By Mike Matthews
Saying “Good-Bye” to someone special is usually a bittersweet experience. My Faith Presbyterian Church family is having to do that for three of our beloved members this month.
We lost one of our oldest and certainly one of our most treasured, members on Sunday, May 7 with the passing of Mrs. Emmelyn Smith. “Miss Em”, as she was affectionately known, was a faithful member of our church when it was the Williamston Presbyterian Church, and remained so after it joined with Pelzer Presbyterian Church to become Faith Presbyterian Church. She was one of the first female members to ever be ordained as an Elder in the Williamston Church and served faithfully and tirelessly. She was equally faithful to the Women of the Church and was recognized for her dedication and service to the WOC by being honored with the Presbyterian Women’s Lifetime Membership in 2007. “Miss Em” remained faithful to her church even as her health began to decline over the past year. She brought her camera to church and made pictures of the members of her Sunday School class, which she truly treasured, as well as the rest of the congregation. As her health began declining, and she couldn’t be with us in person, she cherished having and looking at those pictures and feeling like she was there with us in church. The church sanctuary and balcony were filled for her ‘home-going’ service last Thursday morning, as we all came together to remember her. She was indeed a grand lady, a faithful Christian, and a friend to everyone who knew her.
On Sunday, May 21, we will be saying “Good-Bye” to two more of our dearest members, Barry and Ann Leigher. They are relocating to be closer to their grandchildren. Barry served many years as the teacher of our Adult Sunday School Class and did a really outstanding job of sharing God’s Word. (In my opinion, he would have made a fabulous minister, but God found another meaningful way for him to witness to others.) Ann, who is a much loved and respected teacher at Palmetto Middle School, has been a dedicated Youth Sunday School teacher, a leader in the Women of the Church, and like Barry, has served in numerous other positions in our church. I’m sure there will be plenty of mixed emotions shared that Sunday and in the days before and after. We will be happy for them, sad to see them go, and grateful to have (and forever have) them as members of our little church family.
Faith Presbyterian Church has been blessed with these three wonderful members, and they will forever be a part of our family, and always in our hearts.