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Reverend Jerry Lee Oliver

"Singing in the Shadows"

Reverend Jerry Lee Oliver was born March 19, 1887, in Erath County, Huckabay Community of Pea Ridge, Texas.  He was the oldest son of five children born to James Robert Oliver and Kate Coleman Oliver. 

Reverend Oliver was educated at rural school in the Pea Ridge Community, Huckabay Academy for Higher Education.  He received a teachers certificate from Huckabay to teach in county schools.  He attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and the University of Texas in Austin studying English, Latin, and Greek.  He received a license to preach in the fall of 1915. 

On June 22, 1915 Jerry Lee Oliver and Pearlie Vell Morton were united in marriage.  They reared five children: William McCoy Oliver, Robert Morton Oliver, Jerry Lee “Jake” Oliver Jr., Elizabeth Jean Oliver Hadderton, and Velma Pearl Oliver Carpenter. 

Jake characterized his father as a “Circuit Rider Preacher in a Model T Ford.”  Reverend Oliver served as pastor to twenty-one Methodist Churches of Texas over a period of thirty-seven and one-half years.  He retired in 1953. 

The title of the book of poems by Jerry Lee Oliver was selected by Reverend Oliver from his poem "Singing in the Shadows."  The book was compiled by Jerry Lee Oliver Jr., edited by his daughter Sharon Oliver Coffin, and published by AuthorHouse, Bloomington, Indiana 47403, 2005.

Singing in the Shadows

I heard a bird sing in the shadows;

Its song was joyous, warm, and bright.
Nothing plaintive did it utter,
But notes of exquisite delight.
Despite the presence of the shadow,
Its throat poured forth a flood of mirth;
It yielded not to dark surroundings,
But sought to brighten all the earth.
Forthwith, I found myself a 'thinking,
How different sometimes 'tis with men.
They sing when skies are clear and sunny,
But frequently,--'tis only then.
More joyous ought men be than birds,
Because they are of greater worth;
And when the day is dark with shadows,
They too, should sing their song of mirth...

Author, Jerry Lee Oliver


Those Young And Brave Marines

The poems "Singing in the Shadows" and  "Those Young and Brave Marines" were taken from the book of poems "Singing In The Shadows," by Jerry Lee Oliver, compiled by Jerry Lee Oliver Jr., and edited by Sharon Oliver Coffin.

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