East Texas native Clarence Devereaux has turned his memories about the influence of his parents on their 14 children during the segregation era into a book, “A Solid Rock — A Rolling Stone — And 14 Pebbles.”
“The book is about my family,” he said during time in Tyler. “My mom was the rock, my dad was the rolling stone and their children are the 14 pebbles.”
“She was a strong, religious woman,” Devereaux said of his mother, Levereta Dotson Devereaux.
“Mom always told us to love people,” he said. “And that’s what kept us out of trouble.”
Devereaux was born in 1933 in Rusk County. In 1946, the family moved to Tyler where he and some of his siblings attended Emmett Scott High School.
He also attended Texas College, where he met his future wife, Norma Joyce Allen, and served as class president in 1955.
After college, Devereaux served in the Navy and later lived in California, where he earned a degree in public administration at the University of Southern California and served as a pastor at Solid Rock Baptist Church near Los Angeles.
Now 85, he felt moved to tell the story of how faith guided all of their lives.
Devereaux credits his parents with helping them set high expectation and deal with racism and issues involving segregation.
“I refer to my mother as the solid rock because of her solid rock faith in God,” he writes in the book. “I believe there was none in my family or in the great state of Texas with more solid rock faith than my mother.”
Devereaux said he refers to his father, Julian Devereaux, as a rolling stone because during his childhood the family moved frequently throughout East Texas.
He said his father was fearless when confronted with racism.
“Living in a racist society did not deter him from looking everyone in the eye and saying what was on his mind,” writes Devereaux.
Devereaux said that the story of his family is one of love.
“I wish that everyone could have experienced the rock of hard love of my mother and the stone strength and protection of my father,” he shares in the book’s introduction.
“My prayer is that many families will read this book and be encouraged to love God and one another because that’s what the world needs now,” he said.
The book is available from