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Reclaimed Memories

1971 - Retirement from the Ministry

he 1971 book was lost so I have nothing really to write about, except that we retired from St. Andrews May 30, 1971. Troy preached from II Corinthians 4:2 and his sermon subject was: "Ministers--Old and New."

The church, as is usual, wanted to have a farewell party for us. The committee wanted to give a "This Is Your Life" program as a surprise for Troy. Of course they could not do this without a lot of consultation with me. We finally ended up with me writing the script and Frances Mullens reading it. It was preserved in my "Winter Park Scrapbook." It was fun preparing it with the help of the committee! Here it is.


You were born in the little town of Junior, West Virginia, September 30, 1906. That makes you only 64 years and 8 months old today! So why are you retiring? Isn't retirement age supposed to be 65 years?

You are the eldest of six children of your father. Lois was your half-sister from your father's last marriage. But from what we have been able to learn you were an expert in the Tom Sawyer method of getting your younger brother and sisters to do your family chores for you.

You graduated from Belington High School in 1924. You have been guilty of reminding your sons and grandchildren of the times you walked four miles to and from high school, often struggling through deep snow drifts. This condition did not exist the ENTIRE FOUR YEARS! You have interesting tales to tell concerning your travels to and from school in a model T Ford, belonging to your good friends the Shomo boys.

Soon after your graduation from high school you went to Parkersburg, West Virginia, to attend Mountain State Business College. While there you met and fell in love with Elizabeth Thrash. The two of you were married six weeks after her graduation from high school in 1926. Immediately after your marriage you left for Elkins, W. Va., with your bride. Here you worked while living with a family by the name of Goley. Their daughter, Helen, was 14 years old at that time. Your lives have crossed many times since then. She is now a teacher in Orlando. Helen is here today to give us a few memories of those days. (HERE HELEN GOLEY BEER GAVE A FLATTERING SPEECH.)

Later that same year you and your wife returned to Parkersburg and you eventually settled near there, in Vienna, W. Va. Here you joined the United Brethren Church and here your eldest son, Granville Marion, was born. A snapshot taken five days after this happy event shows a very boyish "papa," of about 120 pounds, with his thumbs under the armholes of his vest.

When Marion was four years old you answered God's call to the Christian ministry and the three of you stepped out on faith. With the aid of a $25.00 Model T touring car and $250.00 in cash you and Mrs. Brady entered Bonebrake Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Your experiences were many and varied during the next three years. But you both were able to graduate in 1934, after spending two summers camping on creek banks in order to save paying rent. It was a good thing that the two of you were young! This period was pretty much considered a lark by both of you, or you may have decided that you had mistaken your call. (Like the country bumpkin who saw the letters G. P. C. in the clouds and thought it meant, "Go Preach Christ." Later when he confronted problems in his ministry decided that the letters meant, "Go Plough Corn.")

Your first sermon had the imposing title, "Pathways or Highways," and the text was Isaiah 30:21. "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it." We have heard that sermon took all of twelve minutes to deliver and was given at the Olivet Church in Dayton, Ohio. We also understand that you outlined this sermon and turned it in as an assignment, with a note at the bottom which said, "I was so scared I almost fainted!" When you got your paper back the professor had written following your comment, "Read Luke 18:1." When you looked at that scripture you read, "Men ought always to pray and not to faint." That verse has always stuck in your memory.

After your graduation from the seminary you were assigned to a five point circuit in W. Va. This was during the height of the depression. You were warned that those five little churches would not be able to pay you enough to live on and some of the older men in the ministry advised you to get a job in Parkersburg and just preach on the weekends. But you felt that God had called you to a full time ministry. You would trust him to provide for your needs. You only received $347.00 as salary that first year. The churches had many "poundings" or grocery showers for you, which made it possible for you to keep from going into debt.

