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Musings and Memories

Remembering Miss Nancy

Doug Dezotell
Posted 8/13/22

One thing I do as a pastor is attend a lot of funerals. Sometimes I officiate at the services, and other times I am there as one of the mourners.

I remember years back attending the funeral of a …

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Musings and Memories

Remembering Miss Nancy

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One thing I do as a pastor is attend a lot of funerals. Sometimes I officiate at the services, and other times I am there as one of the mourners.

I remember years back attending the funeral of a sweet Christian woman who passed away just prior to her 96th birthday.

As the preacher was eulogizing Miss Nancy, he told how she wanted to support certain ministries even when she was unable to send a donation by herself. She had asked her daughter to do that for her when she was no longer able to after suffering a stroke.

One of those ministries was an organization called Teen Challenge, a ministry I had the privilege of serving with for more than 25 years.

Now called Adult and Teen Challenge, the organization is a Christian discipleship program that helps men and women, youth and adults, overcome a life of addiction and substance abuse.

I started working with Teen Challenge as a young man back in Tucson, Arizona, and over the years I worked at different Teen Challenge centers across the U.S. In fact, I met my lovely wife when we were both ministers with the Teen Challenge organization.

The first time I met Miss Nancy though, was years ago when I was serving as the Executive Director of Memphis Teen Challenge.

I traveled every weekend back in those days, preaching in different churches across the state of Tennessee. I would bring students from our program with me who would share their testimony of how God had delivered them from their addictions. The men would also sing, and then I would preach, and the church would take up an offering for our ministry.

One Sunday, I had two services scheduled in Middle Tennessee. The morning service was in Pulaski, a town I was familiar with, and the evening service was in a place I’d never heard of, a place called Wheel. The name of the church was Haskins Chapel Assembly of God.

Late that afternoon, we drove up and down some unfamiliar country roads and finally found this little church. We unloaded our equipment and brought it into the building. There were just a few people in attendance that evening, but we were greeted by Miss Nancy who made us feel welcome.

The pastor wasn’t able to be there that night, but Miss Nancy and the others made us feel right at home. She told us that the ministry of Teen Challenge held a very special place in her heart, and that she had been a long-time supporter with her prayers and her giving.

The crowd was quite small that evening at Haskins Chapel; in fact, there were more of us that came from Teen Challenge than those in the congregation. But, we had a wonderful time, and Miss Nancy made sure we received a very generous offering that night.

The next time I met Miss Nancy was years later. It was shortly after I started serving as the pastor at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church which happens to be in the Wheel Community.

Nancy had suffered a stroke and she was staying at Glen Oaks nursing home receiving rehab. I went out to visit and I recognized her sweet face right away, and I remembered our service at Haskins Chapel.

Every time I visited Miss Nancy at the rehab center or in her home, I was always greeted with a smile, and before I left I would pray for this dear lady.

Miss Nancy was one of those dear saints of God; a hero of the faith. I know she touched many people’s lives over the years with her love for her Lord, and I am one of them.

Today, my friend, Miss Nancy, is rejoicing around the Throne of God in Heaven. And one of these days I will be joining Miss Nancy, and we will praise the Lord together once again.

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