a major heart attack in May, 1973, and was off work six months before being released to return to work.  I had been working part-time for R. L. as bookkeeper for his auto-parts, then he started selling insurance and real estate, and being advised that C. B. might not be able to work again, I went to Lee College and got my real estate license, and later my broker’s license, in case I had to make a living for us.  I did work a little in real estate under R. L. and continued to work for him until we went to Greece in 1988 to see Debbie and Jim for a month. Afterward I did not return to work.  We were blessed to have Jimmy, Debbie, and Jerry to complete our family.
     My parents transferred to Pt. Neches, Texas, in 1954, so we rented their house out and moved to our own home on Fayle Street.   I had Debbie shortly thereafter, and C. B. went to work for Consolidated Chemical Company a few days later on the graveyard shift, however, he was late his very first night because we were so sleep deprived because of a new baby.  He was never late again!  In 1955, we bought our first new house in Wooster, and lived there 40 years.  Jimmy was 3 and Debbie was 8 months old when we moved to Wooster, and Jerry was born there in 1956.  In 1995 we bought our house on Sterling Street when Exxon bought our house in Wooster to turn the entire neighborhood into a Green Belt around their refinery.  While we lived in Wooster, we bought our first new car, a 1955 Chevrolet.  One night we got a call around 2 a.m. that a possum was after Granny Creel’s chickens, so C. B. got dressed and took off over to her house and killed the possum.  He put it in the trunk of our new car, came home and went back to sleep, and forgot about the possum, until we started smelling something really bad.  We really had trouble getting the odor out of that car!
      We loved to travel and camp, and started out with a sheet of plastic, cots, and a campfire, then C. B. built us a fold-out trailer, which we used for several years.  C.B. worked shift-work, and had a long change week-end off once a month.  We graduated on to a Ford Van, which C. B. converted with bunks, and a fold down kitchen in the back, which we also used several years.   While the kids were in high school, we bought a Mobil Scout travel trailer, and I thought I was in a Holiday Inn because we were able to stay dry and had clean floors and good beds!  We went to Cloudcroft, New Mexico, with R. L., Thelma, Bill, Mark and Mary after Christmas a couple of years where we had lots of snow.  We put the boys in a tent with an extra tarp over the top of it, and put a small electric heater in it, and R. L., Thelma, Mary, Debbie, C. B. & I slept in the travel trailer, but the floor was so cold, R. L.’s shoes froze to the floor!!  The second year we went, we took a larger tent, and put it at the end of our travel trailer.  Early the next morning, the boys woke us up, so R. L. rolled the window out and told them to be quiet…people were trying to sleep.   Bill replied “That’s nice that some people can sleep, but we can’t because we’re wet and cold!” Their tent had let the floor leak and gotten their bedding wet also.  We rode snowmobiles, went inner tubing and had lots of fun.  Another year, Buddy, Claudine, Gary and Terry went with us, and I took skiing lessons with the kids, and Claudine, Buddy, and C. B. sat in our motor home and laughed at me and drank hot chocolate!  The boys took their future wives with them once, also.  We bought our first motor home in 1974, after C.B. had his first heart attack and was no longer able to hook the travel trailer to our car.  During that time, Jerry played football on a scholarship at Blinn Junior College two years, then transferred to Howard Payne University in Brownwood for two years.  Because C. B. was off work during much of that time or could take vacation time, we were able to attend every one of his games.  Most of our camping was with family and friends, mostly with Alton and Annette Doucette, as C. B. and Alton had the same long changes off.  In later years, we traveled to Colorado and Wyoming with Carl and Myrt, Ralph and Jeannette, Don and Coya to visit George and Dee, Lemuel and Anniedeen, and Steve and Daris.  We joined the San Jac Wheelers Camping Club in 1978, and met many wonderful friends, and had monthly campouts all around south Texas and Louisiana, and the hill country.  C.B. was especially happy reading maps and planning our next trip.  He read maps like most people read books!  C.B. was very witty, had a great sense of humor, and loved practical jokes, both planning them on friends and on the receiving end, also!
      C. B. went to Lee College a couple of years, taking courses to help him in his work.  Because he had enough college hours, he offered to substitute teach for Jimmy, who was principal at Baytown Junior High, but Jimmy was afraid he would whip one of the students and get put in jail. Ha!   I also went to Lee College and took some courses in computers, bookkeeping, and Real Estate.  Even though I became a real estate broker, I only worked a little in real estate sales with R. L. and mostly kept books for him and was a general flunky.  I worked for him 20 years and enjoyed working with him and his family.  I was able to go with C. B. to some of his seminars, and also was able to be off when my kids needed me.  C.B. and I went to Steamboat Springs with R.L. and Thelma one summer to a New York Life trip and had a really good time. On our way home from that trip, Thelma wanted some peaches, which aggravated R.L., so he pulled in beside a fruit stand that didn’t have any produce in it. He got out of his car to go to the door of the house, and was met by a huge dog, that jumped up and put his paws on his chest and scared him and C.B. nearly to death!  We stopped at the very next stand that had peaches, and bought some!
