The State of Tennessee now meets Biannually for our State Session; but we still need to get together, as a state, every year. So this year was our first State Social and Membership Drive.
We gathered at Fall Creek Falls State Park, on July 8, 2017. We had reserved a picnic shelter, with a grill, for our cook-out. We were a little concerned about the weather when we were first getting set-up, but it turned out to be a beautiful day, all day long.
Our cooks fired up the grill for the hamburgers and hot dogs, and our members out did themselves with dishes; pasta salad, potatoe salad, cole slaw, baked beans, and Ms. Connie's chili. . . .which was great. Then there were deserts; cookies, a chocolate cake, brownies, more cakes, a banana pudding (my favorite), and then a peanutbutter banana pudding, which was delicious. After everyone had eaten, Kyle Coatney played his Native American Flute.
We had 22 in attendance, with several of those being invited guests. For our guests we had a membership packet with a Hello Neighbor, a membership application and a Jr. Order Pen.
We were very pleased to have with us National Councilor, Charles Riehs, from North Carolina. He and Ms. Roberta went hiking to see the Falls, and then later Brother Charles joined us in the Washer Tournament. Brother Charles Riehs and Vickie Smith came in 2nd place in the tournament, beat out of the top spot by Kyle Coatney and Jack Crawford. It was a hard fought tournament, with 4 teams and double elimination, and everyone had fun !
Several went hiking to the falls, and the swinging bridge; several went to the swimming pool, and we had a couple that took a kiyak out on the lake. Others visited and fellowshipped in the shade of the picnic shelter or under the trees watching the Washer Tournament.
The last of us didn't leave until dusk. It was a great day !
Fall Creek Falls State Park, TN
Brother Bill Potter, PNC
The Cooks ! Sue Waters, Stephen Workman and Frank Potter
National Councilor, Charles Riehs
Here's Frank in the chocolate cake !
Here's Kyle playing the Native American Flute. Look at the Deer in the background ! I think she liked the flute music.
She wasn't the least bit afraid of us, and she was beautiful. We saw her several times that day, right around our picnic shelter.
Ms. Connie Potter and Bea Waters, just enjoying the day !
I like this picture ! Here's Ms. Bea and Stephen.
The Washer Tournament ! L-R Stephen Workman, Sue Waters, Charles Riehs, Bill Potter and Frank Potter.
Now it's Brother Charles's throw. . . .
Crystal and Kyle at the Falls.
The National Session of the Junior Order United American Mechanics was held in Berkeley Springs, WV, at the Cacapon State Park on June 18 - 21, 2017.
Several members from Tennessee were in attendance. Our State Secretary, who also serves as the National Secretary, Vickie Smith, was there. Also, Crystal Coatney, Past State Councilor of TN, attended with her family; along with Past National Councilor, William G. Potter, and his wife, Roberta, who is a Past Nat. Rep. Also, Frank Potter, who serves on the National Judiciary Committee; and Past National Councilor, James F. Workman, was also in attendance.
It was a good session, and the Tennessee delegation enjoyed our time with our Brothers and Sisters in West Virginia. Please see the story on the National Session, posted by Greg Frye, under National News.
Here are Crystal Coatney and her son, Kyle, dancing at the National Session Banquet. The D.J. was playing 50's and 60's music. (photo by John Mason, WV)
Crystal and Vickie were each gifted with a beautiful Jr. Order Quilt. Given to them by Brother Dennis Everett and made for them by his daughter, Lisa. Beautiful gifts, and truly appreciated ! (photo by John Mason, WV)
At this National Session, National Councilor Dennis Everett, presented to National Secretary Vickie Smith, a Past National Councilor Jewel for her 12 years of service as National Secretary. Vickie is the first female, Past National Councilor, in the Jr. Order. Vickie is grateful and humbled by this honor. (photo by John Mason, WV)
National Councilor, Dennis Everett, presented several "Distinguished Service Awards". Two were presented to Brothers in Tennessee. PNC Brother William G. "Bill" Potter received one of these awards, and show here Brother J. F. Workman, also received one of these awards. (photo by John Mason, WV)
Here is PSC, Crystal Coatney with husband Adam, who is also a Past State Councilor of Tennessee, at the National Session banquet, with their daughter Shae, who was the youngest one in attendance.
2017 will be the first State Council Social & Membership Drive for the State Council of Tennessee. The State Socials will be held on the 2nd Saturday of July, the same weekend our State Sessions are held on the opposite years.
