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Multiple generations attend Methodist church
by: JIM CLARK The 10 members of the Bruce family, on the left, represent four generations of family members who belong to Pleasant Home United Methodist Church. The five members of the Williams family represent three generations who belong to the church. Members of both families were baptized and/or confirmed on Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday, April 8, was literally a family affair at Pleasant Home United Methodist Church.

Cole Spina, 14, the son of Rachel Spina, grandson of Carlton and Anita Bruce, and great-grandson of Richard Bruns - who all attend the church - was baptized and confirmed.

His cousin, Amber Wilson, 12, daughter of John and Erica Wilson, granddaughter of the Bruces and great-granddaughter of Bruns, was also confirmed.

Meanwhile, a third member of the confirmation class, Amanda Tackett, 11, is the daughter of church members Tom and Jennifer Tackett and granddaughter of John and Alice Williams.

'In my 40-plus years of ministry, I have not had the pleasure of confirming third- and fourth-generation members into a congregation before,' says the Rev. Bill Taylor, pastor of the church, which is at 31632 S.E. Bluff Road.

Taylor says each of the three young church members received a hand-painted silk prayer scarf on Easter Sunday. The blue scarves are designed to be worn by folks when they pray and to help them focus on God.

He adds both extended families' members are vital to the church.

Bruns has chaired the church's finance committee and is now a trustee.

Carlton Bruce is congregational lay leader and a certified lay preacher.

Anita Bruce as well as Erica Wilson and Amber Wilson sing in the choir, and John Wilson is a trustee.

John Williams is a trustee who chairs the administrative council.

Alice Williams is organist, catechist, choir director, lay preacher and church historian.

Jennifer Tackett is church pianist, chairs the finance committee and serves on the worship advisory team.

And Tom Tackett is a trustee and supervises the church's acolytes, who include Amanda and Cole.

We'd list more stuff these folks do, but you probably get the hint by now - these families really like Pleasant Home.

Erica Wilson says she and her husband enjoy the church's small congregation and feel spiritually uplifted by working there.

'We are serving the Lord when we're serving the church,' she says, adding one of her jobs is changing the inspirational messages on the church's sign. She reads the Bible and other inspirational literature for ideas.

'Sometimes I make up verses,' she says, noting one week she wrote: 'Sign broken. See message inside on Sunday.'

Her daughter, Amber, says she and her cousin Cole are now recognized as full members of the church, following their confirmation. She adds she particularly enjoys choir and the hymn 'Amazing Grace.'

'It's a good song, and I just like the tune of it,' she says. 'I can sing on key, and it's really nice.'

Alice Williams, 65, was 'born into the church,' she says. She says she has no idea why three generations of her family go together to church in an era when members of many immediate families don't even live near one other.

'It's just our roots, I guess,' she says, noting her own mother taught Sunday school at the church in the 1940s through the early 1960s. 'It's a wonderful church family we have there, and I could not imagine going someplace else.'

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