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Today my cousins are remembering their mom on her birthday, so I will join them. Their mom was Jeannie STROUT. She was born in 1949 to Bobby and Virginia (KUYKENDALL) STROUT (at least, I think Virginia was her mom). I haven’t been able to do enough research to confirm who Jeannie’s mom was yet. Jeannie had four children – 2 boys and 2 girls. One of her daughters, Kim, passed away in 2001 – a loss that devastated my cousins and, I’m sure, devastated Jeannie as well.
Jeannie and Poynor Baptist Church
As with most of the spouses of my paternal aunt and uncles, the spouses attended Poynor Baptist Church at some point. Jeannie was no exception. Her entry in the Membership Roll book shows she was saved on 20 September 1970. She was baptized 19 September 1972. Her entry is under her married name of DRAKE.
At the time of this entry, her address was Rogers, Benton County, Arkansas.
Jeannie’s dad, Bobby, was a preacher so church and religion were not a new thing for Jeannie or her sister, Linda. Her dad pastored Guiding Light Tabernacle, an evangelical church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for years. Jeannie’s mom has been a bit of an enigma for me so I won’t go into her until I have solid information.
For now, I’m going to leave you with this simple sketch of Jeannie. I was too young to have any memories of her myself and haven’t had time to ask around for stories about her so sometime in the future I’ll get back to writing about Jeannie. In the meantime, hugs to my cousins as they remember their mom on her birthday.
Yesterday my dad asked me about some of the early pastors of Poynor Baptist Church so I began looking through the records. One of the early preachers was a Reverend MONTGOMERY. It took some time to search out who he really was. Here is the information I started with from the Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book and a handwritten letter found in the box given to me by my cousin Chris.
As you can see, Ethel’s name was spelled two different ways. There are other issues with spelling that you’ll see in a minute. This is why it took some time to figure out who this couple was. As it turns out, C. M.’s name was actually Charles Nathan MONTGOMERY and he was called “Shug” according to his tombstone. Ethyle/Ethyl was actually Charles’ second wife, Julia Ethel TYGART CALLAHAN MONTGOMERY. Shug and Ethel had no children together but each of them had children from their previous marriages. Shug had two children that I’m aware of with his first wife Mary Jane “Mollie” YOCUM. The children were Ruth and Charles. Ethel had 4 children that I’m aware of with her first husband Benjamin Franklin CALLAHAN. The children were Clifford, Ben, Bob, and Marcella. Mollie YOCUM MONTGOMERY passed away in 1943 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Benjamin CALLAHAN passed away in 1918 in Kentucky. So Shug and Ethel were widower and widow when they met and married. Shug and Ethel married in 1945.
Shug’s death certificate indicates he was a retired well-driller and minister.
I’ve asked around for memories of Shug MONTGOMERY and this is what I’ve learned. Shug had a medical condition – possibly Thrombosis – and he had to wear what sounds like compression socks. Shug drove an Edsel and when he drove he would accelerate up to about 50 or 55 miles per hour but then his leg would give out and he would decelerate so riding with Shug was an ongoing series of accelerations and decelerations but he was one of the few people in the area that owned an Edsel.
Shug Montgomery at Poynor Church
I was able to find a newspaper article about Shug’s work at Poynor. The following article is from the 21 Oct 1954 edition of the Neosho (Missouri) Daily News.
Shug pastored at Poynor for several years I’m told and during that time he and my great grandpa Mark DRAKE had a disagreement over church issues. Rather than argue, Mark left the church and attended Oak Chapel Church for a few years. Shug’s overarching goal for Poynor church was to build a new church out by the highway for better visibility and ease of access. He was unable to accomplish this prior to leaving the church.
When Shug and Ethel left, they moved to Seneca, Missouri and Shug passed away 4 August 1964. Ethel lived to 80 years of age and passed away 19 April 1967 from Acute Myocardial Infarction.
Both Shug and Ethel are buried at Seneca Cemetery in Seneca, Newton County, Missouri.
Shug, in Retrospect
Shug seemed to be a good man determined to do big things for the Church. He only spent a few years at Poynor before moving on but he is a part of the church history and I’m glad I could bring you a little piece of his story. Perhaps I’ll find more documents pertaining to him as I go through the box of church records and I’ll be able to add to his story. For now, I’ll leave you with this brief introduction to one of the early pastors of Poynor church and a short note to say that I believe it’s possible the MONTGOMERY family has some connection to my dad’s BAKER family although I haven’t been able to figure it out yet. Hopefully that will be resolved in the future.
It’s been a long summer trying to get my business off the ground. I’ve missed writing these blog posts. Aside from starting a business, there have been so many other changes in the last few months. From mid-August to present we’ve laid to rest two cousins – Robert EVANS and David WETZEL – and an uncle, Alvin BENNETT, Jr.. They will all be missed.
Family Is Everything
When I was a child, I saw almost all of my cousins almost every weekend of my childhood. These days, it seems we only see each other at funerals and weddings. Today was one of those days. Before leaving the graveside services for my uncle Junior, my cousin Chris told me he had a box for me. He gifted me a box of records from the church we grew up in. It’s been quite a trip down memory lane looking through old business meeting notes, membership rolls, etc. Over the coming weeks I hope to share some of those records with you. For tonight, I want to share the baptismal records for my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and even a great-great grandparent.
Poynor Baptist Church
This Poynor Baptist Membership Roll book was in the box Chris gave me. This book is as good as gold to me. It’s like a mini-family history for me. In this book, I found my own record of salvation and baptism (the dates aren’t there but I can tell you it was Autumn of 1976 for salvation and Summer of 1978 for baptism):
I also found both of my parents in the book:
I also found many of my ancestors in the book:
I love the story my dad tells about my great-great-grandfather, Poppy Lonzo. He remembers Poppy standing at the back of the Poynor Baptist Church with tears streaming down his face professing his belief in Christ and his regret that he waited so long to accept Christ as his savior. What a beautiful story! It brings tears to my eyes.
Losses, But Also Gains
In this summer of losses for my family, it was refreshing to see the eternal gains we’ve made. Refreshing to know that I will see my people again one day in a better place. Comforting to know that my people are already in that better place waiting for my arrival.
As we move into fall and winter, I’m wishing you more days of rejoicing than grief and I’m wishing you comfort in your days of loss.