So, Please save this date.....Saturday, July 8, 2017 ! We will be meeting at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The Board felt this would be a good place as it is mid-way between our East Tennessee councils and our Middle Tennessee councils. More information will follow, as plans are finalized.
Brother Charles W. Riehs, National Vice Councilor from the state of North Carolina and our special guest at this State Session, is shown here being escorted to the head table, by Past National Councilor, William G. Potter.
(L-R) National Councilor, Dennis Everett (WV) and Past National Councilor William G. Potter, presented a Past State Councilor jewel to Vickie Smith, for her service as State Secretary. Next to Vickie, is State Councilor, Crystal Coatney
(left) State Secretary, Vickie Smith receives Past State Councilor jewel for over 10 years service as State Secretary. Presenting her jewel (right) is State Councilor, Crystal Coatney.
The State Session of Tennessee, Jr.O.U.A.M. was held August 5 - 8, 2016 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We had a great time and a great turnout.
Registration was Friday evening, August 5th at 6:30 p.m. Followed by the Memorial Service by our State Chaplain, Stephen Workman. At 8:00 that evening the members gathered for our Pizza Social, then teams were picked for the Set-Back Tournament.
Our National Vice Councilor, Brother Charles Riehs, from North Carolina was with us representing the National Council, and we were very happy to have him with us as our guest. Also, visiting with us for the meetings on Saturday, but unfortunately not able to stay for the entire session was our National Councilor, Dennis Everett and his wife Joyce, from West Virginia. Always good to see them.
Saturday, August 6th, started with a committee meeting then an Officers meeting that morning, followed by the first business session at 10:45 a.m. After a break, the members came back for the Second Business Session, until all business was completed for the day.
Sunday morning the State Golf Tournament was held. The weather was beautiful, hot, but everyone seemed to have a good time of fellowship. At 5:30 p.m. the members gathered for the State Social and Dinner. Brother Steve Workman, State Chaplain, gave the invocation and everyone enjoyed a buffet from Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que….. Ribs, pulled chicken, pulled pork, corn on the cob, mac-n-cheese, slaw, potato salad, tea and lemonade; with cookies and cakes for dessert.
After dinner, our special guest National Vice Councilor, Charles Riehs, addressed the membership.
Set-Back and Golf Prizes were awarded.
Kyle Coatney played a couple of songs on the Native American Flute for everyone. Then to the surprise of many and the delight of others, he demonstrated another talent….juggling. He started out with the rings, then went to the clubs and finished up with the knives. A very talented young man to be only 17.
Everyone had a great time, looking at what was available in the Chinese Auction and placing their numbers in the bags of their picks. I think everyone came away with something.
Monday morning, August 8th, the Past State Councilor’s met for Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Then at 8:30 a.m. everyone met for the final business session. First order of business was election and installation of officers.
The Officers for the State Council of Tennessee for the coming term are:
State Councilor – Logan Martin
State Vice Councilor – Brian Hoover
State Secretary – Vickie Smith
State Treasurer – Frank Potter
Jr. Past State Councilor – Crystal Coatney
State Warden – Jennifer Patterson
State Conductor – Betsy Adkins
State Inside Sentinel – Mechelle Stokes
State outside Sentinel – Connie Potter
State Chaplain – Stephen Workman
National Representative (2018) Crystal Coatney
National Representative (2020) Gerald Adkinson
We hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July holiday. We wanted to post something in honor of America's Birthday. Following is a Message that was given at our 2015 State Session, by our State Chaplain, Stephen Workman. We hope it will bless you, as it did all of us.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA !
At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 2nd , State Chaplain Stephen Workman, conducted the Memorial Service.
We were fortunate to have lost no Brothers or Sisters in the past year. So, Brother Workman gave a wonderful message on America.
(The following is from the Memorial Message by Stephen Workman, State Chaplain to the State Session of Tennessee, Jr. Order United American Mechanics, August 2, 2015)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA ! You are 239 Years old. That’s a long time for a nation to remain free. But, when you take the long historical view; your just a child among nations like Egypt, China, Japan, Rome or Greece. They all had much longer histories, not so free.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA ! You have a rich spiritual history that continues to influence us today.
My Country Tis of Thee was written by a Baptist minister, Samuel Francis Smith.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by a Baptist Minister, Francis Bellamy.
The words “In God We Trust” are traced to the efforts of Rev. W. R. Watkinson.
