Ralph Givenscomment (0)
October 10, 2013
By Julie Payne
First Baptist Church, Headland
Judson Baptist Association
Favorite Verse: John 3:16
Favorite Hymn: “It Is Well”
Hobbies: Computers, video equip- ment, radio control airplanes, gardening
Family Status: Married 68 years to Ella Verna Givens
Ralph Givens, 94, has been a member of First Baptist Church, Headland, since August 1951. He has served in the church as Sunday School teacher, Royal Ambassadors leader, a deacon since 1952 and served on the cemetery committee. He is retired as chairman of the video committee.
Q: What influences in your life pointed you to Christ?
A: Family: Christian parents, brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren have all had an influence on my faith journey as well as incredible spiritual leaders such as Roby J. Lee.
Q: When and how were you led into your work on the church’s video committee?
A: My friend Alfred Granberry’s wife Jimmie was disabled and bedridden. She truly missed being able to attend worship services at FBC. In 1988, Alfred donated $500 and asked me to record the services on VHS tape so his wife could watch them each week. From there my lifelong friend Dempsey Griffin joined me and we started making videotape copies of the weekly services and taking them into the homes and facilities where our church and community members were homebound. Years later, I negotiated time slots on the local cable TV community channel and that’s how our services began airing in the surrounding area. … It has been amazing to see how God has grown this ministry from one man’s loving concern for connecting his wife with her church to reaching a whole community.
Q: What does this role demand?
A: For years, I recruited and trained a lot of special people to serve in this ministry; too many to count. Each of them has been a blessing to me and God’s kingdom. Now I am retired but continue to prepare a digital videotape for each week’s recording and make DVD copies of services and programs if requested.
Q: What do you get from this ministry work?
A: The sweet satisfaction that shut-ins can feel they are still connected with a church family that loves them.
Q: How do family members support you?
A: My family has always encouraged me to stay active in my church ministries and inspires me to keep serving.
Q: What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?
A: Without Christ there is no life.