a Q&A with Sis. Jeannie Morgan
How did you meet Bro. Leroy?
My family moved from Tatnall county to Toombs county and my brother started dating his sister. My brother said, "Jeannie, I met this guy and I know you are really going to like him." I went to a peanut boil and he was there. I liked him time I seen him. We dated off and on for a couple years. One day, we were sitting in the truck in front of my parent's house and started talking about marriage. We decided then that is what we wanted to do. (Bro. Leroy interjected here and said that Sis. Jeannie is actually the one who asked him to marry her. She laughed, but agreed that he was right.)
When did you get married?
October 30, 1954. We met at a show in town. My Daddy didn’t want us to get married so we eloped. Preacher Powell in Lyons, GA married us. He and his wife were the only witnesses.
How was early married life?
We lived in a little house in the country. He farmed with his daddy. We got water out of the well with a bucket. Our house did not have a bathroom or a refrigerator. If we needed to keep food cold, we just used a block of ice. Leroy made our table and picked the cotton they used to make our mattress. Five dollars a week paid our light bill and groceries. Our first vehicle was a four door 1950 chevy sedan that we paid cash for. Even though times were tough sometimes, I never went to bed hungry, always had a roof over my head, and clothes to wear.
What about the time you tried to make fried chicken? (Question submitted by Bro. Leroy. She laughed as he asked it.)
I went to kill a chicken in the yard. I had seen my momma wring a chicken's neck, and I thought I could do it too. I "killed" the chicken, threw it in the house, closed the door, and went to do some more work. When I went back out to get the chicken, it came wobbling out the door. I hadn’t killed it. So i had to re-wring it’s neck, pluck the feathers, and boil it. The smell made me sick.
When did you get saved?
Growing up, I always felt like there was a Lord. I sold candy when I was little and the first thing I bought was a Bible that I ordered from a catalog. I was 18 when I got into Holiness. A local church was having revival with Bro. & Sis. Mimbs. I know I got saved, but I never really got sanctified. I could never break free. Leroy never got saved and, sadly, I just gave up. But it never left me. I never forgot that experience. One night, I was laying in bed and the Lord just quit dealing with me. When I realized that, I prayed, "Lord, please don’t leave me." There’s nothing that scared me more than dying lost and going to hell.
When did you get back in church?We moved to Savannah in 1958. Leroy was at the Union Camp and he came in one Sunday afternoon and asked if I wanted to go to church. (I had been listening to some ministries on the radio but I always turned it off before I got too convicted.) That night, we went to Savannah Holy Church of God, where Bro. C.M. Butler was the pastor. Bro. Butler and Bro. Holcombe was singing "Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down." We got saved that night and I was so happy. They had a prayer meeting Tuesday night and The Lord sanctified me. That Wednesday night, I received the Holy Ghost. Friday night, I got baptized. The Right Hand of Fellowship was that Sunday night and I joined the church. I testified that I couldn’t wait for my hair to grow out so I could look like the other holiness ladies. We had three children when we got saved.
How many children do you have?
Seven children - 4 girls and 3 boys, 14 grandkids, and 9 great grandchildren. With 7 kids it was always busy, but always fun. Getting them all ready for church and school was rough. There was no a/c in the house so they were extra miserable. I always cooked them breakfast and supper. I cooked a lot of hamburgers and spaghetti. Leroy had a garden at a church member's home, so we would go there and pick vegetables. The kids hated shelling peas and shucking corn. Sometimes, Leroy would go fishing and we would have fresh fish for supper. We always ate supper around 3:00 PM after Leroy and the kids got home. Later that night, they’d eat leftovers or the girls would cook brownies or fix peanut butter with crackers. I always had to buy a quart of peanut butter at the grocery store. We’d eat a whole pack of cookies in one night. A lot of times, I’d run out of bread and lunch meat on Thursday. Leroy would get paid on Thursday, so when he'd come home, I’d take his check to the store. They would cash it and I would buy some bread and lunch meat. Then I would go home and make them all a sandwich and take it to the school so they would have lunch. I forget how much bread and milk I had to buy to keep them all fed. For a special treat, I would take a couple of quarters and buy them all a piece of candy and a coke and that is what we would have for a snack that evening.
What is your biggest regret?
That I didn't get saved sooner. Before we got saved, Jennifer saw people come out of church and asked, "Momma, what are they doing?” I said "They’re going to church." She asked, "Why don’t we go?" That really convicted me.
Why do you think prayer, fasting, and Bible reading are important?
They are the most important things. It's really helped my family and me stay saved. It has helped us with our health. The Word of God is powerful. If you don’t read and pray, you’ll lose your standard and your faith. I'll add, too, that it is very important to be renewed in the Holy Ghost.
What is your favorite book in the Bible?
Colossians 3. It is the perfect guideline. It tells you what to pick up and what to lay down. How to treat your spouse, family, and friends. I recommend everyone read that chapter often.
Do you have any advice you would like to share with us?
Be faithful to church. Respect your pastor. Study the word. Always love and pray for your family. Care and pray for others. If you can, attend prayer meetings. Be willing to do and help everyone. Fix a meal for others. Be a blessing when you can. Your life is a success if you choose to live for God.