|Yesterday my grandmother died and we cried a few, no a bucket of, tears. Today, the preacher came and we laughed remembering her love and antics. She was known by many names in her lifetime. Born Carrie Justina Walden, she was called Carol by friends, Grannie Mamma by her seven grandchildren, “Mo” or “Grannie-Me-Mo-Kid” by her 13 great-grandchildren, and Kid or Yes, My Love, by my grandfather, the late Reverend James L Beasley, her husband of 65 years.
He once said, “The only time I saw the end of the rainbow was when we drove the buggy through one just after Kid said she would marry me.” They were married July 30, 1921 in Mississippi. They had three children, a daughter Bennie, and two sons, Fred and Charles Nelson, when my grandfather returned to school--finishing two years of high school, college and seminary in the midst of the Depression.
Grannie Mamma once said, “Jim Beasley is the head of this family, but I am the neck. And did you ever see the head move without the neck?” These were my grandparents--a matched pair- strong in each other’s weakness. Their faith in God and in each other stood them in good stead over the years as they moved from pastorate to pastorate and crisis to crisis.
The Louisiana Conference often sent them to churches in need of a building--a parsonage in Baker and two new churches in Belcher-Gilliam. One of their last charges was the inner city Park Avenue Methodist Church in Shreveport. There, their foresight aided a dying church to be revitalized as Lakeview United Methodist Church on Cross Lake. It was while at Lakeview a church member established a scholarship in their name at Centenary College for students going into full-time Christian service. This year, two students received scholarships.
Strong-willed, independent, generous, loving--all adjectives which describe my grand-mother. She set the standard for modern pastors’ wives. Often first with food and words of comfort, she chose the areas to serve in each church. She was never afraid to state her opinions, sometime to the dismay of church members, but always in support of Jim Beasley, being his voice when he was unable to speak out on an issue.
No, Carol Beasley was not the typical minister’s wife, but she believed in their ministry and was a willing servant of the Lord for 87 years. Like us, she was imperfect and full of human failings yet loved by her many friends and her family. Thanks to the grace of our Lord who died for us, we will all be together again some joyous day.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1991, p. 231 By Cherry Werner|