As most of you know, I’m Ray Granade. In 1971, Dan Grant hired me fresh from graduate school at FSU to teach History and start an academic skills program at OBU. My wife Ronnie and I showed up in a U-Haul, found living quarters, and haven’t left yet. Our sons Stephen and Andrew were born here and grew up in this church. Nick Stover asked that I keep my remarks to fifteen minutes; I promised that I would.
I started singing in church choirs growing up and haven’t stopped. My only hiatus was during college and part of my elder son’s growing up years. When our church decided to go from a part-time to a full-time Minister of Music, Lynn Worthen asked me to be one of those who visited Hope to worship under their music minister’s direction and report back. So Ronnie and I drove down one Sunday and worshipped from the balcony as a much younger Will Thompson conducted the service and Janie played the organ. Talking with Lynn afterwards, I was struck that his interest in Will lay in the young man’s heart for ministry, for service. Ronnie and I have talked often of Will’s—and Janie’s—gift of hospitality in all their dealings with people. In the intervening years, Lynn’s insight into Will’s character has been borne out in the way that Will has done not just music, but the myriad of other church endeavors in which he’s been engaged and the intergenerational lives he’s touched.
Granade, S. Ray, "The Earring" (2018). Creative Works. 73.