Byng — On Feb. 17, a local sign company sent a crew to Byng’s New Bethel Baptist Church to erect a large sign identifying the church and giving times for two Sunday services and for the Wednesday evening prayer meeting.
The church sign has room for a humorous or philosophic statement that expresses an opinion or attitude of a spokesperson for the church, or it may express an attitude toward life with which most people can identify.
The Byng sign presently tells us, “The key to Heaven was hung on a nail.” Jodi Jackson says she first saw that saying during travels with her late husband, David, and she jotted it down in her journal.
It is in memory of David that the new sign was erected. For several years, he and Jodi have been in charge of Outreach, and, after his death last November, his family decided that a sign would be the best means of continuing his interest in making the community aware of the church’s presence.
The Jackson family is not alone in their desire to have their deceased loved ones immortalized through a tangible gift to the church.
After the death of my family's youngest son, Richard Paul, in 1992, George and I joined forces with our second son, Ralph, and his wife, Diane, to fashion three stained glass windows for the front of the church.
My husband and I provided the materials and our son’s family did the crafting in their shop, Art in Glass at Madill. Ironically, we had to add a shade over the stained glass windows shortly after their installation because the late afternoon sun caused a glare in the eyes of our pastor as he looked directly into them as he delivered his evening sermon.
I have since had two more losses with deaths of my husband, George, in December 2006, followed by my son Ralph’s death in November, 2012. I have not yet thought of a gift that is exactly right for them. (I’m open to suggestions.)