|It was the second Sunday in June, 1972, moving day in the Louisiana Annual Confer-ence, when I arrived at Neely to serve as pastor. Shortly after being there I discovered that there were two widows of ministers in the congregation. Evelyn Greene Aldridge was one of them. Over the years as I served as her pastor, I found her to be quiet and unassuming but a Christian of tremendous conviction, faith and courage. I am reminded of the prophet Isaiah when he said, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
Evelyn Green Aldridge, one of four children, was born on October 13, 1907 to the mar-riage of the late Alfred and Naomi G. Green in Jeanerette, Louisiana. She married the late Rev-erend Frank Aldridge, Sr. and they had the following six children: Nahum M. Aldridge, Frank A. Aldridge, Jr., Maude A. Hillard, Naomie A. Thornton, Ellen A. Ervin, and Brunetta A. Shamblin.
While this writer did not know her husband, I am told that he spent eighteen and three-fourth years in the ministry. He and his wife served the following charges: Lafayette-Cade; Eola-Gold Dust; Crowley-Olevia; Mount Zion-St. Paul; Clinton: Neely, Baton Rouge; and St. Mark, Opelousas. After her husband died, she returned to Baton Rouge; where she joined the Neely Church.
Yes, she had a quiet aura about her, but none could say that she was still and guilty of do-ing nothing. When I arrived at Neely she was still singing in the choir. She participated in the complete life of the church and its programs. She had great concern for the pastor and she would try to conceal her sickness not wanting to be a burden on the pastor and on her children. On numerous occasions she would tell me, “Reverend, I am not expecting much of you. I am really not that sick, and I told them to tell you that you did not have to come and bring me communion.” Not making demands and being unassuming did not mean that she was not appreciative, because she would always tell how grateful she was and with a gracious spirit she would say, “Thank you for coming.”
She died at her home on November 25, 1981 and her family and friends gathered on November 28, 1981 at Neely Church for her funeral and to say goodbye to her. The service was closed with the congregation singing one of her favorite hymns. She had requested this, so we sang,
My Soul, Be on Thy Guard
Ten Thousand foes arise
The hosts of sin are pressing hard
To draw thee from the skies
Fight on my soul till death
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, 1982, Pages 263, by Donald R. Avery.|