How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?

Speaking for myself, my mother went to church most of my life. She married my dad at the justice of the peace but for her second marriage; she attended, was baptized and was married at a church, but that church is no longer a real church. There is one sitting in its place, it even shares the same name, but it’s not a good church.  So the church my mom worked as a missionary lady most of my life – no longer exists. It’s a pity. All changes are not for the best.

I attended thousands of services in that tiny church over the years; Sunday school, Church, revivals – some went on for weeks, benefits, singings, funerals, dedications, Plays, Bible school, dinner on the ground and numerous other functions; many with my mom. But not as many as I wish I could have anyway. She died prior to my seventeenth birthday. Even though I don’t have as many church memories of her by my side, I always felt as if she were there; encouraging me.

Yes people… Church is open regularly; not just on Christmas and Easter Sunday. Shocking… isn’t it?

As children we noticed a major change in her. She lost weight and was far more outgoing that ever before. She was quiet and showed self-control. She never committed any major sins that I’m aware of anyway. But after she got “Saved” – the change in her was evident. She was my hero.

I too followed in her footsteps and became a missionary at that same little church. I taught Sunday school for a great number of years there.  I’ve worked in every position in the church imaginable. I joke that I’m was always labor; never management. I don’t know if it will have any impact on my children or grandchildren, but I believe it will.

I raised my daughter from birth until she was 20 years old at that church. Part of me really regrets that now. It could possibly be the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. But all the ladies of the church – the real church – called her, “The littlest Missionary Lady”. She attended all the meetings, parties and any other function they had as a fully paid – card carrying missionary lady.  It may be the reason why she feels she needs to care for all the needy children of the world.

We attend Elizabethtown First Church of God now. It’s a tiny little church too with real People; aged and well-seasoned Saints – real Christians.  It’s a good thing. The majority of the elders I have a great respect for. Although, I no longer attend the missionary ladies meetings anymore. I feel like I’ve put in my 30 years, it’s time to let some of the others do the task at hand. I can serve in many other capacities. But no matter how busy I may get, I always make myself available whenever and wherever I may be needed. Sometimes it’s not even my own church. I try to help – where I think there is a need or have been asked.

I do remember my Grandma Phebie attending the University Baptist Church most of my life. My dad’s family is Baptist.  I always thought they just wanted to skirt the main objective: Living that Once in Grace – Always in Grace… Kind of Lifestyle. I’m just kidding of course. I love and respect Brother Jimmy Anderson. I believe he is a fine man of God. I only knew one or two men that I felt in my heart lived up to their calling and he tops that list. I’m not sure why I’ve never attended his church.  I guess it’s so that I never get disillusioned. Seeing people up close and personal – as they really are – can really change your thinking of them.

I’m not trying to get into a deep theological discussion here. Obviously, we all share similar and very different beliefs. We agree to disagree for the most part. This is about the women in our past that have made an impact on our lives; some great – some maybe not. I’m not judging people here but as a child the things that our role models teach us, stick with us. My mom would say, “Little pictures have big ears!”

It’s the ear-mark of a great leader… to show us how they followed.

To stand upon the ramparts and die for our principles is heroic, but to sally forth to battle and win for our principles is something more that heroic. ~ FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

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