In 1967, four years before Mike and I married, we were part of an outreach ministry to military men stationed at Millington Naval Base, just north of Memphis, TN. Several times each week, Mike would travel to Millington to witness on the street or in a coffee house near the base. Every Sunday 40 to 80 young men would be invited to a lodge where we played ball, fed them bologna sandwiches and then preached the gospel. There was a sense of urgency as we knew that not all of these men would return home.
A year after this began, in the spring of 1968, Martin Luther King, was assassinated.
It was an unsettling time. While young men were being drafted to fight and die for their country, many of those same young men weren’t even allowed to drink from a public water fountain, use a public toilet or eat a meal at some local eateries. A champion for the cause of civil rights was dead. Life seemed uncertain, and eternity hung in the balance.
We married in 1971. Our outreach continued during the Vietnam War and for years afterward. Mike faithfully visited Millington, and we still had our Sunday lodge ballgames and gospel preaching. Once a week, we had Bible studies with young men in our home. We did this for 20 years, until the 1980s.
We have heard back from many of the men who were saved during this time. It always brings back memories: