Heirloom Bibles: Part 3
The third addition to my growing collection of family Bibles belonged to my great-grandmother, Kate Easley. We called her Granny.
Her full name was Melissa Kathryn Luker Easley and she lived to be 101, from 1887-1988.
Here’s a little history of Granny’s Bible as I’ve been able to piece it together.
It originally belonged to her mother: Frances Emma (Graham) Luker, who apparently got it in 1912.
The Lukers had a family reunion in 1916. My great-great-grandparents are the older couple seated in the middle. My Granddaddy (Gordon Easley), who was about a year old at the time, is sitting on GGGrandma’s lap. Granny is the young lady right behind GGGrandpa who is slightly turned to the side.
Just about a year later Great-Great-Grandma Luker passed away. I was thinking that maybe she died in the flu pandemic that was so bad that year, but her death certificate says the cause of death was “cancer of face.” (I don’t know if that means skin cancer, or what, but if it had been 102 years later they’d have probably put “Covid-19” regardless of the cause. Ha.)
So the Bible was passed along to Granny who was raising her young family to love the Lord.
The years rolled along, as they are wont to do. The children grew up. Granddaddy married my Grandmother and started his own family.
After awhile he answered the call to preach, and in the mid-1950s they built the Church of the Nazarene in Eldorado, Oklahoma.
Granny and Papa attended that church the rest of their lives, even after Granddaddy had moved on to other pastorates. I found a cracked and tattered photo of the church tucked into Granny’s Bible.
Granny wrote references and notes on the blank pages in the front and back. Most of it is in her handwriting, though I do see a few little notes in Granddaddy’s handwriting.
Granny and Papa celebrated their 60th anniversary in 1972. By that time Granny’s vision had begun to fail.
In 1978 she presented her Bible to Granddaddy for his 63rd birthday, probably because she could no longer see to read it.
This picture of my siblings and I and two of my cousins with my grandparents was taken in 1977, so right about that time. (Two things about the picture crack me up: the expression on my youngest brother’s face… and how piously I’m clutching my own Bible… with my “church lady” hairdo at age 11!)
It appears to me, from a few notes tucked into Granny’s Bible, that Granddaddy began to use it as his preaching Bible. I thought the Mother’s Day sermon notes were especially precious, especially where it says “Mother’s Bible.” No doubt he showed the people the Bible as he was preaching.
And then, over in Proverbs 31, where it talks about the “Properties of a good wife” he notated “My Wife”
… and under verse 12: “She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life” he wrote “she did!”
I love that.
The cup and saucer that I used as a photo prop are part of a set of dishes that also belonged to Granny. I don’t know the history of the dishes, though I’m happy to have inherited them as well.
However, the spiritual heritage passed down from these faithful generations is far more precious to me than any material treasures, including the Bibles themselves. I pray that I will be able to continue that tradition for future generations.
Other family Bibles I’ve inherited: