On February 25, 1965, Walter R. Heath passed away after a life of 80 years. Along with a fondness for baseball and always looking his Sunday best, Mr. Heath loved Jesus and served as a devoted member and ruling elder at Faith Presbyterian Church just outside of Baltimore, MD.
That's all I know about Walter R. Heath. Aside from one more detail, Elder Heath was my maternal great-great grandfather. He was also the only Presbyterian in my family, that is, until I was ordained fifty years (nearly to the day) after his death.
God’s Spirit has a funny way of moving through our ancestors- just look at the genealogy of Jesus. Many of them were a hot mess; others were quite courageous. We learn a great deal about who we are through who has been before us, both the good and the ill; we even discern who we long to be as we either build upon witness or break cycles of previous generations. I have my share of family members who have done both, for which I am grateful. I pray the same holds true for my children. I also pray my work and witness is a good (Presbyterian) homage to Great-Great Grandpa Heath.
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