Summary: This sermon is for a Christian who was married 61 years 4 months and highlights his marriage.
Fred Isaac Fendley
Although Fred Isaac Fendley made his entrance into the world on September 20, 1920 in the deep south in Birmingham, Alabama, God had taken note of his presence in heaven a long time before that. For the Scriputes tell us in Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
One of the most encouraging things about walking with God is knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Although we are under the illusion that our lives are going to go on and on, God tells us from the start, that our our days are numbered, and to use wisdom with how we spend them. We receive 25,567 days if we lived to be 70. We can be assured that one day we will stand before God , and we will be judged for the way in which we have used our days. Have you thought recently about how many days you have left.
God is never going to ask us about how somebody else used up their days. We hear all the time about the person who will not go to church because he or she does not want to be in the church with the hypocrites. Not only do they fail to understand hypocrites need the message of the gospel, but God is not impressed with their decision to cut Him out of their lives. God is only going to ask us to answer for us, because we do not all start at the same point in life, nor do we have the same opportunities, gifts, talents, or skills.
God created each one of us to be us, in our relationship to Him. He never intended for any of us to remain as we are, but for all of us to be changed by the power of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus put it this way, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”
We are celebrating tonight, because Fred Isaac Fendley entered into a personal relationship with Jesus, and allowed Jesus to live in and through him. When I look at his Mr. Fendley’s life, the word that comes to mind to describe him is persistence.
He was born into a hostile environment for Blacks starting his life in the 20’s in one of the most racist parts of the country in Birmingham, Alabama. They were bombing churches in Birmingham in the 60’s. Can you imagine what they were doing in the 20’s and the 30’s. The KKK was on the rise across the nation. It was not an ideal time or place to be born black. Jim Crow with his laws of segregation and separation were becoming more widespread in every area of society.
The Booming Stock market was not anything to touch the lives of negroes in the deep south. I doubt if the Fendley’s lost any stocks in the Great crash in the late 20’s. Fred entered his high school days in the midst of the Great Depression. His family knew the true meaning of the word struggle. But not even Jim Crow could thwart God’s plans and purpose for Fred’s life. His obituary does not say, he gave up hope, quit school, and talked about what could have been.
No it reads of a life of persistence. It tells of a young black boy who wanted to make something of his life. It was hard just being black, but to have dark skinned, you got it coming at you from the white folks on the one hand and the black folks on the other. The blacker you were, the closer to the end of the line you got to stand,
But that did not stop Fred from doing something with his life. He not only went to high school, he finished. From there he went on to college. He had to do this at a time when money was short, and people didn’t expect you to succeed. His life is a testimony of what God can do with our young Black Males if we give God the chance and decide to make something of our lives besides babies.
God gave Fred a sense of whit and intelligence to go along with his persistence. Fendley could catch you off guard with a joke before you knew it. When I’d go over to his house, he’d say, “Hey, come on in and sit down. Then he’d turn and say, “quick hide the food the preacher is here.” He’d laugh and say, “no I was just joking, you can have some pie or cake or something, but just get a little piece.”