yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee
People of Action - 1969

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).  Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of the late Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.

Ralph Holland

By Lillye Younger, Sun Correspondent

Youth Didn't Choose His Calling

PARSONS, Tenn. — "I didn't choose the profession I am pursuing," says Ralph Holland, 19-year-old youth of Parsons.

It was a year ago in September that the decision was made. The active young Pentecostal Church worker went to Sunday School and church services that Sunday as usual, but he soon discovered he was not his jolly happy self.

"I felt a great burden on my heart and prayed for God to dismiss it, yet it kept coming up before me," the bright-eyed, dark-haired youngster said.

After church services were dismissed, the youth remained and continued to pray. Others prayed with him. "About 1:30 p.m. I said, ‘Lord, if it's your will for me to become a minister, I will.' Suddenly the burden rolled away and I was wonderfully blessed," Holland smiled and said. "I just couldn't reject the thought."

Having just graduated from Parsons High School, the young man enrolled in college at University of Tennessee in Martin to prepare himself for his calling. His courses included three quarters of religion, science, psychology, sociology, English, history and missionary courses.

"I soon discovered that I should have studied harder in high school, especially in my senior year. Had I sweated it out and dug harder my freshman year of college would have been much easier," he admits. Holland made good grades in college, mostly A's and B's. He was a member of the marching band and played in the University Concert Band.

His hobby is music, which he enjoys greatly. Not only is he interested in band, he also plays the piano. "I spend much of my pastime at the piano," he said. He and his mother and brother are members of a quartette which broadcasts on the radio.

Another hobby is reading. "The most inspiring book I've ever read is, ‘They Speak In Tongues,' by John Sherrel," the versatile young man said. He enjoys reading biographies of great men.

His theory concerning the American home is that it has gotten away from the family organization. "Today the home is mostly a meeting place where a few words are exchanged. Mothers working outside the home bring about much of this situation. The unit of love is drifting away. Friction arises among the children. The mother's place is in the home.

"It is possible for people to change for better or worse," he stated, "since humans have freedom of choice. Many leave God out and when we do that we go into corruptible things."

"The Rev. W. A. Singleton has had the greatest influence on my life," he continued. "He was my pastor at Bethel Springs and is my present pastor in Parsons. I go to him for advice when problems arise. He has been a great help to me in my religious life and I have great confidence in him."

"The greatest opportunity In my life is personal witness," he said. "It is my greatest challenge."

His advice to high school seniors is "to make the best of their senior year if they plan to enter college." He added: "Do not be slack. Make your first year of college easier by applying yourself in high school."

"I think it's pathetic the number of high school drop-outs we have today," he said. "It's the lack of education on the part of the parents. They do not show enough interest in their children's education."

His training began in the first grade at Enville, Tenn. Later the family moved to Huntingdon when his father became a State Trooper. He attended school in Huntingdon. Again the family moved to Selmer and Ralph finished the 11th grade there. Moving to Parsons in 1964, he graduated with the 1965 Parsons High School seniors.

He plans to enter the Conquerors Bible College in Portland, Ore., Sept. 16 where be will continue in his second year college work. The school is a branch of the United Pentecostal Church school

"My goal in life is to seek out and do the Lord's will and it will be set by the Lord if it's His will," the lad added.

He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Holland and has one brother, Stanley, age 20, and two sisters, Melinda 11 and Glenda 7. He resides with his parents at 305 West First Street in Parsons.

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