      C. B. was a volunteer fireman at Wooster, where he helped evacuate several people before and after Hurricane Carla, and because he had to work at Consolidated Chemical, we were unable to evacuate, so we had Granny Creel come and stay with us during the hurricane.  Wooster Volunteer Fire Department served the Lakewood and Brownwood subdivisions, so during the aftermath of the flooding in those subdivisions, we washed all day several days, even spreading linens out on our lawn to dry and sun, most of them had oil on them.  Jimmy never forgave us for helping, because the entire family had to take typhoid shots!  C. B. was also a Deputy Constable several years, doing security services for new buildings and also for the fairs and rodeos in the area.  One year after Christmas, he found a really nice Santa Suit which started many years of playing Santa to our family, friends and even for different groups at Humble and for his plant.  He was a really good “Santa” and really enjoyed the season.  That was the only time he wanted me to drive, because he wore his Dad’s glasses and couldn’t see to drive, and besides, he loved waving and watching for the little kids to notice him.  He especially loved playing Santa for our grandchildren and our friends’ children and grandchildren. His wig and beard totally wore out, so Jim and Debbie gave him a really nice set that he enjoyed very much.
 We were married in Cedar Bayou Baptist Church and attended there until Jimmy started first grade, then we moved to Wooster Baptist, where C.B. joined and was baptized.   He later became a deacon at Wooster Baptist, and was active until he had his first heart attack.   We worked  with the youth there several years, and accompanied them on several mission trips to Espanola, N. M., Leadville, Co., Manitou Springs, Co. and had planned to go to Pueblo, Co. when C.  B. had his first heart attack in 1974.  We were members at Wooster until 1995, at which time we moved our letters to Cedar Bayou Baptist, where Jimmy and Jerry were both deacons, since we had moved to the east side of Baytown and after C. B. had recuperated from open-heart surgery.  Jimmy and Jerry both moved their families away from Baytown and left us at Cedar Bayou Baptist, where I still attend.
 C.B. had his first heart attack (one that is normally fatal) in May, 1973, and was off work 6 months recuperating, then went back to work.  He had two more light heart attacks, and even though he never fully recovered his energy and stamina, he enjoyed his family, friends, gardening, camping, and vacations, and even did some wood crafts.  He worked in Baytown at Consolidated, which later became Stauffer Chemical, and then transferred to the Houston plant in 1979.  He retired in1987, after we had traveled to Athens, Greece, to spend a month with Jim and Debbie.  While he was recuperating from his first heart attack, we made several trips to Brenham, where Jerry was in College, and to Brownwood to attend all of his football games, and to A & M where Jimmy and Debbie attended.  In 1993, he had to have open heart surgery, 4 by-passes, and an atherectomy, and from that time on, we made regular trips into Houston for doctor visits.  He was bothered a lot by arthritis in his back, shoulders and hips and took various medicines for it, but did not enjoy much relief.  He developed diabetes after the open heart surgery, and was also diagnosed with sleep-apnea, for which he was put on a Bi-Pap breathing machine to sleep under.  Six weeks after the heart surgery, he was violently sick, had to have his gall bladder removed.  In 2001, he endured pancreatitis and was hospitalized 21 days, receiving no food by mouth.  He was diagnosed with asbestosis in 2001, also, and started having some signs of kidney problem in his blood work.  In 2004, we had to rush him to St. Luke’s emergency room, where he was admitted and had surgery for Fournier’s Gangrene (flesh eating bacteria.)He was in the hospital 38 days that time.  In 2007, he had another light heart attack, and had a stent put in.  It was a shoulder replacement surgery in June, 2008, with complications, including kidney failure. After seeing a kidney specialist, he was constantly switched on medicines and diets, and fluids.  After developing atrial fibrillation in 2009, he had a pacemaker put in, and it became necessary to administer the paddles on him to shock his heart back into rhythm, without much success.  He had a total of 5 Cardioversions, and had to have surgery to replace one of the wires on his pacemaker later in the year, and put on full time oxygen.  In April, 2009, he was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, and put on dialysis, which he endured 3 days a week until the Lord called him home on May 24, 2012.   Through it all, he kept his good humor and easy going way and was a good patient!eH