|“Dad, what have you been doing this week?”
“Oh, visiting the old folks, trying to cheer them up and share God’s love with them.”
My question invariably evoked the same answer from my late father, who at 91 was still serving our Lord with the same zeal that God had levied on him in 1911 when, as a high school graduate, he was first called to preach.
He was so licensed in 1915, with ordination as deacon and elder in the Methodist Church in 1919 and 1925, respectively.
Born in Eden Mills, Ontario, Canada on November 19, 1890, his father, Thomas Collins, immigrated to the United States, settling initially in Texas and finally moving to Louisiana with his family.
Dad was educated in Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, receiving a B.S. from Meridian College in 1915 and a B.D. from Emory University in 1922. He taught in Mission Schools in El Paso, Texas (Lydia Patterson Institute) and Chandler College in Havana, Cuba. In 1933, the depression forced his return from the Mission work in Cuba, and he held pastorates in the Louisiana Conference until a heart attack forced his retirement in 1958.
He was married to the former Lucile Ellen Reynolds in 1924, while serving with his wife’s father, Rev. Lawrence Reynolds, a pioneer in Methodism’s Mission Work to the Spanish along the Texas border. Rev. Reynolds was director of Lydia Patterson Institute at the time.
God blessed Dad and Mother with a daughter, Alice Marie, and a son, Frank Charles, Jr.
Upon his return from the Mission Field, Dad held many pastorates in Louisiana; among them were Ringgold, Leesville, Oakdale, Gilbert, Greenwood, Elton, New Orleans, Plain Dealing, Zwolle, and Covington.
Very active and involved in the work with youth, Dad was secretary of the Louisiana Moral and Civic Foundation and was instrumental in originating an essay contest for young people in which they described the evils of use of alcoholic beverages.
He was quite active in Mangum Memorial Methodist Church, his last permanent home church in Shreveport. There he assisted the pastors in visiting the elderly and shut-ins, serving communion and occasionally supplying the pulpit.
Failing health suggested his entry into Heritage Manor, a convalescent home in Hammond in August of 1980. He joined his wife, who had predeceased him in 1972, and his Lord, after a short illness on January 14, 1982.
He is survived by his daughter, Mrs. Alice Marie Phillips in Covington, Louisiana, RADM Frank C. Collins, Jr. of Alexandria, Virginia, twelve grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.
For seventy years Dad was God’s man. He is now at rest with his Lord, but the positive impact for God will live on in countless generations.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1982; p. 156 By Rear Admiral F. C. Collins, Jr., USN|