Saturday, March 5, 2016

Marie Myatt Collins by Warren F. Kenney (Deceased)

My father and mother, Warren F. and Kay E. Kenney, were very dear friends to Artie and Marie Collins.  If you have not purchased a copy of Artie Collins' memoirs, Ramblings of an Old Preacher, you had better do so soon.
Dad and Marie are now both deceased.  I printed this tribute to her which dad wrote upon her passing.  Dad travelled quite a ways to be with Artie during her funeral.  I recall dad telling me that Artie said "I did not expect you to come, but I am so glad you did."  Great friends!  I thought others might enjoy this tribute too.  I had reprinted it on Facebook with this note on October 8, 2013:  "This is a good tribute written by my dad to Marie Collins. It would be good for Christian women to read this who are trying to win their spouses to Christ. Never underestimate the influence of a good Christian woman!"  -- David R. Kenney
Artie & Marie Collins conducting a Gospel Meeting at New Philadelphia, Ohio.
by Warren F. Kenney (Deceased)

I met Artie and Marie Collins on a very hot Tennessee day in July, 1969.   We had just moved to Lynnville where I preached during the last year of my  schooling. Shortly after moving there Artie came to conduct a funeral for one of the elders. It was my first funeral as a minister. I was asked to assist with the service. I shall always be grateful for the help Artie gave me that day. Needless to say, I was scared out of my wits. The church building was not air conditioned, and the heat was nearly unbearable. It was so hot that the funeral director said he would donate the first $100.00 toward having air conditioning installed. They took him up on it, and that got the ball rolling.  It was not long before cool air was blowing out those registers.

After the funeral, Artie and Marie came over to visit us at our house. We formed an immediate friendship. That friendship only grew for all the years that followed. We immediately started visiting back and forth as overnight  guests.

Artie was the one who got me interested in the lectureship at Freed-Hardeman College (now University). He and I attended those lectures together for many years. I always treasured those wonderful times. Kay would go spend the week with Marie.

Marie had a sense of humor that could be best described as feisty. Her wit was very sharp. I told Artie at her casket that she was clever enough that all my scars were hidden out of sight. He told a lady standing nearby that Marie and I had a feud that lasted over 40 years. I enjoyed that “feud” and know that she did as well.

Marie converted Artie by living the Christian life before him. She was a wonderful Christian wife and mother. That could not go unnoticed by her non-Christian husband. They were married for 66 years, 55 of those years were spent in full time preaching. Their last full time work was with the Springer congregation. That work spanned 30 years, and was to be their last.

This lovely woman was laid to rest behind the Springer meetinghouse near Hohenwald, TN. Her body rests about a stone throw from her kitchen window where she and Artie lived during their 30 year ministry with that congregation. He had also served that congregation as one of her elders for several years.

I remember when the call came from Artie telling me that her health had made it necessary for him to quit full time preaching to move in with one of their sons. I was in a meeting in McConnellsville, Ohio at the time. When we hung up, I cried like a baby. He was one of the most effective gospel preachers I have ever known, but it all began with a sweet little lady who lived the Christian life before him.


Terry said...

Where can I get a copy of the book about Artie Collins?

drkenney said...

My apologies for such a lag in my reply. I received this note from Hugh Fulford which answers your question.

I have known Artie Collins, gospel preacher, for almost 50 years--ever since he preached for the church in Lexington, AL and I held meetings at Center Hill near Lexington. A few weeks ago, while in still another meeting at Center Hill, I had occasion to visit with Artie and with Leon Cole of this list. Artie brought me a copy of his autobiography, "Ramblings of an Old Preacher: Memoirs of Artie Collins." Over the next four days I read the book in its entirety. It is a beautiful story of a plain, simple, scripture quoting gospel preacher and how the Lord has effectively used him to advance the kingdom. Here is one funny story from the book.

"One night my family and Marie's dad and mom all went to hear my brother, Charles, preach at Pleasant View in Dickson County. He preached on various vices, but more especially on tobacco. He knew I was a heavy smoker and he really preached hard on people abusing the temple of man that houses the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 6:19-20. After that service I went out and lit a cigarette. It had a bad taste, so I threw it down and put my foot on it. John McCord said, 'It didn't taste good, did it Artie?' and he laughed at me. Well on the way home, I rolled down my window about two inches and chucked a new pack of Pell Mell cigarettes and a new Zippo lighter out, then rolled up the window and never looked back. That was the tenth day of June 1958 and I have not smoked one since. Well, I have dreamed about it many times, but never smoked again from that Friday night in June, almost fifty-six years ago" (pp. 171-2).

The book is filled with many gospel charts and other rich material. It sells for $20.00 and is worth every penny of the price. It may be ordered from: Artie Collins / 864 Mars Hill Road / Florence, Alabama 35630.

June 7, 2016