Roanoke Church of Christ



By my friend, Ben

Lucy Banes were about five years older ‘n me. She were. The last time I seen her was when me an’ ma were in town shoppin’. Lucy were walkin’ down the street chewin’ a wad a gum an’ swangin’ her purse an’ her hips. She were. She looked like she were just darin’ anyone to say something to her. She were.

Lucy took off a few weeks later when she turned sixteen. She did.  She were never seen around Hickory Ridge again. Some folks said they’d heard she’d run off to Ohio. Other folks what knowed Lucy better’n most said she ran off to get away from her pa. They did. It weren’t until she were executed that the truth began to come out. It did. By then her pa were dead. He were.

After Lucy’s death, Karry Bradford, what were about Lucy’s only friend, said Lucy told her that her pa would come into her bedroom at night an’ do things she didn’t like. She did. Karry said when she told some folks what Lucy said were goin’ on they just turned a deaf ear. They did. Bein’ that Lucy had a reputation around town of lettin’ boys have their way with her, it didn’t seem right to them to bring her pa into it.  .

Lucy were thirty-one when she died. She were. Accordin’ to the news it seemed Lucy had taken up with two brothers what owned a farm about twenty miles north of Columbus. One neighbor what testified on her behalf  said she were turned into a slave an’ made to do all kinds of bad things. They did.

One day, she felt she couldn’t take nomore. So she went to the barn, grabbed the first thing she saw, which were an ax, an’ waited. When one of them brothers came lookin’ for her, she killed him. She did. When the other brother came in she killed him too. She did. What she didn’t know were a nephew were droppin’ by. As she started outta the barn she saw him getting’ outta his car. Scared, she stepped inside the barn, hopin’ he’d leave, but he came lookin’ for his uncles an she killed him too. She did. Lucy hid out for a few days, but she finally gave up. At trial she were sentenced to death for murderin’ the nephew. She were.

It were what happened to Lucy in prison that caused some folks to ponder. They did. Lucy were visited by a prison chaplain. She were. An’ that there chaplain talked to her about a father who loved her an’ who could see the Lucy that no other human being could see. He could see the beautiful little girl who grew into a beautiful woman. She told her about a big brother who would stand beside her an’ never let anyone hurt her again.

In time, Lucy began to listen. She did. Then she asked for her own Bible an started readin’ on her own. She did. One day she asked the chaplain iffen she could really be forgiven an look like that woman the chaplain said God could see. When she were told yes, she asked iffen she could be baptized, an’ she were.

It took five years for them to execute Lucy. In the mean time she became a real kind an’ gentle woman. She did. Fact is, the news folks said she were a tower of strength in helpin’ other women prisoners adjust to prison life an’ findin’ the peace of God. So it weren’t much of a surprise when there were an appeal for clemency. Even the warden asked for a commutation of her sentence to life. He did. Folks from all over the land, an’ even the world asked that her life be spared. But it weren’t. The governor and the courts said the law were the law.

Some folks around Hickory Ridge said she deserved to die. They did. Others said she didn’t deserve to live. I Reckon that were about the same thing.

What were botherin’ me were that I’d heard preachers all my life sayin’ that we deserved to die, but Jesus died in our place. They did. I reckon that were supposed to mean we didn’t deserve to live. But we got spared and Jesus were executed in our place.  Lots of hymns say the same thing. They do. I also heard them preachers say sin were sin, that one were no better or worse in the eyes of God. They did. But somehow it seems doin’ what Lucy did were worse. It were.  Iffen we were spared when we came to the Lord, why not Lucy?

So I got me to ponderin’, do we Christian folk really truly, down deep in our hearts, believe that we deserved the death penalty? Or do we say that because we’ve been taught that’s what we are supposed to think? Fact is, what good comes from executin’ anybody, especially iffen we all deserve it?

* Since we were in West Virginia for three days, this article was written before our Wednesday evening discussion on ethics.

CONCERNS: The Nephew of one of Judy McWhorter’s customers is responding well to treatments for cancer. The tumor has been reduced by 80%. Judy is collecting funds to help with his medical expenses. Wayne Phlegar is healing from a wound on his leg which will heal very slowly. The Smiths ask that we pray for their neighbor who is very ill. The Halls also have a neighbor who has cancer. Joni Beach’s mother’s health is slowly deteriorating from cancer. Remember also Joanne Elder and Erma Williams. They are both unemployed. Trisha, a friend of the Bolins, Mike Breeding (Ron Matney’s nephew) will soon be getting a pacemaker. Connie Crites’ father, Polly Altice has lung damage. Her son, James, (cancer) Zona Fisher’s brother, Tim, (cancer) and her niece also has cancer. Roger’s nephew in Florida (cancer), Helen Nicklas, Isabelle Simmons, the Phlegar’s friend, Julie (recovering from a stroke) Wayne’s aunt (recovering from a bad fall), Jenni & Wilma Cullum, Barbara Mc Cauley, Tim Elder and the work of Health Talents and Bread For A Hungry World.

Monday: Psalm 48:1-14
Tuesday: Romans 11:33-12:8
Wednesday: Matthew 15:29-39
Thursday: Luke 15:1-10
Friday: Galatians 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14

Monday: Ezekiel 16:1-22
Tuesday: I Corinthians 14:1-12
Wednesday: Philippians 3:2-21
Thursday: Luke 9:46-50
Friday: Luke 6:17-26
Saturday: Psalm 124:1-28


After a brief improvement, Judy McWhorter’s sister-in-law, (Bud’s sister) died in North Carolina. A memorial service was held there a little over a week ago.


Our own Chef Jeff Bland not only won a chef’s competition during a charity golf tournament at the Roanoke Country Club, but he has been selected to be the souse chef for Paula Dean both for her appearance in Richmond and then here in Roanoke yesterday.  Way to Go Jeff!


Our thanks to Martha and Bill Albert for a lovely evening at their home on Smith Mountain Lake. It was a beautiful day and the food was great! Thanks Alberts!


Super Sunday, October 17, will be our annual Peaks of Otter Hike (or bus ride) and Picnic. Erma has already put a sign-up list on the foyer table, so let her know if you are going to be at the picnic. She may need some help from non-climbers to secure a picnic place and set up the picnic.

Even if the fall colors are later than in the past, it is still a great time to be out in the beauty of the mountains. Be sure to bring folding chairs, warm clothing, (it will get cool when the sun goes down) and whatever else makes a picnic enjoyable

Also, if it is a very pretty day bus riders need to buy their tickets as early as possible. The picnic will start after Five, which is usually the last bus down. We are usually away before it gets too dark.


On Saturday, October 16. there will be a yard sale in the church parking lot to help finance traveling funds etc., for the soccer team Brice Reid plays for. If you have items you would like to donate, bring them to the church and place them in the room to the right as you enter the basement.


We have been mentioning that both Kroger and Food Lion will send 5% of what you spend there to the Rescue Mission. You have to use a gift card. Information is on the foyer table.

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