|Mary Margaret Meares was born January 18, 1930 in Belcher, Louisiana and grew up in Plain Dealing. She attended business school and became a secretary. She met her future husband when the Bailes Brothers were performing at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium. He saw her in the audience, and nodded for her to meet him at a side door of the auditorium. He later recognized her as the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. When he introduced himself, he told her, “Let’s go see a preacher.” They were married some time later.
Mary Margaret raised six of his children in their home in Ohio, giving them as much love and care as she did the daughter and son she later gave birth to. Some evenings she would join the teenagers in the living room and ask them to show her the steps to the latest dances. She wasn’t trying to be “cool”. She just loved young people and was always ready to learn. In 1967 Mary Margaret, Homer, and their two children moved back to Louisiana to be near Mary Margaret’s extended family. Homer began conducting revivals and playing gospel music again. Two years later their daughter Mary was killed in a car accident at the age of 18. At about that time, Homer said “Yes” to God’s call to preach in the Methodist ministry.
They served these congregations: Marthaville—Robeline—Beulah; Roanoke—Wesley (Crowley); Antioch-Ansley; Faith (Ruston); Lisbon—Cotton Valley; Chatham—Concord. They were true partners in ministry in every way. She played the piano, took notes at board meetings and was invaluable helping him administer the business of the church, but never interfered in the church. She helped him support their family by working as a secretary for the federal government, and at various colleges around the state. She was a truly gifted musician in her own right: piano, organ, bass guitar, drums, and vocalist. Homer liked to say, “She added class to our act.” She would often say, “Homer, you and I together could do anything.” He felt that without her, “I was nothing, a zero. She is responsible for everything I ever accomplished.”
Mary Margaret was one of those saints who exemplify the grace of God in Jesus Christ. She was an encourager, forgiving, and kind. She was one of the sweetest persons you could ever know. Yet she loved a good time. When a couple in their congregation at Lisbon fell on hard times, they had no way to get to church. Mary Margaret was so concerned that she insisted Homer sign over the title to her little red car to them.
Even after Mary Margaret was diagnosed with cancer, this woman of great faith continued to be a vital disciple for Jesus Christ. She loved her Lord, his church, and the ministry. She continued to go to district clergy spouse events with her portable oxygen pack. She was enveloped in a circle of friends from former churches who provided meals, nursed her, ran errands, and gave prayerful support. Her beloved Homer waited upon her day and night, demonstrating what it means to be faithful “for better for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death does us part.” She was surrounded by family and friends when she left this earth October 1, 2004. Her funeral was held at Grace United Methodist Church in Ruston. She was buried in Coulee Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery at Campti next to her daughter Mary. In the words penned by her husband: “My love for her grew, as I looked after her, not knowing that she was dying. My prayers and hers helped me to be more repentant than ever; therefore I plan to meet her in glory. Death is not the end of life. We say, ‘She’s gone. In heaven they say, ‘She’s home!’”
|Source: 2005 Journal|