You served this circuit for two years, and while forced to do without many things considered absolutely essential today, you were greatly blessed in spiritual ways. More than 160 made decisions for Christ during your ministry there. Instead of the charge being one of the weakest in the conference it became a strong circuit. Another of your wonderful blessings while on this charge was the birth of your second son, Howard Landis. Much could be written about dramatic answers to prayer during those first two years of your full time Christian ministry.

When the annual conference met in 1936 the stationing committee thought that you could handle a stronger work and you were sent to the Union Circuit--again five churches-one of them being the oldest organized U. B. Church in the state. You also preached on Saturday nights at a schoolhouse in a community without a church. Later a nice little chapel was built in that community. This church has done good work for the Lord for the last thirty years. The salary on this circuit was 581:0.00. You felt rich.

You served in the W. Va. conference eight years before returning to Ohio for more education. At Otterbein College you received a bachelor degree and from Ohio State a masters degree.

After this period of schooling you returned to W. Va. to the church in Elkins. During the seven years of your pastorate there a large church and a new parsonage were built. Under your preaching in a schoolhouse two miles from the city a new church class was organized and a nice country church was built.

From Elkins you went as president to Shenandoah College in Dayton, Virginia. After a year there you initiated a move to relocate the school in Winchester, Virginia. It has prospered there, but the next three years took their toll on your health and you resigned and for six months lived on your wife's salary as a teacher, while regaining your health. For nine months you filled the pulpit of a man who had had a heart attack in Waynesboro, Va. in 1957 you came to Bradenton, Florida, as pastor and a new church was erected there during the ten and one-half years you served. The half year was due to the changing of the time of conferences when the E. U. B. and the Methodists united in 1968.

In 1968 you came to Winter Park as pastor of the St. Andrews Church. We have heard you say that you are getting forgetful as the result of your VERY ADVANCED AGE. It has come to our ears that one time after fixing the tire on your model T Ford that you picked up the jack and started walking toward your destination and that Mrs. Brady called you back and asked if you wouldn't rather ride home. We cannot state that this is absolutely true, but we doubt if the rumor would have started had you not been forgetful even then.

(Frances here continued with her own and the committee's ending which follows)

The time has approached for our pastor, Reverend Troy Brady, to sever the ties of prolonged church responsibility, and to retire to the hills of "Old Virginia." In Matthew 25:21 it says: "Well done thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things, Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.'

While routine, spiritual dispensations now come to a close for our beloved servant of the Lord we know that the work of the Spirit has its eternal aspects which continue forever. With art and poetry and the inspiration of the Virginia scenery at hand we look forward to some beautiful expressions of talent.



The hills of Old Virginia call,
Up where the sweet wild flowers grow;
Where nature's made a sanctuary
And little brooklets wind and flow.

Each time the spirit points the way
His talents, great, he'll then express.
With pen or brush, he'll do his bit,
Just letting go, with art to bless.

In some great beauty spot he'll find
And be inspired by nature's scene,
And then with busy brush or pen,
'He'll tell the tale in ways serene.

And under God's great friendly skies,
He'll rest and dream of life anew,
Among old friends he'll find a peace,
That comes to those with lives so true.

By Gen. Clayton Field 

After the morning service and the "farewell program" there was a covered dish dinner. Our Volkswagen bus was already loaded. Marion and Howard were there with their families to see us off and we got started about the middle of the afternoon.

The Volkswagen Van - Our "Holiday Inn" For Our Retirement Trip - 1971
The Volkswagen Van - Our "Holiday Inn" For Our Retirement Trip - 1971

It was certainly with mixed feelings that we ended what we thought then was our active ministry. We knew we were leaving our families as well as many close friends in Florida. Some of our friends have kept in touch with us over the years and our relationships have become even closer. The Allen Wrights and the Clasons are close friends whom we have seen many times since leaving St. Andrews. The Wrights and Kathy Clason have visited us in Singers Glen. We have visited back and forth with both couples every year since we have been retired.

The Reeds, (Lee, Delores and daughter, Caroline) were here in January and Warren and Frances Mullen and their granddaughter in June of this year. (1991) It is very gratifying to know that the friendship of people we have served in different churches have survived over many years.

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