Monday, September 21, 2009

Frances M. Bostick ~ 1909 - 2009 ~

Last week, early Monday morning, my grandmother, Frances M. Bostick, went to be with Jesus. She was 99. My brothers and I traveled to Spartanburg, SC and arranged the funeral. It was a good service, conducted by her Baptist pastor, John Lancaster, and assisted by a Pentecostal preacher who had known Granny for years. It almost broke out into a campmeeting.

For years, Granny and her husband, Garrette H. Bostick, had ministered together, first in the hills of western North Carolina with the Blue Ridge Mountain Bible Mission in the 1940s, then in itinerant and church ministry in the 1950s as Garrette served as pastor of Ansel Street Chapel in Spartanburg. That is where Joe Mosley, the preacher who assisted at Granny’s funeral, first met them and came to know the Lord under Garrette’s ministry.

After Garrette went to be with the Lord in 1965, Granny continued on in ministry in a variety of forms: distributing gospel tracts, teaching “Good News” clubs for children (she really knew how to work a flannelgraph), Jewish evangelism, working with girl’s homes and women in jail and prison ministries, playing piano and singing here and there for churches and other gatherings. She was always looking for an opportunity to encourage others with the word of the gospel. Even in her nineties, if you spoke with her on the phone, you were liable to have her sing you a song.

Up until last year, she was still living on her own in a little apartment she had occupied for 25 years. She had many friends who would help her out with various chores and errands. But the time came when she realized she needed to move into Valley Falls Terrace, an area nursing home where her increasing medicals needs could be met. Though her body was failing her mind was still sharp — something the attendants at the home appreciated — and her evangelistic spirit still strong.

My brothers and I are all in Florida, and it was difficult for us to arrange care for her in South Carolina, so we are grateful for all her friends in Spartanburg who assisted her over the years. Through their care and again at the funeral, we have seen that Granny was well-loved and respected.

On Thursday, we committed Granny’s body to the ground from which it came, where it will await a future day, for we live in sure and certain hope of the resurrection. In the meantime, she is rejoicing in the presence of the Lord with Garrette and my mother. So we are rejoicing, too.

All is well.