Monday, February 28, 2011

He's My Preacher Boy

(Written for "Good News" of Oklahoma Christian University by Steve Bailey, pulpit minister for the Mesquite church of Christ)

I first met her when she was 65 years of age. I was 22 and just out of Oklahoma Christian College in April 1976. Little did I know that I was about to meet a "fire ball of a church secretary" and her name was Evelyn Shannon.
After 36 years of ministry, Evelyn and I remain close friends. She is 101 years of age and still going strong. I attended her 101st birthday party and spoke about how I was so blessed to be part of her life. I will never forget that as she briefly addressed the crown with a clear and strong voice as she introduced me to the crowded room as "her preacher boy"!

As the years have gone by, I don't believe I have ever know any one person who has done so much for the cause of Christ with so little. Every day that goes by, she shares Jesus Christ in some way. She helps to facilitate a weekly Bible study with a group of Ladies from her nursing home. In late January, she told me that she was working on yet another project - "I want to make sure the Lord's Supper is brought to the nursing home each Sunday for the residents that are members of the church" she said with resolve. I would not expect anything less from Sister Shannon. Guess what has happened? The church now serves communion each week to the residents.

At age 101 she still gives from her retirement check and her pension. She donates to places like Heritage Christian University, several mission points, World Christian Broadcasting, and of course her congregation. Evelyn says, "I want to do what I can, while I can, and make an impact on the world for the church of Jesus Christ."
Evelyn Shannon is still going strong. I visited her again recently and when I left her room, she kissed me, hugged my neck and told me again, "I am working on another project!".

Evelyn Shannon - may your example be a beacon to others that feel their life is on the sidelines. Let us all remember what Jesus said "Do not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest?' Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white unto harvest." (John 4:35)

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