|Recently, I was given a copy of a letter my grandfather wrote to his family on the event of his 70th birthday. Since part of this letter beautifully sums up his life and feelings about the church, I am including it in this personal tribute to him.
“Today is Sunday, February 12, 1956. It is the day of my 70th birthday. By the grace of God, I have reached my three score years and ten and can truthfully say that God has been very, very good to me.”
My father was a minister as was one of my brothers and three of my sons. It might sound strange to some people, but I had rather my sons be preachers of the gospel of Christ than anything else in the world.”
“I was converted in the summer of 1902 and, shortly thereafter, felt the call to the ministry. The only regret I have is that I fought the call for 30 years and for this the Lord has chastised me often. I am glad that 22 years ago I yielded my all to God and began preaching. God has blessed my ministry far beyond my own expectations. It has not been a lengthy one, but it has been a busy one. I am happy because I feel like a few precious souls have been saved under my ministry.”
“To my dear sons: My word to you is be faithful, be true, be humble and do all that you do for the glory of God. Do all these things and your ministry will be crowned with success and your soul will rejoice in the Lord your Savior.”
James T. Garrett lived for 27 years after the writing of this letter and continued to hold an appointment until his 90th year. He has gone to live with God, but he has left a lasting ministerial heritage for those who follow in his footsteps in the years to come.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference UMC 1983, Page 187 - By Linda Garrett Simmons and Charles B. Simmons|