Sunday, March 27, Grace United Methodist Church and Music By Laurel Jean were pleased to welcome Rev. Tarrell Thompson all the way from Owensville, Indiana to Grace’s Celebration Center in Charleston, SC for a presentation of “Who Cares…The Man Behind The Music.” I’m pictured here with Tarrell and our very dear friend, Anna Lee in front of Grace Church. Many were blessed as Tarrell shared his faith journey of sixty-four years in ministry, from his early days serving in a leper colony to his disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, and beyond! Rev. Tarrell is a long-time friend of Music By Laurel Jean and my outreach on behalf of the blindness community. Over the years of our working together, he has become an “adopted dad” to me.
The Amazing Grace Chancel Choir and musicians from the Grace Alive Praise Band joined me during worship. We really surprised Tarrell with new arrangements of my music inspired by his life and ministry, including the above-mentioned “Who Cares” from my Circuit Rider collection.
Members of Grace, officers of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, and even one of the young people from my Chaplaincy for Blind Youth gathered at the West Ashley Crab Shack after church, to continue this surprise celebration in honor of Rev. Tarrell and his ministry. We presented him with this cake, a creation of Grace’s resident cake decorator Bart Knapp. The cross and flame pictured on the cake is an image of one of Rev. Tarrell’s many handcrafted crosses and flames which he has donated to religious institutions around the country.
My heartfelt thanks to the people of Grace Church, Dixie Land officers and other friends who helped to make this day so special!
During Rev. Tarrell’s visit to Charleston, Audrey and her guide dog Jesse joined Tarrell, Anna Lee and me for several sightseeing outings. Here we all are at the beautiful Angel Oak tree, one of the Lowcountry’s many natural wonders.
Of course, in spite of uncooperative weather, we had to visit the ocean. Anna Lee snapped this picture of Tarrell and me walking together on the beach. I always feel very close to Father God when I am at the ocean, on the edge of one of God’s most magnificent creations. What a blessing, what a gift, to be there with one of our Lord’s very special shepherds.
Stay tuned for more posts like this one. Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart!
© 2011 by Laurel Jean Walden