Lessons from Papa

This past week we lost a good man. Not just our family, but everyone who had the joy of meeting Papa knew that he was a man after God’s heart. Thinking of our sweet time here on earth with Papa, here are a few things I learned from the privelidge of being his granddaughter. 

1. God is first, always.

Papa gave his life to the Lord 50 years ago. Since that day, Papa’s every moment was spent praying and glorifying God. I love how great Papa was at using his words wisely. I have said for a long time that when Papa speaks, you listen! I never heard him gossip or talk harshly to someone. Papa chose to use his words and actions to uplift, inspire, and challenge. He sure did like to sing and speak about his Jesus! I know he was proud of school accomplishments, but I also know that he was most proud that I surrendered my heart to God. He enjoyed our talks about ministry and loved that I’m married to a preacher! I am so blessed by his heart for the Lord and example all these years.

2. Family matters.

Papa and Granny both always extended an open welcome for anyone in their home. It was important for Papa that you were always well fed and knew you were invited back anytime. I don’t think Papa ever missed a single big moment in my life! From church musicals, piano recitals, and pageants, to award ceremonies, graduations, and marriage, Papa wanted to show his support. I love that Papa’s idea of family wasn’t defined just by Powell blood but extended to all he met. I think all of Pelzer has had his famous potato salad, chow chow, fresh veggies, or sausage balls at some point! He prayed daily for people in the community and often visited shut-ins and sick. I always enjoyed days that I got to ride with him to deliver Meals-on-Wheels. Serving others always brought Papa such joy!

3. Love is a real deal. 

Papa loved his woman! They shared 63 sweet years together. In a world where marriage and commitment don’t take priority, Papa was determined to love Granny as Christ loves the Church. Each morning he brought Granny coffee, fixed breakfast, and cleaned up the kitchen. He loved serving his wife. Some of my favorite memories include watching Papa’s face light up when his bride entered the room. I think Granny got more beautiful to Papa every day. 

My uncle said it so well at Papa’s funeral- Papa was the best man I have ever known, but even he wasn’t good enough for Heaven. He knew that only by salvation through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ can one have eternal security. Have you placed your life in God’s hands? You will never find true  satisfaction in the things of this world. Papa got that. 

We shared some time together as a family picking veggies and berries from Papa’s garden. May we choose to plant seeds of faith in those around us just like Papa always did.  We have all been so blessed to know Thomas Powell. May his legacy continue as we are inspired to surrender our lives to God and leave imprints of His love on all we encounter.  




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