Ron and Thelma Thompson were recently honored for their 50th wedding anniversary by family and friends. Ron served many years as a pastor, evangelist, and most recently as an associate at the Grace Brethren Church of Aiken, South Carolina (Steve Taylor, pastor). When we asked Ron for details on the celebration, he sent this summary:
Our 50th anniversary was officially April 23. Thelma’s 70th birthday was April 20. Our daughters, Angie Hales of Lynchburg, VA and Melody Archer of Limestone, TN decided to plan a surprise “roast” for Thelma.
It was held on Saturday afternoon, April 28 from 2-4 PM. That was the nearest date we could work out. I was privy to some of the planning and had to furnish pictures for a beautiful scrapbook the girls were organizing for the occasion.
Melody and family came down that weekend to take Mom out for a birthday dinner. That was the pretense. Thelma was appropriately blindfolded and driven to the church (GBC Aiken) where a crowd of 60-70 people were on hand to wish her happy birthday.
What I did not know nor expect was a 50th anniversary surprise party had been planned for both of us as well. Melody led Thelma into the social hall and we were greeted by our daughter, Angie, and family.
An unexpected surprise was Thelma’s parents, now in their 80’s, brought to the celebration by Thelma’s youngest sister, Carolyn, from Raleigh, NC. A brother from North Carolina was there as well as her favorite aunt and uncle from Roanoke, VA. Her favorite cousin from Florida also made the trip to Aiken.
My two sisters from Virginia were present. And a whole host of our church family came to wish us well. Thelma’s “roast” turned out to be more for me than her. The whole thing was so hilarious one of our church ladies suggested we do this monthly for members having a birthday or anniversary!
Many cards, gifts, and hugs were given to us that day. Letters came to us from friends and former parishioners all over the U.S. We were overwhelmed with all the secretive planning that took place months before.
Pastor Steve Taylor and wife, Pat, were in on the surprise and did an excellent job in keeping everything secret. Thelma and I had celebrated our 50th anniversary early in March with a Caribbean cruise. That was our special gift to each other.
We thank and praise God for bringing us together and blessing us so abundantly in our ministry over the years!