Church-Part 13

15 Jan


Judy Wills

I’ve mentioned in previous musings that we moved from Dallas, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1945.  We moved so my Dad could become the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary for the New Mexico Baptist Convention.  He stayed in that position until he retired in 1961.  

I’ve never known just why he moved to New Mexico, or if he had been invited by the New Mexico Baptists to come to that position.

I think I’ve mentioned before that there was a family we knew living in Deming, New Mexico.  I didn’t know for a long time how our family knew that family.  I do remember that, when I was old enough, I would ride the bus by myself the four hours it took to go to Deming and spend several weeks with that family.  They had a daughter, Ruth Anne, who was my age, and we got along famously together.

Ruth Anne and me on the Ferris wheel – NM State Fair 1955

Ruth Anne at the NM State Fair 1955

From the Deming newspaper – 1954

In fact, one summer I would go to Deming, and the next summer she would come to Albuquerque and stay a couple of weeks with us.  It was a great friendship, and we still are in contact today.  More on that later.

While Ruth Anne and I have discussed this, neither of us knew just how our families got to know each other.  As it turns out, Ruth Anne’s father and my dad both grew up in Louisiana, attended the same college, and played college basketball together!  WOW!  Small world, indeed.

Ruth Anne’s father 1955

And so, in thinking on this one day, I wondered whether or not Ruth Anne’s father had anything to do with my father taking the position in New Mexico.  Ruth Anne’s father was highly involved with the New Mexico Baptists at that time, and so the possibility of him recommending my dad to the Board is a great possibility.  However, since both of our dad’s are gone, neither of us know whether or not that is how it all came about.  I don’t know whether the Baptist Convention of New Mexico would have that information on file or not.  I still wonder about it, however, from time to time.

Fred and I ran into Ruth Anne and her new husband, Charles, when we were all attending the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in the 1960’s.  We became fast friends all over again.  Ruth Anne and Charles went on to be missionaries to Malaysia, and now, retired, live in Colorado, continuing to do what they can with the Colorado Baptist Convention.

Back in 2014, Fred and I took a Southwest trip with Karen and Brian, and early in that trip, we stopped overnight with Ruth Anne and Charles.  Nothing like renewing old friendships, and making new ones (for Karen and Brian).

2014 – Colorado – Charles, Fred, Ruth Anne, Brian, Karen

At one point, our church here in Orlando had a pastor who was from the Philippines.  During his tenure, Charles, Ruth Anne and a grandson of theirs made a trip to Orlando.  We met them, took in Medieval Times Show, and just visited with them.  On Sunday evening, heading back to their hotel, I mentioned that we had this new pastor, Ramel Cuenca.  Both Charles and Ruth Anne sat straight up in their seats and said, “Ramel Cuenca!!”  Turns out, they were all in language school together before heading out to their mission field – Charles and Ruth Anne to Malaysia, Ramel and Sherry to Indonesia.  We drove to the church and Charles was out of the car like a shot!  Ramel was at the front doors of the church, greeting people as they were leaving.  As Charles strode up to him, Ramel looked up and said, “where did YOU come from??”  A happy reunion.

If it weren’t for “church,” I doubt if any of this would have happened.  Thank you, LORD, for church.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Church-Part 13”

  1. divoran09 January 17, 2023 at 9:34 am #

    What a wonderful blog!


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