When I was young, I would hear the old people in church mention the “cooling board.” My church was of the Pentecostal Holiness denomination and it was customary to have a testimony service. A testimony service was when church members, called “Saints,” would stand up and share with the congregation things that God had done for them. They would also express their thankfulness and praise to God.
The testimony might start out as follows:
“Giving honor to God, to the Pastor, Deacons, Saints and Friends.
I thank God for __________(They might mention a specific situation where they felt that God blessed them.)
And then somewhere during the testimony of one of the old Saints, they might say “I thank God for waking me up this morning and that I’m not on a cooling board.”
I had learned as a child that if you were on a cooling board, you were dead, but I never knew exactly how the board looked until a few years ago when I watched a video about a cooling board. In this video, Roy Olpin shares his family’s history in the funeral business and how his father used one the tools of the trade called the “cooling board.” The cooling board was used by his father as an embalming table during the days when this task was done in the home of the deceased.