Jeanette Herndon Phillips, daughter of Retired Senior Master Sergeant, USAFR, Malcolm Herndon, was our designated drive and served as our personal Chauffeur for a whirlwind trip to Orlando, FL, for the Chaplains Ministries Dinner Banquet on Sunday evening, July 23. Jeanette, like her father, taught Math and Science in the public school system in Georgia and retired recently. Her father, Malcolm Herndon, was a teacher for many years in math and science at Emmanuel College.
When we drove in at the Rosen Centre Hotel, the Valet parking attendant saw my US. Marine Corps tag on the front of our 2010 Lincoln Towncar, Continental Series, and he declared he, too, is a Marine. We never call ourselves former Marines. There is no such thing. We believe once a Marine always a Marine. We call ourselves Veteran Marines. He saw that I have a handicap Georgia tag on the rear of our car. He informed me that for those who have a handicap placard or tag, they get free Valet service. I call that God's favor. I had not been informed that we could get free Valet parking until this Veteran Marine told me. However, we gave him a tip0 and the one who got our car for us on Monday morning.
I called Lonnie and Betty Rex on Monday night. They were nearing Mobile on their way to Orlando. They were seven hours and fifty-five minutes from Orlando according to Google. I informed them about the free Valet Parking and Lonnie has a handicap tag on his Cadillac. Lonnie and Betty should have arrived in Orlando around 6:30 or so on Tuesday evening. You will want to greet them and talk with them. They are great musicians, and Lonnie directed our General Conference and Sunday School Convention 100 voice choirs and orchestra. Betty was always there at the grand piano. Lonnie are noted for their twin concert grand piano duets.
It seems to me that what we need at General Conference are those enlarged golf carts that can carry several people to escort people like Lonnie and Betty Rex to the Convention Center. You see them in our airports. Taking care of our people is a top priority. You will want to meet them or see them again. Lonnie is on his way to 90 and he has driving all the way from Spring, TX to Orlando. He is a courageous and energetic man. He has more Spizzerinctum than I have--vim, vitality, energy, determination, drive, perseverance, motivation, and more. I learned that word when I was a freshman at Emmanuel College in 1952-53. I attended Emmanuel College only one year and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and severed for three years on active duty, and six years in the inactive reserve. In seminary, I was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Chaplain Candidate Program and completed the Chaplain Officer Basic Course at Fort Slocum, NY, on David's Island off the shore of New Rochelle. We took a ferry to the island. Raymond Caulder and I were in that large class in the summer of 1962. Upon graduation from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1963, I was promoted to first lieutenant and served in a Medical Reserve Unit for 2 years in Birmingham during my pastorate at the Brownville Pentecostal Holiness Church in the Brownvillle Community near Evergreen. Brownville is the birthplace and early years of the life of Joel Samson McGraw. I became the pastor to his dear mother, Nita McGraw. Ruth Cato Turton and John Joe Cato's mother, and stepfather, Minnie and Lonnie Pope were faithful members of my church, as well as the Rev. Mr. I. H. and Edna Presley.
It was in May 1965 that I was called to active duty with the Air Force, and we drove from Brownville to McChord AFB, in Tacoma, WA. Greg was a small child. It was in the Army Hospital, Madigan Army Hospital, that Stephanie was born in November of 1966. I entered the Air Force Chaplaincy upon the request of Bishop J. A. Synan following the accident death of Chaplain, Colonel Eugene Meyers who was killed in a military Air Force aircraft over Manila, Philippines. Lillian, his wife, visited us in our home in San Antonio and again in Oklahoma City when I was president of Southwestern College, now called Southwestern Christian University.