My sister was a beautiful woman. She held firmly to her faith in Jesus Christ for her eternal salvation. She had been in declining heath for several years. I am saddened, but I rejoice in that I know her name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Mary Evelyn was born in Birmingham, Alabama to the Reverends Hugh Henry Morgan and Julia Payne Morgan on March 17, 1930. She was a beautiful baby girl with dark brown curly hair, brown eyes and olive complexion. I was born 2 years and 9 months later on December 15, 1932.
We were blessed to have Christian parents who loved us, prayed for and with us. Our father led us in family Bible reading, teaching us from the Scriptures, and prayers. They knew every missionary of the Pentecostal Holiness Church and I think we had just about everyone of them with their children visit us in our home in Birmingham. I remember that Bishop J. H. King stayed in our home when he presided over a conference when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I remember sitting on the floor listening to him speak. In my child's mind I thought he was like God.
Our mother, Julia Payne Morgan, a former missionary to Hong Kong and Pakhoi when W. H. Turner was the supervisor of our work in China, held us with her arms every morning and prayed for us prior to our going to school. She asked God to keep us from all harm and danger, that Mary Evelyn would grow up to be a great woman of God and that Hugh Holmes (that's me) would grow up to be a great man of God. Our parents saw to it that we were dedicated to God. What a powerful experience that was, and as I would go to school I believed that God was present in my life and was watching over me.
I remember when Mary Evelyn went to school in the first grade. We lived in Central Park in the western part of Birmingham and my parents had enrolled her in that elementary school which they called a grammar school. I remember they locked the doors and I thought they were locking up my sister and I cried uncontrollable. I felt fear. How could they do that to my sister? I was ready to fight for her.
I will prepare a eulogy for my sister and preach her memorial service. Her adult children have requested that I do that for my sister and the family. Melvine and Greg will be singing, and Greg will play the piano.
My nieces will meet with the funeral director today, Thursday, May 26, at 10 o'lock to plan the memorial service and visitation. It appears that the memorial service will be Saturday, May 28, at 11 o'clock. Visitation may be from 10 to 11 prior to the memorial service. I hope to get a completed obituary this morning, and I hope to get a photo of Mary Evelyn to publish.
I do know that the service will be held at John Rideout's Funeral Home Chapel in Trussville on the east side of Birmingham.