If you are not Facebook friends with Betty (Elizabeth) Swadley, (Paul, long-time pastor at South Haven, and Betty are residents at TBH-O), you will have missed this great story…..
Several of you asked for more details about Swad’s (Swadley’s) dad trying to walk to Ironton to get to the only Baptist Home (for elderly) in Missouri at that time. So:
Swad’s parents, Rev. L.V. and Jestina Swadley spent many of their retirement years on North Blaine in Springfield, in a house provided by a church member/friend, at very little cost to them. I loved both of them dearly and they accepted me as a daughter. After a botched knee surgery, one of Swad’s mom’s knees had been locked in a sitting position, so she was always in a wheel chair. Swad’s dad was trying his best to help her with the laundry, but he inadvertently put a red dishcloth in a load of white sheets, and of course, those white sheets became pink. He showed them to Tina and she was upset with him and told him she thought he could do better than that. Well, out the front door he went, giving it a loud slam as he left. Paul’s mother called Paul crying, saying “Your daddy has left me. He said he was going to The Baptist Home in Ironton, but he just took off walking.” Paul dropped whatever he was doing at South Haven, where he was pastor, and drove out to Interstate 44. Sure enough, when he was almost to Strafford, he saw his dad, walking briskly up the road. He stopped the car and persuaded him to get in.
Rev. L. V. Swadley told his son, “I’m trying to help your mom and I can’t do anything right. So I’m just going to go live at The Baptist Home in Ironton!” Swad said, “Well Dad, did you leave Mom any groceries?” “Plaggonit! No, I didn’t.” “Is there any ice cream in the freezer?” “No, I didn’t think of that.” “Well, you know Mom has to have groceries to survive and she loves her nightly dish of ice cream.” So, Paul’s dad agreed to go back with Paul, taking Tina groceries and her favorite ice cream. Of course, when Paul’s parents looked at each other, Tina burst into tears, and Lynn took her in his arms and each of them apologized to the other. And good old Clorox fixed the pink sheet problem.
It was this incident that underscored for Swad the great need for a home for elderly Baptists in the Springfield area, and not too long after his dad’s walk, Swad was placed on a committee to begin a study of the need for The Baptist Home in our area, and Swad began to raise money toward that end, raising well over a million dollars on his own.
Now he lives at The Baptist Home near Ozark. It is a beautiful facility, run very smoothly by Director and South Haven member. Dr. Sammy Allen.. I will be joining my Honey Babe there after a few months. Now Swad says, “I never thought when I was raising money for The Baptist Home, that I would be living here myself!”