Photo Op with a “Giant”
I asked if I could have the privilege of a picture with O.D. He readily agreed to my request and we helped the 98-year-old gentleman to his feet for the photo op. We had just experienced the funeral for his wife of 72 years and most of the guests had departed.
When I mentioned Lakeland Christian School to him, his eyes immediately brightened and he commented, “That place sure has grown!” It was obvious that the thought of LCS as a mature, thriving school brought him a great sense of joy. I told him that all of us at LCS owe him and his dear wife a great debt of gratitude for helping to keep the school alive in those early days. I recall observing the “sweat equity” invested by Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Felts in a variety of ways doing whatever they could to help.
LCS is those days was a curious start up effort to provide “Education in the Light of God’s Word” for less than a hundred students in make-shift facilities. The founders had a vision and were not afraid of the challenge.
Whatever it took…
Mr. O. D. Felts lent his carpentry and other “hands on” skills to the effort as well as service on the board from 1957-67. His wife, Mianne, headed up the mothers who provided lunch service when we moved to the Forest Park location in 1962. O. D. and Mianne loved LCS and served unselfishly in the days when the future of the school was always in the balance. They helped nurture the institution that eventually became the LCS that we love today.
It has been said that “we stand on the shoulders of giants” when we enjoy the benefits of a mature school. We would do well to remember that what we see every day is the result of God’s blessing on the sacrificial efforts of so many who have come before. So many in the past have invested their time, talent, treasure enabling us to enjoy the LCS of today.
Long-term vision: One generation to the next
You see, O.D. and Mianne were concerned to provide Christian schooling not only for their own four children but also for those who would benefit from LCS in the future. All four of their children spoke of the great love their parents had for LCS. Their dedication and commitment went beyond “What’s in it for my children” to the long-term vision for the influence of LCS for generations of students to come.
For a school to have an enduring trajectory of influence over the years, it takes big picture perspective. It takes commitment from each generation to see beyond their own time. The prayer support, volunteer service, and financial resources provided to benefit the students of today help provide the foundation for the students of the future.
Thanks, O.D. and Mianne. May we be as faithful in our time!