Tag Archives: Baptist Student Union

How We Met~Part 3

19 Oct


Judy Wills




As it turned out, Fred was attending the same church where I was a member. So we kept seeing each other there, and were in the same youth group.


It didn’t take long for me to realize the he was probably the most shy guy I had ever met. He also had never been on a date – so I was his first! And as for the first date – the youth group was having a hay ride up to the mountains – and I had to ask HIM if he would like to go with me! I told you he was shy!! He also didn’t have a driver’s license, so anywhere we went, I was the driver.


Chapel service at the UNM BSU Center


I remember that the BSU had a Halloween haunted house, and I went there with Fred. It was a neat thing. In a darkened room, they had you put your hand in a bowl of peeled grapes as eyeballs, spaghetti noodles as brains…you get the picture. One of the adult sponsors of the BSU was good at story-telling, and she had on a black outfit with glow-in-the-dark gloves, and told some sort of tale. Everyone had on some kind of costume. There was bobbing for apples and other such games. It was really a lot of fun. You remember – the way we used to do it.



The group had retreats in the mountains outside Albuquerque (Sandia Mountains); they had retreats at Glorieta Baptist Conference Center near Santa Fe; all those things Fred and I went to together, becoming more familiar with each other.



Fred started coming to our BHiU meetings – by walking from UNM to the church where my group met – about a three mile hike – and all before he had to go to his own classes! He said he doesn’t remember ever riding the bus there – perhaps the bus schedule at that hour of the morning didn’t fit our meeting time. In any case – he walked there.


Fred started spending time at my house, getting to know my parents.


My brother, Bill, had already gone into the Navy and wasn’t there to meet him. It wasn’t until we were engaged to be married that Bill and Fred met. We had been dating for about 18 months before Fred popped the question. I said “yes – but not yet.” We were engaged for another 18 months before we married.

Fred, my parents, and I drove from Albuquerque to Los Angeles (Inglewood), California, to spend Christmas with Bill and DiVoran in 1960. They had a little house and we were really crammed into that space.


Dad told me later that Bill had pronounced Fred to be “a man’s man” as we left. Bill had always been my protector – when Daddy was out on the road as much as he was, Bill was the one to meet my dates. And intimidate them, if possible! He was bigger than most of them. But he and Fred got along, right from the start.

The last year of Fred’s UNM experience, he roomed at our house. He paid my parents what he would have paid the university for room and board. It made us very comfortable with each other – we saw each other last thing at night and first thing in the morning. So we both went into our marriage with our eyes wide open!

