Ad Spot

A visit with old friends

By A. Ray Lee

Columnist 

I was delighted when Frank and Sandy, friends from many years ago, came by recently for a long-overdue visit. Frank and I first connected when I was a single seminary student in New Orleans and he was a participant in the youth group at a church we both attended. We found much in common although I had grown up in the rural South and he had a more traveled background. Our friendship developed over a number of months during which we participated together in various ministries including for a time when we shared leadership of a mission congregation. 

 

At the time, Effie and I were in a long-distance relationship as she was serving out a commitment as a short-term missionary to Cuba. We had planned to be married when her term was completed about the time I was scheduled to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Frank had not yet met Sandy and I’m sure he must have grown tired of hearing how much I wanted to see Effie and talk with her. But as good friends do, he listened patiently. 

 

When Castro threatened the lives of Americans, Effie’s mission board withdrew her for her safety late in her first year of service. We advanced the date for our wedding and were married in December. Shortly thereafter Sandy, a true Southern Belle, came into the picture when Frank, in preparation for a lifetime of Christian ministry, enrolled in Mississippi College where she was a student. In due time, they were married. Our friendship continued to deepen in the following months. 

 

Fast forward many years when our areas of ministry had led us to locations far removed from each other by space and time and we had lost touch. Frank and Sandy were on a road trip that would bring them close to Hartselle and had searched the Internet to locate me.      

 

While we visited, the years seemed to roll back as we shared stories of ministry in which we had been engaged; discovering our journeys in life had been much alike. At times Frank and I had struggled in ministry, but we continue into our ninth decade of life while the majority of our peers have long been retired or deceased. He continues shepherding as a pastor and bible teacher to needy congregations. 

 

Sandy’s journey has paralleled Effie’s. She retains her vivacious personality and spirit as she continues to reach out to students long after most teachers have retired. She has a passion for traveling and writing while also being active in Christian ministry with Frank. 

 

When the time came for them to continue homeward to New Mexico, the lyrics of a song written many years ago by Joseph Parry came to mind. “Make new friends, but keep the old. These are silver those are Gold.” 

 

Morgan County

Stadthagen named to three legislative committees  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan’s jobless rate among lowest statewide  

Falkville

Looking ahead: Growth on horizon for Hartselle, surrounding area  

Hartselle

American Legion Post 52 hosts annual speech contest 

At a Glance

Falkville man killed in crash

At a Glance

Somerville shooting victim identified

At a Glance

Morgan students graduate from JSU

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Educator Hall of Fame to induct six  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Flying high: Hartselle senior is dual enrolled in aviation program 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Judge dismisses lawsuit that sought to invalidate hiring of new Hartselle superintendent 

Hartselle

HIS class of 2029 gives back 

MULTIMEDIA-FRONT PAGE

Priceville band raising funds for new uniforms

Morgan County

Morgan garbage rate increasing 20 percent 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Police: Hillsboro man sprayed ex with gas, set her on fire 

At a Glance

Hartselle native makes Dean’s List at Maryville College 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle native locates sandstone barren, secures $8k grant for outdoor classroom  

News

2023 deer hunting safety refresher

News

Falkville man arrested for of meth, fentanyl

News

Hartselle native locates sandstone barren, secures $8k grant for outdoor classroom

News

HJHS students ‘have a ball’ beginning American Character Program

lifestyle

In the community

News

MCSO answers common questions regarding permitless carry

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan students chosen for IMPACT 2023

News

Priceville man charged with child pornography

x