|On August 14, 1900, Otis V. Spinks was born in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. He was the eleventh of fifteen children born to Thomas and Frances Clegg Spinks, thirteen sons and two daughters. Twelve of the fifteen lived to reach maturity and make their individual contributions.
Frances Clegg Spinks was a deeply religious woman whose influence was quietly but firmly communicated to her family. Thomas Spinks was an outgoing personality who was a good husband and father, a good provider for his family, a good neighbor and a happy friend to all who knew him. His religious life was limited until well into adulthood. When three of his older sons appeared to be following paths and companions that could only lead to difficult ends, he announced to his wife, “Frances, I must find God. If I don’t I am going to lose my sons.” Thus he made concerted efforts to bring a preacher to the community, built a tabernacle, benches and altar, and then, in a revival service, knelt at that altar and gave his life to God. As he knelt, the three wayward sons came and knelt with him all four reaching out for the hand of God together. It was into this family atmosphere that Otis was born and nurtured, and committed his life to serving God as a minister.
Graduating from the Wallace High School, young Otis attended Asbury College for two years, depending largely on faith to supply his financial needs. He then attended Centenary College for three years, was recommended to the Annual Conference by the Shreveport District, and at the Annual Conference session in Lake Charles on November 21, 1928 was admitted to membership “On Trial.” He completed the required Courses of Study and in 1934 was admitted into Full Connection and ordained a Deacon. In 1936, he was ordained Elder and pursued his ministry in music and pastoral work. He was serving the Sicily Island Church in 1932 where he and Grace Allen from Jonesville were married. Their ultimate family of five included two daughters and a son, Peggy, Betty and Tommy.
This writer’s earliest recollections of Otis center around his coming to the First Methodist Church in Arcadia to lead singing in revival services. His talent and exhilarating enthusiasm for his Lord had some of us singing who had neither the ability nor inclination to do so. During one such service, he gave me the second opportunity of my life to attempt to preach, in his Lisbon and Harmony Chapel Churches on a Sunday when he would be away in another revival. His ministry through music characterized the beauty of his spirit and his joy in the Lord. His pastoral service in churches in Delhi, Sicily Island, Haughton, Lisbon, Harmony Chapel, Eunice, Abbeville, DeQuincy, Trinity in Alexandria and Summer Grove in Shreveport were marked by a tender and loving concern for every person. No single individual of my acquaintance in the ministry has ever more completely loved and been loved by people in his pastoral care. Following his retirement in 1966, he continued to serve appointments until 1977 when a stroke brought his physical activity to a close. During those eleven years, he and I shared three delightful and fruitful years as ministers of Trinity Church in Ruston, and his final stint as pastor of churches in Choudrant, Douglas and Clay, provided opportunity for continuing joy in him as a neighbor pastor.
Otis Spinks left an indelible mark on the Louisiana Conference and the Church of Jesus Christ. He is survived by his wife, Grace Allen Spinks of Ruston; two daughters, Mrs. Peggy Hughes of Oakdale and Mrs. Betty Bales of Monroe; a son, Tommy Spinks of Arlington, Texas; one brother, Leslie Spinks of Lake Charles; and nine grandchildren. The love that emanated from his life flowed back to him in a special way during the ten years of his physical limitation. His heroic wife, Grace, lavished constant tender love and care on his every need, day or night; his children and grandchildren brought sunlight into his life by continuing visits and expressions of love. Other relatives and many friends were eager to find opportunity to do whatever might bring a measure of comfort or joy at any time. Memorials have been given in many forms in various places, but the writer is convinced that the greatest joy that we could offer to Otis would be to memorialize his life by living life as he lived and loved life it the spirit of the redeeming Christ. Amen.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1987; p. 327-329 By Douglas L. McGuire|