 We married on June 20, 1961. It’s been a great 53+ years of marriage. We are grateful to God for all these years together.



~~~~~~The End~~~~~~

How We Met~Part 1

5 Oct


Judy Wills


Wow…….to think back all those 56+ years ago to how Fred and I met……..I really have to stretch my memory. Do you know how much fun it is to look back at those times? It’s almost like living them again. I was in my junior year of high school.


I belonged to a Baptist organization call BHiU – as in Baptist High (school) Union. If you are at all familiar with Baptist organizations on a college campus, you might be familiar with BSU – Baptist Student Union. It was the same thing, just on a high school level. We met in a church not far from my high school, and kids from Baptist churches around the area that went to that school met there before classes one morning each week. It was mostly Bible study and testimonies. Anything inspirational to help us get through the day and week in public school.

Being an officer in my group, I had been invited to attend a BSU meeting on the local college campus – the University of New Mexico(UNM). As we were gathered in the room, I remember someone asking, “Where’s Fred Wills? He said he would be here.” And then someone else said, “He’ll be here – oh! here he is now.” I remember seeing him come in and sit down. That was my first glimpse of him. But I didn’t remember him.

The next year, all of us that were seniors in the BHiU were invited to attend the state-wide BSU convention. It was during a long weekend. This particular year, it was being held in the town of Portales (por-TAL-es), New Mexico, (peanut capitol of NM) about a four-hour drive from Albuquerque. We stayed in a hotel near ENMU – Eastern New Mexico University, and held our meetings in a conference room in the hotel.










As it turned out, Fred and I rode in the same car together with others from Albuquerque. We all got settled into our rooms and had the first meeting that evening. Then, since Fred’s parents were stationed at Cannon AFB in Clovis, NM, just 18 miles away from Portales, about 10 of us piled into the car and drove that distance, to take Fred to his family’s home. We all then piled out of the car and traipsed into their house, and we got to meet his family.



Oh yes, one little tidbit I forgot to mention – since there were 10 of us in the car – we had to double up. And yep – I sat on his lap all those 18 miles! I think by the time we were at Cannon, I had decided that this was someone I wanted to date!



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

My Father’s Legacy

16 Jun


 Judy Wills



 Since this is Father’s Day, I would like to tell you a bit about my father.  He was born in 1892.  He was 20 years older than my mother.

Daddy’s father was a circuit preacher, going from place to place in Louisiana and Texas.  He fathered 13 children.  Most remained as farmers or farmers wives.  However, several left the farm for other occupations.  Uncle Ed moved to Shreveport, LA, and owned a typewriter store.  Uncle Emory, the youngest of the 13 children, was on his way to being a church-related leader, when he was murdered on Christmas Day, 1931.  He was 23 years old.  As the story goes, he was coaching a youth basketball team.  His team had played a rival team and won.  The other team was not happy about it.  On that Christmas Day, Emory was on his way to see his fiancé, when he was set upon by the other team and beaten to death.  I didn’t learn these details until about 2000 – my father and grandmother had always told the story that he was in a horrific car wreck, and he died.

As a youth, Daddy enjoyed playing basketball.  I remember him bragging about what a great left-hook-shot he had, and how much he enjoyed the game.As I was growing 2up, he always enjoyed watching professional and college football on TV.  The Green Bay Packers were the team to beat during that day.  And on New Year’s Day, he would have four different college Bowl games going at once – a small TV on top of the large TV, and a radio in two different rooms of the house with different games on.  Used to drive my mother crazy.

My father attended Louisiana 3College.  His studies were interrupted by World War I.  He refused to carry a weapon, so they placed him in the medical corps.  He was in France, I know, and stayed there for a while after the war, studying at Toulouse University in Toulouse, France.  It was founded in 122

He graduated with a B.M. in Music from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, in 1924.  He was in the very first graduating class in music from B.U. – and there were only three members of that graduating class.


Baylor University Music Program Class of 1924

He was president of the Baptist Student Union on that campus.  He was also one of the original “Invincibles” – a group of young people that went to different states/cities in the summers and worked with Sunday Schools and Vaca5tion Bible Schools.

I know that he went to Baptist Bible Institute (B.B.I., founded 1917), which later became New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He was the very first paid, full-time Minister of Education in the Southern Baptist Convention.  He was the Texas Associate Sunday School Secretary from 1927 until 1945.  At that point, we moved from Dallas to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Daddy became the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary until 1961, when he retired.  He died April 7, 1967, just one month away from my parent’s 30th anniversary in May.

f you have heard of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conference 6centers in Ridgecrest, NC, and Glorieta, NM, I am proud to say that my father had a hand in getting Glorieta established.  He was one of those that said “we need to have an encampment here in the west.”  Glorieta has a very special place in my heart, especially since my Dad was part of that.

He was very gentle man.  I never heard him speak a bad word about 7anyone.  He always looked for the good in people.  He loved being outdoors and went deer hunting every season.  We ate a lot of venison, and loved it.  The deer in NM ate a lot of pine nuts and good stuff, so the meat was not “gamey” at all, but very flavorful, much like beef to us.  He and mother both hunted sometimes, as did Daddy and my brother.

I have a picture of him and my brother each with a deer on the car.8

I remember one year they each got a deer, and later Daddy got an elk.  We ate really well that year.

9One thing about him – if he hadn’t bagged his deer before the weekend, he would have his own worship service out in the woods.  Someone asked him one time:  “you mean, if it was Sunday and an 8-point buck strolled by, you wouldn’t shoot him?”  Daddy’s reply was that he never even loaded his rifle on Sundays.  He was a very dedicated man.

Being a farm boy, he never got that out of his system.  He tried to grow a small garden in our back yard in Albuquerque, but he was gone so much that the garden usually died out.  One thing he did manage to care for was a huge peach tree in our back yard.  He would faithfully wrap the tree in cheesecloth every Spring, to keep the10 birds and bugs out of the peaches.  He was very successful with that tree, and we used to have peaches that were about 4″ in diameter and the sweetest I’ve ever eaten.  Mother would make peach jam, peach preserves, peach pie, home-made fresh-churned peach ice cream.

He was an incredible man, and I am proud to be his daughter.

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