Paul's Promise Legacy
Integration of Little Rock Central High.
My father Paul Holderfield Sr. is 25 years old; he is a newly hired no Little Rock Fireman.
Federal troops that President Eisenhower called out are heading to the turmoil unfolding at LR Central. Dad and the other firemen are doing what they have been taught. Shouting don't let them in our schools, we get our guns, kill him etc. Dad sees a black gentleman walking towards the Fire Station. He recognizes Mr. Jimmy Lipkin a black friend from childhood in the cotton fields about 20 miles outside of Little Rock. Dad turns his back hoping Jimmy will pass by. Jimmy stops, looks Dad in the eye, extends his hand, “Mr. Paul”. Dad knowing the Firemen watching stuck both hands in his back pocket refusing Jimmy's until Jimmy left. The Firemen all laughed and patted Dad on the back. Dad waited for these Firemen to go to sleep called my mom and told her when he done that, he was wrong, that he was taught wrong. He said, “I don't care what people say, or what people think, I will never do it again.” Paul Holderfield Sr.’s mind was changed that day, and he began to shake a whole community’s hand Black, White, Brown.
Dad's mom Minnie had been hanging onto life and unexplainably to the doctors for months. Dad told his mom, “It’s okay mom you can go on to Heaven.” Dad's mom said, “Paul who will pray for my kids, you are all four lost.” Dad went to the men's room, cried, looked up to the ceiling and said, “God let her live till Sunday and she will know one of her kids is a Christian.” That Sunday afternoon my dad told his mom, “Momma I’m saved, I’m a Christian”. Dad said, “I didn’t plan to say it”, but he said, “I promise to pray for Buddy, Opal, and Billie Jean.” Minnie Holderfield was in Heaven minutes later. Paul Holderfield Sr.’s heart had been changed. PAULS PROMISE.
Paul Holderfield Sr. becomes Brother Paul and because of his prejudice experienced in a little church where he accepted Christ, starts Friendly Chapel. It was organized in No. Little Rock Boys Club. Brother Paul invited kids that he had feeding and teaching at the club. He had to find a preacher each Sunday and dad did everything but preach, especially the loving. Four years later Brother Paul Sr. was called to preach and was the Friendly Chapel pastor for 24 years before his death and graduation in 1998.
Brother Paul Sr.
Paul Holderfield Senior's mother Minnie and sister Opal.
Minnie had prayed for many years for her children. On her deathbed Paul became a Christian and promised to pray for his brothers and sisters.
Brother Paul Sr. was called to preach and was the Friendly Chapel pastor for 24 years before his death and graduation in 1998.
Brother Paul Sr. and Jimmy Lipkin. Handshake long overdue.
Early Friendly Chapel Church congregation photo.
Brother Paul's Legacy
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