The Nieces, II

The Nieces, II

By Ralphine Major I was too young to remember the occasion, but a rare black and white photo captured the special day.  Upcoming freshmen Dorothy Stormer, Wanda Shaver, and Georgia Ann Major brought their young nieces to school with them on the last day.  The nieces had not yet started school. Karen Shelby was a […]

The Nieces

  By Ralphine Major “Do you remember when we took you to school?”  Dorothy asked.  I knew exactly what she meant.  It was on the last day of school—60 years ago! The year was 1959.  Three girls were finishing eighth grade at Gibbs Junior High School.  Students Dorothy Stormer, Wanda Shaver, and Georgia Ann […]

‘Is happiness abounding?’— Dr. Angela Easterday Holder

By Ralphine Major “I honestly made the “Happiness Abounding” shirt for myself to get through yesterday and to honor Angela Easterday Holder. One day at a time.”  Those words came from Sarah Beth Crabtree of Crabtree Creations last May shortly after we lost Angela.  Soon, people all over the church could be seen wearing […]

Angela ‘happiness abounding’

By Ralphine Major It was another beautiful Sunday morning.  A day to honor mothers.  A day to celebrate graduates.  We had just taken our seats when the lady in front of us turned to ask, “Did you hear about Angela?” “No,” I answered.  “What about her?” “She had a massive stroke and died,” the lady […]

Becky’s Hen House

By Ralphine Major It was her vision in retirement.  Becky and Ron Calfee opened The Hen House several years ago, and it has been a vital part of Gibbs Community. Sadly, Becky passed away in April after a brief battle with cancer.  (See Focus columns 4-15-19, 4-22-19, and 4-29-19).  It was her wish that The […]

Blooms for Blessings: A Wallace Women’s Ministry Event

By Ralphine Major “When I realized my late grandmother had more flowers than I knew what to do with, I began praying how I could be intentional with all of these beautiful flowers while being a blessing to those who needed a glimpse of God’s love,” Chelsea said.  “One day it just came to me.  […]

Old Glory

By Ralphine Major My earliest memories of America’s beautiful symbol was in school classrooms. They were usually mounted on a wall, and every morning we stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. I also remember early summer mornings at Vacation Bible School. Everyone lined up outside at the front of the church. Older students would […]

Angela the music professor

By Ralphine Major The couple who met in Kentucky and married in Tennessee eventually made their way back to the Volunteer State. For a brief time, the history professor continued teaching at Morehead State University in Kentucky.  During the transition, however, their church work did not suffer.  Dr. Tim Holder, who commuted on weekends, helped […]


By Ralphine Major I sat behind her in choir practice one Wednesday night.  Our brief exchange was about her upcoming wedding.  Angela was home for the summer from her position at Georgetown College where she taught voice.  It was a few years before when I first heard Dr. Angela Easterday sing.  She was in […]

Rose of Sharon

By Ralphine Major It is a fascinating plant to watch.  The beautiful white petals with deep-red markings open up wide in the morning as if to greet a new day.  A bush with only a single Rose of Sharon flower may be covered with blooms by day’s end.  But after they make their appearance, the […]