I thought that title might get your attention.
I got word that a dear sweet woman who used to be a member passed away this weekend. Betty McGee was an incredibly nice soul. Her life had plenty of ups and downs. But she was one of those hidden jewels of Baptist churches in the South. All most non-Baptist people ever get to see are the preachers, and that’s a shame. That’s like judging a house by the septic tank, at least when you consider the Reverends that purport to “speak for” Baptist folks. If I was going to nominate anyone to represent Baptist people (which is against our polity–NO Baptist “speaks” for any other), it wouldn’t be any preacher. The Southern Baptists who pass all those resolutions, well, that’s just what one little group of people got together and said to one another. The press likes it, but it’s worth about the cost of the toner and paper as far as authority as far as real Baptists are concerned. The loonier it is, the more you can guess that it’s from some man that annointed himself.
No, I’d elect a woman who was at least 75. They’re about all the good that’s left in the Baptists today. Especially the widows and single women. In every church I’ve been part of, I’d go with the older ladies in a church fight any time. Their kindness, love for children, friendships and loyalty, well, you can talk to ladies in that age group and everything opposite of them is why we’re in a mess.
Betty was one of those folk. She took it on the chin more than once in life, and somehow managed to redouble her efforts to do good with what was left. Betty’s obituary told some pretty great things about her. “She helped pioneer teaching on Alabama Public Television. She taught American History at W.A. Berry High School for 23 years and was an educator in Alabama for 37 years. She was an avid volunteer in both Birmingham and Sylacauga. She was an active member for many years of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. After moving to Sylacauga, she continued to volunteer her time and talents at First Baptist Church Sylacauga. “ But it doesn’t tell about a person’s goodness and character. That’s okay. People who knew her know. She fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith.
Rest in peace, Betty. Here’s my song of the day, in memory of you. “The Old Rugged Cross,” a funeral favorite for a great lady. (click the link to listen)