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Wanted: More Old School Southern Black Women

2 Timothy 1:5

Rev. Andrew Baskin

Roll call: Mrs. Nettie Garner; Mrs. Mary Waters: Mrs. Blanche Upton; Mrs. Ruth Rainer; Mrs. Whitechild Hodge; Mrs. Mary Jackson; Mrs. Odell Montgomery; Mrs. Bell Thompson; Mrs. Millie Barton; Mrs. Eloise Baskin; and Mrs. Aleathia Jameson Barton Patridge.

All of these women were southern old school Black women from Alcoa, Tennessee who were instrumental in my development as a human being. They were neighbors, teachers, relatives, members of St. Peter Primitive Baptist Church, biological mother, and maternal grandmother who raised and adopted me. Despite the different roles in my life, all shared one similarity: they were old school Southern Black women.

Grandmother and grandson sitting on a bench smiling - American Baptist News
Photo by Edward Eyer from Pexels

Some did not read very well so I do not know if they have read certain scriptures such as Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 23:13, Proverbs 29:15, and Proverbs 29:17. Nonetheless, they a[[lied some of their interpretations of Proverbs: “I brought you in this world and I’ll take you out; “Do’t talk with your mouth full,” and “Stay out of grown folks business.” Although many counselors would say that their parenting techniques were based on fear and intimidation, these old school Southern Black women were trying to help their children survive in this world the best that they knew how. They practiced the African proverb —It takes a village to raise a child.” Yes, their men were involved, but it was the old school Southern Black women of Alcoa, Tennessee who raised me.

In our text, the Apostle Paul was encouraging Timothy to be strong in the faith because it was a faith handed down to him by his mother and grandmother. Like old school Southern Black women, Timothy’s mother and grandmother were strong believers who tried to be faithful to God’s Word. Paul understood that the sincere faith Timothy had was because of the influence of his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois. Unlike what is happening too often in 2021, Timothy was nurtured and cultivated like a plant that was expected to bring forth good fruit. They passed on to him spiritual values that would make his life fruitful for time and eternity.

There is nothing wrong with desiring a good education, going to college and even earning a doctorate degree. There is nothing wrong with a child wanting to be a star in the NBA or NFL. There is nothing wrong if they decide to forsake college and to learn a trade and work at Toyota. However, parents should make sure that their children have a B—A—B degree, that is, a Born-Again Believer degree. Our children should be rooted and grounded in the Word of God and washed in the blood of the Lamb. In other words, we need to give them some wisdom of old school Southern Black women.

The seed of faith was planted in Timothy from the day of his birth. His name was a constant reminder of the importance of faith. Timothy means God-fearing. Eunice and Lois could not live Timothy’s life for him, but they planted the seed and kept on watering it with the Word of God.

Their home was a school of faith. Paul tells Timothy that from infancy, he had been taught the Word. He was raised in a spiritual learning center where he learned about faith in God: the substance of things hoped for; the things we expect to receive from God; the proof we only have by believing; the proof we only have by believing; that’s rooted and grounded in Jesus as Lord and Savior; that does not dwell on yesterday’s troubles and tomorrow’s problems, but focuses on walking with Jesus one day at a time; and comes by hearing the Word of God. But there is another important point.

Grandmother Lois and mother Eunice were living examples of putting their beliefs into action. What they Timothy is how they tried to live their lives. They showed Timothy how to walk by faith and not by sight. This is the type of love exhibited and taught by old school southern Black women. It is the love that won’t fail you. It’s a love with great benefits as written in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosovever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We need more old school southern Black women to teach about this love that is a gift of God.

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