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Willoughby, Marilena comment (0)

January 6, 2011

By June Mathews

Midway Baptist Church, Smiths Station
Russell Baptist Association

Favorite Bible Verse: Matthew 5:16
Favorite Hymn: “One Day at a Time”
Hobbies: Sending cards to church visitors, hospital patients and others in need of encouragement
Family Status: Widowed after 57 years of marriage to Joe; two daughters, Marie and Linda; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild

Marilena Willoughby is a charter member of her church. She feels loved there because “people at church hug me all the time. We have a hugging church.”

Q: What was your early life like?
A: I was raised in Roanoke, Ala., and lived awhile in Fredonia and awhile at Pine Mountain. ... I was baptized when I was about 9.

Q: How did you come to know the Lord?
A: It was in 1950 and I was 29 years old. I was at home and asked the Lord to keep our family safe and watch over us. I gave Him the rest of my life that day. That was really when I came to know the Lord.

Q: How were you involved in church through the years?
A: I had a Sunday School class, a women’s class, and my husband taught the men’s class. I’ve been in our church since it began in 1970, and now I’m the only charter member still there. I was in a women’s Sunday School class (at another church) when we decided we wanted to build a church. So we and three other couples started this church (Midway). We wanted a place where we could really worship the Lord.

Q: How do you see yourself involved in church in the future?
A: I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I want to be in church as much as I can (and) as long as I’m able and stay close to Him.

Q: What does the Christian life mean to you?
A: It means dying to yourself. When you say anything, you need to build people up. You need to always have a smile on your face and let people know you love them. We need to stay close to the Lord so we can live like He wants us to and leave the bad things behind.

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