c.1900 - Jan. 20, 1970
|Mabel Pitman Gibbs died her death in Room 2004 of Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana, January 19, 1970. The celebration of her life was at First United Methodist Church, Lake Charles, Louisiana, January20, 1970.
She was born one of eight children who experienced childhood in a Methodist Parsonage home at Lynn Flat, Texas. She received her education from the Nacogdoches County School, finishing her high school work in the preparatory school in Huntsville, Texas. Her degree in Elementary Education was from Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, and she did advance studies at Southern Methodist University of Dallas, Texas.
Coming back home from school in the summer of 1920, Mabel met the young Hubert A. Gibbs who was then finishing his high school studies. In the summer of 1921, they became engaged.
While working as a bank cashier in the spring of 1922, Hubert decided to become a Methodist minister, and was licensed to preach. Not knowing how Mabel would react to this, he wrote her a letter offering to release her from the engagement. The results were so upsetting that he went to Silsbee, Texas, where she was teaching in the elementary school. This culminated in their marriage on May 27, 1922, in her father’s home in Cushing, Texas.
After receiving his degree from Lon Morris, Hubert and Mabel moved on to Dallas where Hubert enrolled at Southern Methodist University to prepare for Use ministry. Mabel, like many a Seminary wife, taught school to get her “the-o-log” through.
On December 9, 1924, their first child, Alden Pitman Gibbs was stillborn. Out of the trauma of this event, Mabel began advanced studies at S.M.U., and on September 14, 1927, she gave birth to Sara Jo. Hubert recalls this event was the “greatest of joys in their partnership of life.”
In October of. 1928 a new family moved to the St. Louis Conference of the “old” Methodist Church-South, where they spent eleven and one-half years before coming to the Louisiana Conference of The Methodist Church in May, 1940.
Mabel gave her life as a wife and co-worker in the Methodist Ministry for 41½ years, even though three are classified as retired years.
In those years, she was a lover of people and stood her ground for justice and fair play She once risked a teaching position to gain justice for a child being treated unfair. More than once did she hold out for the rights of Youth to have a voice in the local church. Her work and interest were also with women. She organized several societies and strengthened many others.
But her conscious concern for the continued renewal of the church and its ministry was always present She wanted to know where each minister went each year, and she followed each new class of ministers with hope, encouragement and concern. She was open to the new emphasis of every New Year and hoped and prayed for the renewed relevance of the church and its ministry.
Those of us who knew Mabel will miss her. But whenever and wherever we take ourselves too seriously, and when we get discouraged about where we’re going and how we’re going to get there, I suspect well remember her as one who didn’t sell out to the things of this world. Mabel Pitman Gibbs, as one who was patient in suffering and growing more understanding and sweeter through all her experiences,” was one of God’s most choice and lovely servants.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, Conference A, 1970, Pages 148-149,|