Monday, February 23, 2009

Legacy of Faith

I've spent the past 9 months working almost exclusively on my ancestry research. Inadvertently, I've pushed God back on the priority list. In the middle of the most time consuming part of my research, I ran across an old newspaper article regarding the second cousin of my G-G-G grandfather, Robert Brown Merrill. Reverend Robert Brown Merrill to be exact. He was a Southern Baptist preacher in the small community of Leon, Alabama which is roughly 5 miles north of where we live now. From his obituary in the Crenshaw County News, we do know that he had a 'home' church, but I haven't run across the name of the church yet.

While searching for information regarding Rev. Merrill, I came across several old church records that mentioned numerous other ancestors. It was so wonderful to read through these old records and to learn that my family loved the same Savior as I do now. While some of the churches that they once attended no longer hold services, most are still standing and I've tried to view and/or photograph as many as I can. One in particular is where 5 generations of my family were laid to rest.

In the middle of my research it dawned on me that my ancestors left me a legacy. They left me a legacy of faith. Each generation took the responsibility of teaching the next about our Lord and Savior. Each generation served Him in their own way. Some chose to serve Him in the basic tasks of running a farm and praising Him for putting food on their table. Two generations served Him in the Civil War by serving as field chaplains. The next generation chose to serve Him from behind a pulpit. Yet another chose to serve Him by donating a parcel of land for a church to be built upon. Finally, my grandmother chose to serve Him by showing others how He worked through her. Those works helped lead me to Christ during my early teenage years. It is now my duty to one day pass this legacy along to the next generation.

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy
(Legacy by Nichole Nordeman)


Sarah said...

What an exciting family history you have. Praise God that you come from a long line of believers. Very cool that you are doing all of this research.

Sarah said...

Oh Janice!
I have 2 awards for you over at my blog!