Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fearless Females: Religion and Faith

Women's History Month Fearless Females blog prompt: What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity

Each of the Bibles pictured here belonged to a female ancestor and/or were given to me by one. They represent a heritage of faith, generations of women who loved, served, and lived for Jesus. Some have verses marked or underlined and others have messages of inspiration or love on the dedication pages. These ladies passed on a pretty amazing heritage and I, for one, am grateful for a mom, grandmothers, and aunts who were examples of authentic faith. 

Here's a story about some of my ancestors, including two women who helped start a church in Dexter, Georgia:

Summer, 1893...the south was still rebuilding after the Civil War. The economy had been in shambles but the railroad was beginning to bring prosperity to a small town in middle Georgia called Dexter. In July, 1893, just before the official incorporation of their town, a group of residents presented "letters from other churches" as a request for their membership to be transferred to form the new Dexter Baptist Church. They met in the local school building until a permanent building was erected in 1903. Check out this link to the Laurens Baptist Association which lists the founding members of the Dexter Baptist Church. You will have to scroll down a little to find Dexter. The listing contains four family members: J. (Jonathan) S. Thomas, J. (John) G. (Griffin) Thomas, Mary J. (Jane) Shepherd, and Mary E. (Elizabeth) Mullis. Jonathan S. Thomas is my great-great grandfather, John Griffin and Mary Jane Thomas are my great grandparents and Mary Elizabeth Mullis is an aunt (Sister of John Griffin, daughter of Jonathan S.) Almost one hundred and twenty years later, Dexter Baptist Church is still there, a newer building, and a congregation with history.

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