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Bethesda News: Generous stranger turns out to be old friend, or so it seems

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Columnist Joyce Smith

Columnist Joyce Smith

Thought for the week: Jesus prayed for those who persecuted him. We can do the same.

Have you ever met someone and after talking with them for just a few minutes you felt as though you had always known them? That is what happened to me recently as I was working on the Story Bus. 

I was welcoming children as they came onto the bus and a “young man” passed by, so I spoke to him. He immediately turned and spoke and said, “I have something for you.” 

He then went to his car and brought me a book. Thinking it was going to be for the Story Bus, I thanked him. But after looking at the title, I knew it was for me. 

I read the “young man’s” bio and learned he is the Rev. Lemuel E. Wade, a former chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve as well as a Gulf War veteran. 

Wade has also served as pastor of Hickory Hollow and Glenwood Baptist churches and has been a hospital chaplain in Nashville for more than 20 years. 

Wade has written numerous books for adults as well as children. The one he gave me was titled “The Wedding.” I really enjoyed reading it because one of the characters had experienced breast cancer. 

I learned that Wade works in the deli at the Publix off Royal Oaks in Franklin. 

Thanks Rev. Wade. You made my day!

Several of you have asked, “What happened to your prayer chains?” 

Due to space, something had to be left out, so that was what was omitted.

Happy birthday to Tom Woodside and Dot Copolo, who will celebrate their birthdays on Friday. Tom will be 96 and “Miss” Dot will be 94. Thanks to each of you who sent cards to each of them.

Congratulations to Chandler Petty and Chris Cole, who will be married Friday at Owens Chapel Church. We wish for them the best of luck as they make their home in Memphis.

The annual ice cream social at Mt. Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church will be Saturday. They will be serving grilled hamburgers and hot dogs as well as homemade ice cream beginning at 5 p.m. An auction will begin at 6. The church is off Kedron Road, off 431 South or Spring Hill Road. If you need more information, call me at 615-790-1833.

I am sure that by now, many of you, like Russell and I, are continuing to clean up trees, damaged buildings, etc. from the storms — or tornado, as some said — that passed through a week ago. People all over the county were severally hit. 

We can all count our blessings as it could have been so much worse. At Blythe-Sprott Cemetery, on Byrd Lane, the most beautiful magnolia tree, which had to be at least 200 years old, fell over the fence. Another one on the side fell inside the cemetery. From all indications, none of the headstones were damaged. (They date to the 1700s.) 

A special thanks goes to Charles “Bubba” Alexander as well as Roger Cathey for their help in clearing this. We do not have a cemetery fund, so if you have a relative or relatives buried there, I would appreciate your help in a monetary donation to thank them.

The Independence Celebration at Fifty Forward College Grove Center is set for today. They have a great program planned. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. Whitt’s BBQ will be catering. The cost is $6. If you did not make reservations, you can still go and be a part of the program at noon. Call the center if you have questions.

If you have children ages 3 up through fifth grade, mark your calendar for vacation Bible school at Bethesda United Methodist Church. It will be 5:30-8 p.m. July 14-18. I will have complete details in my July 11 column.

What a wonderful time I recently had at the home of Nannette Hale. Marifran Hiltz, Nannette and I enjoyed a delicious luncheon while visiting with each other. We also enjoyed visiting Marifran’s home and seeing her beautiful flower gardens. She has hundreds of flowers and knows the names of each kind.

Don’t forget about Franklin on the Fourth. I understand it will begin at 10 a.m. and continue through the evening fireworks show at The Farm at Harlinsdale Park. You can check out antique cars as well as a variety of vendors.

As of now, I do not know of any local events taking place on July 6. Again, I hope that you have marked your calendars for the events that will be taking place through August. Events are set for Ash Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church on July 13, Flat Creek Community on July 20, Mt. Carmel on July 27, Cross Keys Baptist Church on Aug. 10, Epworth United Methodist Church on Aug. 17 and Holts Corner Baptist Church on Aug. 24. And remember, the county fair is set for Aug. 2-10.

If you need more information or if you have an event to add to our calendar, call me at 615-790-1833.

Please be careful when you are out and around your home. Accidents have been happening to so many of our family and friends. 

Judy Hayes is recovering from a broken ankle. My friend Sherry McMahan recently fell and broke her leg as well as her hand. Bob Garner fell and broke his hip. All of these people are at home mending. 

We were so happy when we heard the news that Delores Gilreath’s tests were all negative. She will return to her oncologist to see what type of treatments she will be taking. 

It was so good seeing Linda Cotton at the ice cream supper at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church this past Saturday evening. She said she was feeling very well. 

Please continue to remember these folks as well as Doug Harmon, Ellen Bogle, Larry Westbrook Sr., Howard Yancy, Betty Marlin, Cleo Cowan, Mary Frances Whidby, Steve Fisher (husband of Peggy), Aaron Clifton, Adam Mangrum, Teresa Locke, Joel Pedrick, Dee Lynch, Sharlene Hazelwood, Terry Marlin, Larry Chatman (pastor of Holts Corner Baptist Church, who was seriously injured in a head-on crash) and Judy and Ronnie Pitt, as well as others.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families of James Tommy “Lighten” Smithson, James William Still, Martha Jane Curtis, Annamarie Eggleston, Nancy Dodd, John McCoy, Frank Fox, Joseph Baltierra, Ann Williams Petty, Frank Fox and Mandy Jenkins, as well as those whom we are not aware of.

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