(UWF) United Women in Faith (Previously UMW-United Methodist Women)
Rachel Ridley Receives Legacy Pin-May 2023
Rachel Ridley, beloved long-time member of our church, was recently honored by the United Women in Faith. UWF President Paula Catoe presented her with a legacy pin. The pin signifies that at least $150 has been donated to the Legacy Endowment Fund in that person's honor. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of UWF, this account was established to assure that funds would be available to carry on the work of supporting women and children around the world for many years to come. We were urged to look at our membership and honor those who are special to us--someone who has guided us, mentored us, uplifted us, believed in us, and taught us by example. It took little time to decide that Rachel was the obvious choice for this recognition..
Rachel has lived in Murray County all of her life. She was literally "born over the store". Her parents owned a popular grocery store in downtown Chatsworth and lived in an apartment above the store. Chatsworth did not yet have a hospital, so she was born at home. She attended local schools and was a member of the 1957 graduating class of Murray County High School. This is where she met her future husband. She was on the basketball team, and Glenn played football, so they were aware of each other but not yet friends. Glenn was too shy to approach Rachel to ask for a date, so he sent a buddy to ask for him. Rachel sent word back that he would have to ask for himself. He did, and the rest--as we say--is history. They were married at our church in 1959 after Rachel's graduation from Rheinhardt College. She had always helped her parents in the store, but her first "real" job was doing long-term substitute teaching at various elementary schools in the county. She counts among her former pupils our own Wayne McDaniel and Randy Dunn, who became a noted coach at North Georgia College. Her substituting led to an offer of a bookkeeping/secretarial job in the county school superintendent's office. It must've been a good fit since Rachel worked through the terms of 4 different superintendents.
Rachel has always attended CFUMC, and she remembers joining about 1950. Before they married, she and Glenn participated in all activities. They were regular attendees at the Methodist Youth Fellowship. Imagine their surprise when they returned from their honeymoon and learned they were no longer members--they had been appointed leaders! This was probably Rachel's first leadership position in the church. But others soon followed. In addition to working and rearing their two sons, Alan and Mark, she became more and more involved in church activities. Her mother kept urging her to attend the women's group (then called WSCS), but Rachel felt she was too young for the group. She finally agreed to go, and it was the beginning of 50-something years of membership. Later, she agreed to become president, a post she held for 20 plus years. During her tenure she called each member before every meeting and reminded her of the date. She entered enthusiastically into all activities, not only cooking for every bereavement meal but helping serve and then staying to clean up. She sold bushels of pecans and cooked numerous peach cobblers for spaghetti lunches. She is particularly remembered for starting the UMW reading program for our group. At first she bought all the books herself and carried them around in a box in the trunk of her car. In addition to her work locally, she held a number of offices in the District UMW. She attended all the district meetings, even when no one else wanted to go.
UWF (then UMW) was not the only church activity Rachel participated in. Over the years she sang in the choir, faithfully attending practice each week. She taught a children's Sunday School class for a time, and for a number of years led the cherub choir, amazing us with her ability to get a group of pre-schoolers to stand still long enough to make it through a song. In addition to this she always attended her own Fellowship Sunday School class, serving in various capacities. When she was no longer able to attend, it took a committee of three people just to get the class started each Sunday.
Rachel has not been around for all of UWF's 150 years, but in looking back over her life, it's hard to believe that she accomplished all she did in less time than that. She is richly deserving of the Legacy Pin Award.
Ornament Swap at Chelsea's Tea Room-December 2022
The UMW outing in April 2022 was a day trip to the Cantaberry Restaurant in Ellijay for food and fellowship.