Thames has worn many hats over the yearsBy L. AGNES RUSSELL,
I had not had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Thames, but she had been recommended to me for the possibility of a column about her life. I believe the reason could be found in the answer to a question I asked her at the beginning of my conversation with her. When I asked what would be the “main thing” she would want to convey through her life, she answered, “How much I do love Jesus, and I want to be a servant of His, not only in my home but also in my community.”
It was interesting to me to learn that Ms. Virgie was delivered in birth to Mary Huddleston Buckley and Edward D. Buckley on May 13, 1962 — Mother’s Day, by Dr. Austin P. Boggan. She and Mr. Kerby Thames were married on Feb. 10, 1978, and they have almost hit the 40-year mark. They have one daughter, Katrina, and a grandson named Kerby.
They had another grandson, Jacob, who was born handicapped and passed away at a young age. She remembers how he couldn’t talk much, but he always started the day with a smile! She recalled of the time of his premature death, “You could feel the prayers of the people in the community. God gave me so much peace in the middle of devastation.”
Mrs. Thames also told of continuing her education, earning her Associate of Arts degree at East Central Community College. She said she has always worked two jobs, such as one at the shirt factory in Decatur, then at the pants factory in Newton, and as a sheriff’s department dispatcher on weekends for about 15 years. In January 1995, she began work at the ECCC Small Business Development Center as administrative assistant to the administrator, Mr. Ronald B. Westbrook, where she has been ever since.
I asked what she enjoyed about her position. She told me that, when a person comes to the office for help and advice concerning starting a small business, she is the first person they see. She gives information preparatory to their going in to see Mr. Westbrook. She said she loves being able to assist, which led me to understand that she is a “people person.”
For about five years, on weekends, she has been working as a CNA at J. G. Alexander, working in the activities department. She has done many things in this capacity, and she now directs their Facebook and app pages. She showed me these sites, with pictures presently showing the residents enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner. She enthusiastically told me of how it “just gives me an overall joy…I feel like God has sent me there to do whatever I need to do for them to make their lives more enjoyable.”
Virgie Thames was raised in Murray Chapel Church of God in Christ, in Decatur, but has also attended Midway Baptist Church in Decatur a lot with her husband. However, her Sundays are now spent at the nursing home. Several churches send in groups to provide ministry to the residents. She thoroughly enjoys the different church services that are held there and also spoke of the warmth of the Home’s loving atmosphere.
She said that when she goes to church, she loves to feel the Spirit of God moving in the service. “God is real, and you can feel Him, when He moves in your spirit and your soul. If you can’t feel God in your heart and your soul, something’s wrong. You need to examine yourself.”
When I askedabout her salvation experience, she was another one of many I have interviewed who could not point to a certain time when she “went down to be saved.” She says of a time when she was not a child, “I just woke up one morning, and I knew that God was in my heart. I can’t give you a date, but I know that I am saved.”
Ms. Virgie stated with assurance, “I believe, once you’re saved, you’re always saved. But you can fall from grace. You can be renewed.” She advises, “Always ask for His will to be done. His answer is always the best answer.” One of her favorite songs is “Amazing Grace,” and she asserts, “God’s grace is sufficient for us.”
I thank God for the family of God, with Mrs. Virgie Thames being another one of many whom I have enjoyed meeting. This Christmas season, we need be “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith,” but we also to be looking around us to see who might need our love and help.
I’ve seen evidence that Ms. Virgie enjoys doing this. This time of the year is tough for a lot of people, for different reasons. I pray that God’s Spirit would open our eyes to see those people, so we can show love and encouragement to them.
God bless you all in the wonderful, joyous time of the celebration of the birth of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ!
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