Veterans stories being preserved

Published 7:34 pm Friday, January 4, 2019

The historic stories that military veterans carry with them can easily be lost to time, but the Archives and History Committee at First Baptist Church on the Square is working to preserve some of those stories.

Many of those stories about World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, military service during non-war times, recent military service and even church history are now available to view on YouTube.

“These interviews had previously been available at the church library but we are excited to be able to share these wonderful stories with a wider audience,” said Myrtice C. Adcock, chair of the Archives Committee in a press release.

Kaye Minchew, the former executive director of the Troup County Archives and author of several historic books, is helping lead that charge to preserve these historic accounts.

“We realized that we were losing so many of the World War II veterans that were members of the church and that had played a role in the church development after World War II,” Minchew said. “So, that was the start of doing the oral histories. Then to make it available online, we kept thinking that the church library is a wonderful place, but only a few people ever get in there and would have access to those oral histories. Doing it online was a way to make it more available to family members and to church membership and the general public.”

Many of the men interviewed are regular attendees at the church who many people know without knowing the stories behind their service.

“You’ll know somebody for the longest time, and yet you never knew that they had all these stories and all these experiences in their past,” Minchew said. “Sometimes [all it takes] is just to ask a question or two, and they start talking about it. It is always fascinating [to hear about] the various experiences that some people had overseas and in the U.S.”

Minchew said that she personally found it interesting to listen to the humility displayed by many veterans.

“We think of World War II as the greatest generation, but they are all so humble about it,” Minchew said. “If you ask them about their service, it is, ‘Well, it is what we had to do. The army or the navy or whoever needed us. It is what the country needed.’”

Minchew said some of the veterans interviewed were identified through an exhibit that was featured at the Troup County Archives several years ago and by asking around at FBC on the Square.

“We figured out what members were military,” Minchew said. “The Troup County Archives had a list, and people on the archives committee asked in their Sunday school classes and such. Then [we needed to] find out who was available and who was willing to do interviews… who was willing to share it with the general public.”

Julian Hurst and the late Jack Grady conducted the interviews with assistance from Paul Barnes and the late Jim Lee.

“We are just excited to be able to share this project with the wider population, and YouTube can do that in a way that,” Minchew said. “Listening to these people and seeing their pictures and seeing what they’ve been through and to be able to share that through the convenience of YouTube and computers is a great asset. It is a great thing modern technology brings us.”

There are also interviews for church history. Minchew said that while most of the interviews focus on individuals who attend First Baptist Church on the Square, others who would like to share an oral history can also participate. To learn more about the project, contact the FBC on the Square office at (706) 884-5631 or email Minchew at To watch the videos, visit