Reverend E. J. Hines was one of those unique personalities that stood out. I was fortunate to have worked under him, and with Faye Edwards, at the Baptist Association for several years. Those were some of the “best years of my life.”
E. J. needed to talk in order to process his thoughts, and talk he did, for he had many thoughts. But, E. J. had a “good” ear, and a “bad” ear, although I think he hid that well. If you were smart, and wanted to convince him of something, it was wise to stand and deliver to his good ear.
He was a great leader. He was a politician. E. J. drew exceptional people around him. And at times, he directed ordinary people toward tackling extraordinary tasks, and the Southern Baptist churches, the people, of the area reaped the benefits.
E. J. was comfortable in meetings, dressed in coat and tie, but I like the thought of him on an old Farmall tractor, a picture of which he had in his office for many years.
I loved to get him to tell the story of “Uncle ‘Aintney’ (Anthony) and the Snake,” which he did by going into character and using a high pitched, brogue-ish voice.
I’ll miss him. We’ll miss him. But we are all better for having known him.
To use a word that E. J. used quite often, “Everything for E. J. is now copacetic.”