Irene Gilliland was often the first to arrive on any given Sunday morning. As has long been my routine, I would arrive long before others to prepare my heart for the ministry of the day and the preaching to be shared. Not long afterwards, Irene would arrive, too. She would usually take a broom and sweep all the entryways of the church, insuring that everything was presentable and ready. She was quietly and efficiently tidying and straightening where she saw anything that needed her special touch. When the services were over, she would stay late to collect any paper or trash left behind. Even as she was approaching 80 years old and suffered from severe scoliosis, she continued to minister.
Irene was a servant of the Lord and his people, and the way that she communicated love was by serving. She did not need (nor wanted) any recognition; she simply wanted to serve.
Pam Bailey was among the most precious and kind people that I have known. She had a sweet understanding of Jesus, her Savior, and she spoke of him with great affection. Over the years, Pam had learned to trust him implicitly. She lived a simple life in Hokes Bluff, but she had a grand assignment in the kingdom of God—teaching the children of MeadowBrook. She taught them the rich truths of the Bible, the glory of God and the way of salvation. Her fellowship with God was so genuine that when she helped teach children to pray, they prayed with great faith and in very personal ways. Even when Pam was diagnosed with brain cancer, she continued to serve, though at times she was weakened greatly. When the disease debilitated her, taking away her capacity to serve, she grieved that she could no longer be with the children and teach them.
Pam was a servant of the Lord and his people; she served the youngest of MeadowBrook and is honored in God’s kingdom for doing it.
Both of these women died in 2016, Irene in May and Pam in August. Our joy for them is that they are with their glorious Lord, and are now untethered to a world of sin, disease and death. We rejoice that the rewards, extended by God’s grace, for those who faithfully serve are theirs.
Irene and Pam had a great impact in their living, but also in their deaths. Both women included MeadowBrook in their estate planning by including the church in their written wills.
MeadowBrook received a $25,000 gift from Irene, and we were deeded Pam’s home and property in Hokes Bluff, which was recently sold by our trustees. These two women, who served so diligently, without most people knowing, made an impact in life and death. What a great testimony and example for all of us. We should all consider how we might be faithful in all things at all times, in life and death.
Let’s all seek ways to serve and honor the Lord in life and death, faithfully advancing his kingdom.