REV. ROBERT TODD
By Dan Todd
Dad was born Sept.16, 1913, in Bryant, Arkansas. Within 2 years his family had moved to Houston Texas. It is here that Dad grew up. He came to know the Lord at Baptist Temple in South Houston.
In 1943 Dad Joined the Texas National Guard. This is one of his fondest Memories.
It was this group that was activated and sent to Ft Riley, Kansas. Where it became part of the last horse cavalry unit in the US Army. This equestrian training was soon set aside as Dad was sent to Burma to pull a mule up a hill as part of the MARS Task Force. This time in WW II had a profound affect upon my Father just as it had on all who served. If you could get Dad to talk about his experiences at all it would be about taking the litter and going up the trail to bring back his buddies.
After the war Dad came back to the civilian world and it was at this time he felt the call to the Ministry. He and my mother packed up and moved to New Orleans, where he attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Dad graduated in 1949 and they took the family back to Houston where he began to work with mission churches.
Rev. Robert Todd and his wife Minerva, daughter Kathy and son Dan.
Circa winter 1951
In 1951 Dad was issued a call to become pastor of the First Baptist Church of Tuscumbia. Dad served this church for four years until the fall of 1955. Though Dad went on to serve other churches over the next 20 years. I believe it is the time Dad spent in Tuscumbia had the most profound effect on his ministry. I know it had that effect.
Later on Dad retired and moved back to Houston where he died on Sept.13 2007.
Being the pastor of a small church certainly had its experiences. I will tell you some I remember.
When we first moved to Tuscumbia, there was no parsonage, so we lived up stairs at the old Brockman Hotel, though by this time it had ceased to be a hotel and was simply the home of the elder Mr. Brockman, the father of Oliver Brockman. This was located on the road going up the hill from Mr. Barrons's General Store and the Post Office. One of the things that I remember is when Mr. Brockman became ill Dad rigged up a cord from Mr. Brockman's bed to run up the stairs and connect to a cowbell in our apartment. I remember that bell ringing several times in the middle of the night.
Though the pay was not great for a small town preacher, there were other benefits.
One was that you would never go hungry. It seemed like every Sunday we would come out to he car and there would be jars of milk, bunches of vegetables, and packages of frozen meat…always something. One of Dad's responsibilities was not only to visit his congregants but to visit prospective members. When Dad went out to do this we never knew what he would bring home. A couple of the most unusual things were a hound dog puppy and a Banty rooster with two Banty hens. That Banty rooster soon found the bird feeder Dad had installed by the kitchen window. Every morning about 4am, that rooster would get up on the feeder and began to crow. Dad would throw open the window swat him off and try to go back to sleep. One morning I heard my Mom, making all this noise and laughing as loud as she could. It seemed Dad had finally lost it. He was chasing that rooster around the house trying to hit it with a broom. That was the day Dad took the rooster back to its original home.
Rev. Robert Todd baptizing his daughter, Kathy in the Osage River
One of the wonderful things I remember is the Osage River. This is where all the Baptisms during spring, fall, and summer took place. We would walk from the church down to the river singing "Shall we gather at the River". This took place right there at the sand bar just below the fair ground. It is there Dad had the privilege of Baptizing his daughter. Imagine the pride Dad felt at leading his children to know God.
I think I could write for pages about all the things I remember. About the mission Vacation bible school at Pizgah school house, the trips every thirteen weeks to the radio station at The Lake to do the 15 min morning devotional as they signed on every Morning, or the shivaree that Dad took me to after he had performed his first wedding in Missouri.
What a great place for a kid to be.