by Maria Brannen
Last week was a tough week in ministry. I attended the funerals of three outstanding women who made a difference in the lives of children.
On Wednesday, I attended the funeral of Dottie Toler, a long-time Preschool Sunday School teacher at my church. Ms. Dottie impacted the lives of preschoolers over the years at FBC including my son, Kyle. She was a teacher that LOVED preschoolers, made it a priority to be prepared each Sunday morning to teach her class, and knew the importance of laying spiritual foundations for future generations. She had an incredible ministry and will be greatly missed in her corner classroom in the Preschool area at First Baptist Church!
On Thursday, I attended the funeral of Sharon Ellis, a young wife and mother who died unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm. Sharon’s ministry and life impact is widespread in many different areas from her time at Shorter, her church, and in other areas. However, to our department and the Bible Drill/Speakers team in Georgia, her loss is especially felt at this time of the year. Sharon served on our team as a Regional, State, and National Judge in Bible Drill and Speakers. She was a judge who was passionate for students and helping them grow spiritually in the area of Bible Drill and Speakers. She had a special gift of giving “feedback” to the drillers/speakers to help them in this discipleship process.
On Saturday, I attended the funeral of Hulda Cook, a member of Shirley Hills Baptist Church in Warner Robins. Hulda’s life and ministry impacted the Middle Georgia area in so many ways. However, to us, she is remembered as someone who had a great passion for Bible Drill. Hulda taught Bible Drill for many years as well as served as an Associational Bible Drill Coordinator in the Rehoboth Association. Hulda helped begin countless Bible Drill ministries in the middle Georgia area by training new Bible Drill leaders around her kitchen table. At her funeral, I loved seeing all the hands raised of people who had been one of “Ms. Hulda’s Bible Drillers.”
We will probably never know how many hundreds of lives these special ladies impacted for the kingdom. After the funerals, I was reminded of how sometimes in the scope of everyday life and ministry, we (as a church, families, and individuals) don’t take the time on a regular basis to thank Preschool, Children’s, and Student Teachers. In closing I would like to ask you to do two things:
– The next time you are at church, thank a children’s teacher who has made a difference in your life or the life of your child.
– Consider serving as a preschool or children’s teacher in Sunday School, VBS, Discipleship, Bible Drill, etc. and help lay spiritual foundations in the lives of Children.