Just among friends
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:00 AM
Dean and Lamar Walker moved to Atwood Personal Care Home as a temporary arrangement. Five months later, temporary has become permanent. "We love it here," Dean told me.
"This is just where we need to be."
Born Jan. 28, 1924, Dean's children hosted a 90th birthday party for their mother at Atwood.
Beverly Moore and Larry Walker enjoyed the celebration with their mother, while Dianna was in Hattiesburg baby-sitting.
Gary and Sandra came from Ridgeland for an early pre-birthday visit.
Special guests were Dr. Eugene Dobbs, Brother Lawrence and Francis Reynolds, Mary Lou Kitchens, Wanniese Whitehead, Jane Hodgins, Chris Fulton, and all their resident/friends at Atwood.
Dean worked at Sears for thirteen years under Billie Latting's tenure as manager.
Remember when Sears was located on the west side of the square, next door to Thompson Drugs, later moving to the corner across from City Hall?
Dean retired with Central Electric.
Her husband of 69 years was born April 1, 1919, after his seven siblings were grown and gone.
"I was the first April Fool born in 1919," Lamar laughed.
Dean found her ministry when they moved to Atwood.
"I had often thought I had short-changed my Savior," she told me. "When we moved here, I prayed that God would find a way to use me."
And, as always, He has. She has found fellow residents/friends who actually need her physical assistance.
Dean's 90th year promises to be a happy one for her and those around her.
The January Breakfast Birthday bunch will testify that friends grow dearer and times together more precious as years go by.
Getting together for breakfast has become a tradition for more years than any of us can remember.
Sharing this special time together on the last day of January 2014 were Eloise Stokes, Carlotta McDaniel, Babs Kirkland, Dawn Mars, Helen Thomasson, Sue Wells, Hazel Allen, Peggy Dees, Billy Greenleaf, and Rachel Evans.
Missing were Tina King, Annelle Rose and Pat Johnson. The party dates back to include Sue Anne Mars, Flynn Dobbs and Helen Tolbert.
In a poem penned by Sue Anne in 1995, "...and the joys of this life, when you've summed it all up, are found in the making of friends."
"Technology has united us" was one of the million dollar-plus ads during the Super Bowl.
The Manning family, like the Neshoba County Fair, are among the strong uniting forces of us proud Neshoba Countians.
In a ministry patterned after the First Century Church's practice of meeting in homes in small groups to worship, the Rev. Stuart Purvis, pastor at Spring Creek Baptist Church, began such a mission several months ago at Spring Creek.
Once a month, the congregation divides into small groups for the evening worship service and meets in each other's homes.
The Faith Class, whose membership includes the senior ladies in the church, made the decision to meet with the residents at Atwood Personal Care Home.
Quoting their teacher, Sylvia Fleming, "What a blessing that has been! With devotions, hymns, songs, prayers, food and fellowship, there is great celebration of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Members in the class include Sylvia Fleming, Brenda Poe, assistant teacher, Shelby Barnes, Atwood resident Thelma Breedlove, Maggie Burton, Ada Day, Willie Ross Deweese, Alice Fulton, Christine Fulton, Sue Fulton, Amie Goforth, Maggie Hillman, Anna Jones, Billie Lashley, Nell Nance, Margie Parker, Martha Parker and Martha Patterson.
Robert Barnett, who drove the church bus, was accompanied by his wife, Lynn, who brought along her guitar and sang several songs during the hymn sing.
Other guests included Lynn's dad, Frank Benci, Rusty Cumberland and his family, Gary and Sandra Walker, Butch Hodgins and Ronnie Hodgins.
Ethel Gill celebrated her February birthday at my house with me, her friends Betty Seward and Lynn Seward, and cousin Dorothy Seals.
The food was good, the fellowship great, but the icing on the birthday cake was when she sang "I Can't Even Walk Without Holding His Hand."
What a testimony!
The JOY group from East Philadelphia Baptist Church met in Fellowship Hall Jan. 21 for a potluck lunch which is always a treat.
Meat, tea and coffee are provided, with the members bringing their favorite side-dishes.
Thirty-four members and friends were in attendance. Jackie Hearn gave the devotional.
Bobbie Anthony introduced the guest speaker, Candi Dunlap, a nurse practitioner by profession from Meridian.
While on a humanitarian mission to Macedonia in 2012 with a group from Meridian, Candi was imprisoned for twenty-six days.
The account of her very primitive, unsanitary, miserable and prolonged state of imprisonment, as she shared with the group, was very disturbing.
And then Candi shared the good news!
Through her Christian testimony to other prisoners, she witnessed the conversion of two prisoners.
And for others, the seed was planted!
Members and friends attending the meeting included Associate Pastor Mark Cloys and Marian, Supply Pastor Tommy Jones, and Student Minister Rusty Parsons.
Also Group Leader Bobbie Anthony, Mandy Hailey, Betty Henson, Margie Jones, Ann Baughman, Dean Beckham, Hoyt Payne, Carolyn Smith, Lorene Hutchinson, Kenneth and Polly Massey, Randy and Jackie Hearn, Wallace and Peggy Thomas, Curtis Blocker, Richard and Joan Jones, Jane Barnett, Richard and Linda Brewer, Harmon Edison, Glenda Hardy, Sandra Winstead, Darlene Rush, Lisa Hutchins, Marie Davis, Jan Foreman and Ray Fleming.