Write Again … Because she cares

Published 11:00 am Sunday, July 12, 2020

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Over the past almost three decades now, since we came back home to live, something serendipitous has been taking place.

By this I am referring to those good folks who chose — most in their retirement years — to come here to make their homes. In significant numbers, they’ve settled on both sides of the river.

Many have added, substantially, to our quality of life. Think of the contributions they have made just through volunteerism, be it civic or church sponsored endeavors, in many and varied ways.

One such person is Patty Vore.

Although her passion has been in the missions field — her love of the people of Haiti, and all the work she and others have done both here and on-site there, most surely have put stars in their crowns.

Here at home she has been actively involved in the preservation of the history of her church — the First United Methodist — as its historian.

To that end, please let me share with you a bit of her gleanings, some of which have meaning beyond just that one church.

In our church’s newsletter, Patty wrote that: “Our church owns two burial lots, A37 and A38, at Oakdale cemetery. These were purchased for the church by the Ladies Aid Society on April 7, 1903. Our church has a responsibility to maintain the nine headstones that are on these lots. There are nine stones but sixteen occupied spaces. The oldest stone in Oakdale cemetery is in lot A38, William Potts, 1797. Ralph Potts’ family has many memorial stones in lot A38.

His name is written on the stained glass window in our historic sanctuary as “the Father” of our church.

“In 1800, Ralph Potts built and donated to the Methodist Society the first church in the new town of Washington, NC. The group of people worshiping at Dempsey and Sarah Hinton’s house had been declared a Methodist Society in 1784 by Francis Asbury. He was the newly named Bishop that year as the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed.

“In 2009, prior to building the Wesley Hall parking lot, our congregation moved the remains of 34 members from the cemetery of St. John the Evangelist Catholic church to our lot at Oakdale cemetery. The Catholic cemetery had been desecrated in 1864 at the same time the Methodist Episcopal Church South was destroyed.”

The Methodist Episcopal Church South became just the First Methodist Church in 1939. (That’s the year the Reverend Dr. Charles M. Smith and I arrived on the planet!)

Then not so very long ago a merger with the United Brethren Church (I hope I have the name right) led to the United Methodist Church. (I have thought that the “First United Methodist Church” sounded a bit like a bank.) Whatever. The Brethren, by the way, was the denomination of Bishop Milton Wright. He was the father of two brothers from Ohio who spent some time at Kitty Hawk (now Kill Devil Hills) at the dawn of the 20th Century.

The most important point I would make, however, is that special people, in different times, do things that “add to the woodpile.” Things that benefit not only those of their times, but those to come.

How fortunate both current and future generations are that there are those special people, such as Patty Vore.

How very fortunate.