A 25th anniversary is a date to be celebrated whether in marriage, career, church or community affairs. It speaks of faithfulness, love and commitment to service.
Those feelings were palpable in the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church on Sunday evening, March 16.
The church's 52-voice chancel choir, accompanied by their 32-piece orchestra and a children's choir, presented a concert that they called "Legacy." It was in honor of the 25-year ministry of Dr. William Dudley and his wife, Jakie, before their retirement in September. Interspersed with the music were verbal tributes given by congregational members.
I was there not only because of my great appreciation for the Dudleys and their profound influence in the lives of my son and his family, but also because my daughter-in-law, Jackie Mohney, was singing in the choir. My son Ralph, an elder in the church, and Jackie often invite Jackie's mother, Mary Gilbreath, and me to attend events there. They also attend events in my church, First-Centenary United Methodist.
Last Sunday night at the Signal Mountain church, the concert included classical music by Mozart, Haydn and Handel as well as hymns that Christians have loved and sung throughout the years. Among them were "It is Well With My Soul," "His Eye is on the Sparrow," "Jesus Paid it All" and "Majesty." When I thought of God's faithfulness to my own family, tears ran unbidden down my cheeks.
In addition to my great appreciation for Dr. Dudley, I have come to know and love the quiet strength and deep spiritual commitment of Jakie Dudley. This happened because my friend, Carolyn Stringer, has taken the ministers' wives from the Signal Mountain church to dinner about once a year and has included me in the invitation. What a privilege.
So, my salute to the Dudleys is also a salute to rabbis and Christian pastors and their spouses of all denominations. They enlarge our faith and help us to live in peace and love together.
Contact Nell Mohney at firstname.lastname@example.org.