Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Spiritual Influence

"Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established."
Proverbs 16:3

My Bible given to me by my parents on my promotion from the Beginner to the Primary department!
I have been thinking lately about all the people who have influenced me spiritually and how thankful I am to have had these spiritual leaders at different stages of my life - people who were "called" to minister to others. It would not be possible to list every single person but there are some that are exceptionally memorable to me along my life's journey!

  1. Gertrude B. French (October 23, 1893 - May 1, 1988) - Anyone who grew up in Brundidge, Alabama, during her life has to remember Mrs. French. She was every one's piano teacher. It would be interesting to know how many people she taught piano lessons. I first knew Mrs. French as my first grade Sunday School teacher in the Primary department. I remember to this day walking into her classroom and being welcomed with open arms. Mrs. French loved the Lord and she loved children. Teaching children was her calling. She used her God given talent in her life's work. An amazing life of 94 years, she will forever be in my heart for what she meant to me at a young age.
  2. Rev. A. Ray Foreman (Pastor of Salem Baptist Church 1963 - 1986) - There's never been a more faithful servant of the Lord. It was under his leadership that I became a Christian. Honored in 2011 by the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame with the Religion Award for serving the Lord 61 of his 81 years and for his work with Senior Adults, he was quoted "I'm not really deserving of this award and it is the Lord I really want to give credit to". I give the Lord credit for placing him in Brundidge, Alabama, and the positive influence he had there.
  3. Buddy Gray (Summer Youth Director Salem Baptist Church - 1978) - Now Rev. Buddy Gray,  Pastor of Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover. Buddy was the youth minister at Salem Baptist Church the summer before I started to college. One summer night, a group of us went on jogging. Before you think that I might have one day been athletic, let me clarify that I only made it to the end of the street. Buddy walked with me the rest of the way and we talked about me going to college. He asked me the question, "will you still go to church?" In other words, he was asking if I would still go when I didn't have to! My answer, "of course, I will". Never did I ever forget that conversation when I went away to college, and that conversation inspired me to stay on course in my life.
  4. Rev. Herb Thomas (Pastor of Circlewood Baptist Church) - There is much to be said about the influence of Bro. Herb. Compassion, Caring and Consistency come to mind. Bro. Herb was the minister who conducted our wedding. When we said, for better or worse, I think he took that vow also. He was definitely with us for better, for worse - our wedding, the birth of both babies as well as through Annie's medical complications and surgeries and the diagnosis of my cancer and subsequent treatment. What awesome, caring ministers that both he and Mrs. Virginia have been to our family!
  5. Rev. Billy Joy (Current Pastor of Valley View Baptist Church) - When we visited Valley View  for the first time, it was Billy and Mary Jaque's first day. We were the first family he visited. What an amazing testimony he has to share! I love how he shares messages directly from the Word of God that are relevant and easy to understand.  Also, I love how he reminds us that God's mercies are fresh each day! Aren't we all glad that is true?

So, for today, be thankful for the people who commited their work unto the Lord, thus
influencing your life in a positive way!

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