|The Circuit Rider: A Prophetess Among Us|
In 1997, the author’s 97 year-old great aunt, Lillian Smith Holmes was the guest speaker for one of their family’s monthly meetings.The house for this very special occasion was filled to capacity with the children, grandchildren, great, great-great grandchildren of Clement and Laura Smith, anxiously waiting to hear of her journey.As she began to speak, the author, also the secretary for C&L, along with the family listened intently as she spun a wonderful, yet at times sad web of the joys and pains of growing up in the "times of great peril” for "coloreds”."Mother Holmes” as she was affectionately called, amazed them all, by her abilities to recall dates and names throughout the genealogical line back to the early 1800’s.Her recollections of her early childhood, growing up in a rural farming area, her education, the pregnancies, the religious upbringing, employment, deaths, slavery and segregation enthralled them all.Her eyes sparkled when she spoke of her siblings and their affection for one another.
The author’s interest really peaked when she spoke of her sister, Mary Delores Smith Wallace, who had become an "itinerant preacher” (evangelist) in the early 1900’s.She traveled throughout theMarylandshorelines of thePatuxentRiverand theChesapeake Bay, visiting the sick and shut-ins, and assisting with tent revivals on the waterfronts, while married and raising her children, as well as several adopted children.Thus, the idea of the "Circuit Rider:The Prophetess Among Us” was birthed.
The author has attempted to capture that period of the early 1900’s, by using the dialect of the people, and capturing their lives in the fictional characters of Fatimah, Benjamin, Eli, Ozno, Ina, as depicted by this magnificent woman of God...a Prophetess Among Us.