|On August 29, 1910.Albert Alexander Collins was born in Forest, Mississippi. His father worked for the railroad, so Albert grew up in different and junctions along the line.
From the very beginning, Albert was a “different child.” He was already wearing glasses by the age of three. And it was even more difficult being left-handed in a right-handed world then than it is today.
Albert was determined to succeed in school. With help he enrolled in Millsaps College and ultimately graduated from Millsaps, after a stint at Louisiana Tech. Perkins School of Theology at SMU, Dallas, Texas, was Albert’s first choice for his theological education. To make ends meet, he served as a student pastor in nearby Wylie, Texas.
Albert and Lenora were married on April 8, 1933--sharing over 58 years of love, marriage, child -rearing and parsonage life. They were blessed with two children, Albert Alexander, Jr., and Grace Lynette. Stories from their early years in Louisiana parsonages can warm the heart for days and nights on end. Before Albert and Lenora moved into their own home after his retirement, they called the parsonages “home” in virtually every area of Louisiana--major metropolitan areas, parish seat towns, smaller towns and open country.
“What he did says more than anything I can tell!” Lenora protested, “Everywhere he was sent, it seemed like there was a building or re-building project to be initiated or completed--throughout the Conference, even in Texas when he was only a student pastor.”
A fellow pastor remembers a revival meeting held on a stormy night in West Monroe. Jay Wallace joined the church that evening, although he cannot remember anything about Albert’s sermon that night, or any of his sermons. But an eight-year-old boy was touched by the grace of God manifest in this gentle man. And to this day, Jay remembers Albert “not as an outstanding preacher, but as a great pastor.”
Even his last days were marked by uncommon grace and a determination to bear a faithful witness to Christ wherever he was; dependent upon nurses and doctors while cancer was depleting his body, this “sweetheart” always seemed to brighten, enrich and ennoble their lives with his gentle, loving, spirit; confined to a nursing home, he led Bible study and craft classes for his fellow residents.
On June 4,1991, death ended the earthbound life of the “different child,” this “gentle man,” this “builder,” this “great pastor,” this “sweetheart.” Lenora is right--for those of us who glimpsed the love and grace of God through the life of Albert Alexander Collins, Sr., “what he did (still) says more than anything I can tell.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 1992, p. 216 By Tim Lawson|