***This is a long post, so I want to apologize now, but I really need to share, and over the next few days, there may be other long posts. Please feel free to just skip over this and move on if you like, but it is so therapeutic for me to work through. Thank you for understanding.***
When we left our family yesterday, after the funeral, we wanted to look around Eunice, and locate some important landmarks, and maybe snap some pictures. Well, we found every single one of them…and then, we, or I really should say, I, saw it first…Faith Baptist Church. It USED to be Faith Baptist Church…a small Mission Church in Eunice… started in August 1972. I wasn’t prepared for my reaction…
My eyes welled up with tears, AND THEN…I saw *the front porch… *a story I will save for another post), and the flood gates started and continued for quite some time.
*Long story short…My dad was “called into the ministry” in his 20’s, but said that he ignored it, and went on entering the Navy, then the Air Force, becoming a Flight Instructor for United Airlines, and he just didn’t feel things were right. After talking it over with my mom and me, he enrolled in Bible College, my mom earned her Nursing Degree, and they felt God calling them to Mexico, to a specific people group.
Because my dad was retired from the Air Force and United Airlines, and had that retirement income, he felt called to smaller works, churches that might be struggling, couldn’t pay their pastor much, etc.
Because of our visas being delayed and not coming through in time to Mexico, we visited my sister and brother-in-law, who had just moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, where my brother-in-law got his first job as a helicopter mechanic, at PHI, Petroleum Helicopters Inc., after graduating from school.
August was coming to a close and school was getting ready to start and still no visas. So Dad began talking to the church that had sent us out and found out that there were a couple of small towns in Louisiana that fit the ministry of what Mom and Dad felt called to do. And, there were a group of people, singles, families, etc., who needed a pastor, and after meeting with them, etc., we moved to Eunice, just in time for my junior year of High School.
The church purchased this “HOUSE” pictured, above, the first light blue house photo – (it was white back then). It was fixed up so nice inside, with a big auditorium, and lots of rooms for classes, etc. I taught toddlers through age 5 in Sunday School, played the piano, sang, visited folks with mom and dad, helped dad in the church office, helped type the bulletin, you name it!!
One Sunday, a man came to church, with some friends who invited him, who, even though I didn’t know it at the time, would change my life forever. That man was Ty Coleman. Long hair, bell bottom blue jeans, red, white and blue shoes. He was very friendly, fun to talk with, sense of humor, and soaked up church like a sponge. Came to everything. Never missed a service or class. Would come over to my Dad’s office (in our home), a lot, with questions and loved to listen to stories in the Bible. I would see him a lot, when I’d come home from school, or he would stop by after work, etc.
He became a Christian after studying, reading God’s Word, asking questions, and after hearing a sermon one Sunday, realized that even though he had been raised “in church”, he really didn’t know Christ, and wanted a personal relationship with Him. He came forward after listening that Sunday, and told Dad what had happened.
We soon became good friends, would eat meals together, watch tv together, sit at our piano and sing together, ride bikes, walk, swim, and before you knew it, we fell in love.
On June 6, 1975, we were married in a beautiful garden (in my sister and brother in law’s backyard – pictured above in several different images. We also just took these pictures yesterday in Eunice. The yard looked different back in 1975, with more flowering plants and flowers, but it is still very stunning.
And, Ty and Debbie’s adventure began…