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Reception will honor Smith on retirement

Mollie Smith pointed to the wall and an article written abouther and Talmadge, her husband of 48 years and co-worker of 23 yearsat the Lincoln Baptist Association.

“That’s the one they wrote a few years ago when we’d been here20 years,” she said. “That was the celebration the association hadfor us. It was a wonderful time.”

For all those years, Smith worked as the secretary and supportfor the LBA, making sure the gears continued to turn smoothly.

On any given day, she could be found doing front office jobsthat included everything from organizing mailings, keeping up withpastors new and old, answering the phone, and basically providinghospitality to visitors who might come through the office.

“I’ll miss not seeing the people who came in and out of theoffice,” she said, reflecting on the fact her retirement December31 has given her plenty of free time. “But I’m getting used to nothaving to do the work.”

The W Mu council is giving a reception for Smith on Sunday from2 to 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church. The public is invited.

“I didn’t expect them to do anything, but they said of coursethey wanted to,” she said. “I’m excited.”

After Talmadge Smith held his first position at the HamiltonStreet Mission, he pastured three churches before taking the jobwith the Lincoln Baptist Association, the most recent one being inNatchez. Then they came home to Brookhaven, where they have happilybeen ever since.

Some of the most vivid memories they share are of the events ofHurricane Katrina.

“We lived here for several nights,” Mrs. Smith said. “The powerwas out at our house – we live several miles out – and the powerhere was only out for a week.”

During that time, the LBA and many area churches opened asshelters for those displaced, and the hard work made an impressionon Smith.

“It was tough. We were hit too,” she said. “But we prepared foodand towels and sheets and clothes. It was quite a ministry.”

Smith said in spite of the retirement, Smith said she expectslife to go on as it always has.

“As long as he’s here at the association, there won’t be majorchanges in my life,” said Smith. “I’ll still get to go with him. Ijust won’t be in the office every day, and that’s all right.”

She said she’s already got plenty of plans for the time she’llhave away from the office. They include visiting with her daughtersand grandsons. The Smiths also have two large black lab mix dogsthat are part of the family.

“But they’re outside dogs,” said Smith, adding that the spot bythe fire is one she’s not willing to give up to anyone. “I lovesitting in front of a good, warm fire. It makes me lazy, but I loveit.”

The basic transitions of the first month out of the office haveleft January hectic for Smith, but she said that will rightitself.

“It hasn’t changed a lot yet, with all the running and going.But I plan to get in more time for nursing home ministries, and therest will be devoted to cleaning house,” she said, before divulgingher final plan. “I’m going to take piano lessons.”