Rev. John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian minister was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA ! You are a great nation with a great history. When you were very young, the famous French political philosopher, Alexis de Toucqueville visited our shores to learn the secret which enabled a handful of people to defeat the mighty British Empire.
He traveled across your vast land from shore to shore, looking for greatness in your harbors and rivers, your fertile fields and boundless forests. He studied your schools, your military, your Congress, your Constitution – but still he could not find the secret. It was not until he went into your churches and hard your pulpits “aflame with righteousness” that he found the answer. When he returned to Europe, he wrote this warning: “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA ! You are great because you are good. You are good because you are still opening your doors to those of other lands, remembering that you are made up of those who came to these shores searching for freedom and opportunity.
You are great because you are still the most Generous of all nations – giving untold millions in aid to 3rd world countries – sending our missionaries to feed the hungry and starving souls of our world.
You are great because you allow your fellows the freedom to choose Who and where they Worship.
You are great because you still take the side of the Little Guys against the bullies of this world.
HAPPY BIRTHAY AMERICA! You have learned that greatness is not measured in silver and gold, rivers and forests or even in bombs and missiles. Greatness is an inner quality found in what we ARE rather than what we possess.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! The noble lady in New York harbor stands proudly with her flame lifted up for all to see – a gift from the French, she still inspires even those of us who were born here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! Your flag waves proudly in the free air – symbol of all that makes you great. Whether at a ball game, political rally, concert or worship service; still sends a chill up and down our spine.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! Your currency still carries the motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST”. May we learn to transfer this motto from our coins to our hearts!
No nation on earth will long endure that does not depend on God. How can we get this motto from our coins and into our hearts?
In Psalms 33, we see some principles that we need to observe if we are to survive as a free people, blessed of God.
The first principle: Reverence for God.
Psalms 33: 18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him.
(who hold Him in awe, who respect and revere Him, who see Him as the Holy One, high and lifted up.)
Our nation desperately needs more respect, more reverence for God.
Proverb 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble.
Jude reverenced God. He closed his short letter with these powerful words: “To the only God and Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more! Amen.”
Did you know that Native Americans did not swear oaths or take the name of God in vain until Europeans introduced it to them? They did not have this kind of vocabulary in their language, but the French and English taught them how to curse in God’s name.
The Hebrews would not even pronounce the name of their God, but in our culture it is common for folks to speak God’s name without reverence. For example, the phrase, “Oh my God” is used constantly even by Christians.
A high school girl wrote the following letter to a friend: “I attended your church yesterday. Although you had invited me, you were not there. I looked for you, hoping to sit with you. I sat alone. A stranger, I wanted to sit near the back of the church but those rows were all packed with regular attenders. An usher took me to the front. I felt as though I was on parade. During the singing of the hymns I was surprised to note that some of the church people weren’t singing. Between their sighs and yawns, they just stared into space. Three of the kids that I had respected on campus were whispering to one another throughout the whole service. Another girl was giggling. I really didn’t expect that in your church. The pastor’s sermon was very interesting, although some members of the choir didn’t seem to think so. They looked bored and restless. One kept smiling at someone in the congregation. There were several people who left and then came back during the sermon. I thought, “How rude!” I could hear the constant shuffling of feet and doors opening and closing. The pastor spoke about the reality of faith. The message got to me and I made up my mind to speak to someone about it after the service. But utter chaos reigned after the benediction. I said good morning to one couple, but their response was less than cordial. I looked for some teens with whom I could discuss the sermon, but they were all huddled in a corner talking about the newest music group. My parents don’t go to church. I came alone yesterday hoping to find a place to truly worship and feel some love. I’m sorry, but I didn’t find it in your church. I won’t be back.
If reverence for God is to return to our nation it will have to start with God’s people !
The second principle: Dependence Upon God’s Power
Psalms 33:21 In Him our hearts rejoice for we trust in His holy name.
America needs to remember Hezekiah’s position and prayer. God’s people faced dire circumstances. They were being held under siege by King Sennacherib of Assyria. The enemy had already seized all the major fortified cities of Judah and the Assyrians were now putting heavy pressure on Jerusalem.
Each day, one of Sennacherib’s generals stood outside the city walls, yelling insults toward Hezekiah, toward God and toward God’s people. When King Hezekiah heard what was going on, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth as signs of both his heart rendering grief and his humility before God. Then Hezekiah went into the house of the Lord to pray.
