My Life was blessed by growing up in a Christian home. Mom and dad were members of the Abbyville Christian Church where we all attended. Music has always been a big part of my life. I grew up with 4 sisters and we all could sing. Mom would play the piano and we would sing with dad or the girls would sing. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was ten years old. There was a nucleus of kids who ran around together and I was a part of that group. I’ve always sang in choir in grade school, high school and into college which started at Ozark Bible College and then at HCC where I met my husband Mike. We’ve been singing together over 42 years. We have 4 grown children and 7 grand children. When we gather for family events we all end up singing together. It is such a blessing to see how God works in our families lives. Due to dwindling numbers, the Abbyville Christian Church and Methodist Church joined together in 2000. I’ve been involved with teaching the young kids in Sunday School. I’m part of the worship committee and select the songs for the worship service for about 8 years. It amazes me how I can pick songs for the next month’s sermons and they just fit the message so well. Below Mike gives the story of how I joined the quartet. I prayed about it and felt the Lords blessing and have so enjoyed singing with the quartet. I just pray as we sing, the Lord will use us to touch someone who doesn’t know the Lord and convict them that they need Jesus in their lives.
God Bless you all!! Ruth Smith
I remember in the 1st grade when we stared singing how much I enjoyed it. As I grew and got older it just kept getting more and more enjoyable. By the time I was in high school I was in choir, small ensembles, and plays. Anything that had singing in it I wanted to be involved. My wife Ruth, and I have sung together since before we were married. We have sung at numerous wedding, funerals, anniversaries, and benefits. That means we have been singing together for around 42 years. Several times in the past we have also sung with our 4 adult children and their spouses at several different churches. Its pretty much a family affair. In fact we have been accused of not letting anyone in the family unless they can sing. We have been fortunate that all of our children have married Christians that do know how to sing. God has blessed us beyond what we deserve. Often times we have been called the VonSmith family singers. If it hadn’t been for God’s hand working in my life I wouldn’t even be in this group. About 5 years ago I was filling our vehicle with gas. I always pay at the pump and Ruth always likes a receipt. The pump did not give me one so I had to go inside to get the receipt. As I was standing in line Mark Geffert came up behind me, a friend that I sang in a quartet with at HCC. As we were talking he asked me if I wanted to sing in a men’s chorus. I had always wanted to sing in some kind of group but never had the opportunity so of course I said yes. We sang together in that chorus for about a year before the group disbanded. That chorus is where I met Ken Nisly and Ben Graber. I had known who Ken was for a number of years but did not ever talk to Ken let alone know he could sing or was a Christian. Ben I did not know at all but once I started talking to him I found out I had sung with his son Gary in that same quartet at HCC with Mark Geffert. Towards the end of the time our chorus was singing Ken and Ben approached me about singing in a quartet with them. I said sure I was more than interested in singing with them. The first time we got together to practice we didn’t even have the fourth person for a quartet, but we met any way to see if we could blend and sound half way decent. Ken told all of us to bring our wives along so we could all meet each other to get stared. As we were setting around the table singing and Ruth was humming along. Ken heard her and said to sing out along with us. Well by the end of the evening we had our fourth person for the quartet, whether she wanted to sing with us or not I’ll never know but she graciously accepted the position.
Growing up our family went to the Christian Church in Turon. My mom’s father, I.C. Montford was an elder in the church. My mon’s mother Opal Montford was the church organist as long as I could remember. My mom Normal Lee Smith was a Sunday School teacher and I’m sure all 4 of us kids in my family had her as teacher at one time or another. My mom had 4 brothers and I think at one time they sang in a quartet at church. My dad Glynne Smith did not sing in an organized group but I remember him singing around home and while we were working together. So I have a pretty good foundation of singing that I came from. When we moved to South Hutchinson Methodist Church. All through grade school and high school we went to church there. As I got a little bit older I didn’t attend church every Sunday but I didn’t completely quit going either. It seemed I knew I should be attending somewhere. As I got up to HCC age I got to thinking I need to find a Christian girl to share my life with. In my sophomore year I met Ruth. She was close friends with a couple I was going to HCC with. I talked to Kent Holcomb about her and found out she was Christian. So I asked her out. I knew from the first date I was going to marry her. I didn’t tell her that so I wouldn’t scare her off. Well about a year and a half after our first date we got married. About 3 months before we got married we had a Revival. As I lay in bed one night I started to pray for the first time in my adult life in earnest. It felt so strange like I was talking to myself. I was praying for other people but come to find out it was for my eternal life. After the last night of the Revival, we went downstairs for punch and cookies. As I was standing there eating cookies the leader of the group came up to me and stared talking. If I would have known what he was doing I would have turned tail and run. I think the Holy Spirit blinded me to what he was trying to accomplish that night because I took Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior that night and accepted Christ into my life. I was baptized at midnight at the South Hutchinson Christian Church because our baptistery was not filled with water. It was about 80 years old and wouldn’t hold water.
Even though I had been baptized at 9 or 10 years old this one meant so much more because I understood everything and it was the first time I felt that Jesus was setting right beside me in that little room we were in that night.
Glory be to God!! Mike Smith