His prayer is found in II Kings 19:15 – 19. He begins by praising God:
15. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
16. Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God.
17. It is true, O Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.
18. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men’s hands.
19. Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord are God.
Isn’t that a marvelous picture? With the devil beating on his door, Hezekiah paused to praise the Lord and testify of His awesome power before asking Him for help.
Hezekiah sent for the prophet Isaiah, hoping that he would have a word from the Lord. He did, it’s recorded in Isaiah 37.
Isaiah 37: 6 – 7 :
6. Isaiah said to them, Tell your master, this is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard, those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
7. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in him so that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country and there I will have him cut down with the sword.
Shortly after this, Sennacherib mysteriously received word that Babylon was in rebellion. He abandoned his siege of Jerusalem and headed his army homeward. But God wasn’t finished with him. Nobody blasphemes Almighty God and gets away with it for long. Verse 36 of Isaiah 37 tells us that the angel of the Lord visited the camp of the Assyrians and killed 185,000. Sennacherib returned home defeated, where he was eventually murdered by his own sons. Hezekiah and the people of God won a great victory because they depended on God.
May America do the same. We have two formidable enemies. One is internal and one is external. Right now we are living at a relatively peaceful time. However, our internal enemy is slowly eroding our national righteousness. The U.S. is #1 in the world in violent crime…divorce…teen pregnancies (industrial world)… abortions…illegal drug use. We need to look beyond science and technology. We need to pray for a turning to God – a spiritual awakening.
II Chr. 7:14 - If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Some years ago a so-called “human fly” went to Los Angeles. It was announced that on a certain day he would climb up the face of one of the large department store buildings. Thousands gathered to watch him perform this seemingly impossible feat. Slowly and carefully he made his way upward, now clinging to a jutting brick, again to a cornice. Up and up he went. At last he was near the top. He was seen to feel to right and left and above his head for something firm enough to support his weight. And soon he seemed to spy what looked like a gray bit of stone or discolored brick protruding from the smooth wall. He reached for it but it was just beyond him. He ventured all and leaped for it. But before the horrified eyes of the spectators, fell to the ground and was broken to pieces. In his dead hand was found a spider’s web! He had mistaken it for a stone.
What a lesson for those who will only stop and think. While human efforts are to be used and opportunities accepted and challenges met, it is equally true that no one knows, understands or has meaning to his life if he ignores the only solid “Rock” that one can find – the God-man, Christ Jesus. We as a people need to stop grasping for things that are unstable and anchor ourselves to the God who has our destiny in His hands.
The last principle I want to share with you is found in Psalms 33: 18, 20, 22.
Third principle: Hope in His Unfailing Love:
18. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
20. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
22. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
The General’s Prayer:
During the dark days of the American Revolution, when the Continental Army had experienced several setbacks, a farmer who lived near the battlefield approached Washington’s camp unheard. Suddenly his ears caught an earnest voice raised in agonizing prayer. On coming nearer he saw it was the great General, down on his knees in the snow, his cheeks wet with tears. He was asking God for assistance and guidance. The farmer crept away and returned home. He said to his family, “it’s going to be all right. We are going to win!”
“What makes you think so”, his wife asked. “Well,” said the farmer, “I heard General Washington pray out in the woods today – such fervent prayer I have never heard, and God will surely hear and answer that kind of praying.”
And the farmer was right! It happened because Washington put his hope in God.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA ! Keep the candles of your birthday cake of freedom burning bright.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA ! May your 340,000 churches continue to offer hope and salvation to the lost and downtrodden. May they serve as moral and spiritual oases in a desert of unrighteousness.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! May your eagle, the symbol of power, strength and independence remember that even she is a creation of God.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! May your citizens forsake their independent spirit enough to look to the Lord God Almighty for the inner freedom that only He can give.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! May the motto found on all your coins, “IN GOD WE TRUST” be forever emblazoned on the hearts and minds of our people.
HAPPY BIRTHAY AMERICA !
The 2016 State Session of Tennessee will be held August 6th - 8th in Pigeon Forge, TN. Not a lot of details have been worked out yet, but we are looking forward to another great session. National Vice Councilor, Charles Riehs from North Carolina will be our special guest at this session and we look forward to having him with us.
GO FORTH AND SPREAD THE NEWS OF OUR BELOVED ORDER'S PRINCIPLES. OUR NATION NEEDS US DURING THESE TROUBLED TIMES.