By Charles Cooper
Hello everone, hope you’re having a good week.
This column is part two of a feature on Dorris Ward, who grew up in the Jumper’s Chapel Commun-ity, in his own words.
“After discharge in 1946, I came back home to attend college—first two years at Holmes Jr. Again I was protected by the Lord, as a friend, Skeet Stribling, and I were returning to school in his car and we both fell asleep. In the wreck, we fliped several times and went down an embankment. Dazed and with a cut head that almost severed my ear, I freed myself, and went for help.
In 1948, after completing Holmes, I went to work at Camp Ground, the school I had attended as a child. Taught 7th grade and coached boy’s and girl’s basketall for one year for $1,800. Quickly decided to go back to school and complete my four-year degree in Vocational Education. While at Mississippi State, I worked odd jobs. I was officiating a game and that’s how I met my wife, Peggy, who lived at Kosciusko, where she played basketball for the high school team. At halftime she told a team mate she’d found the man she was going to marry.
To make sure I noticed her she fouled out and soon after we started dating and married in 1950. Graduating from State, I accepted my second teaching and coaching position at Kosciusko, where both teams made the state playoffs that year, and I earned only $2,400. After a few years of this, my career took a different path and a better income to provide for my family. God blessed us with three children, Jimmy, Noni, and Glenda.
In 1956 I began working for the Farmers Home Administration, and worked there for 34 years. During those years I lived in Cleveland, Vicksburg, Pon-totoc, Tunica and then back to Cleveland, before moving to Hattiesburg in 1971, where I served as district director for eight counties. While working for FHA I received several awards.
In Cleveland we attended Immanuel Baptist Church, where we taught Sunday School and Training Union and some of those students still keep in touch. In Hattiesburg we joined Main Street Baptist Chruch, where we have served in many capacities. The last time I was saved by the Lord, I was helping take down the Singing Christmas Tree. Not feeling well when I got home, I told my wife she needed to drive me to the hospital immediately, where they determined I’d had a heart attack. The doctor said I would not have lived had I gotten to the hosptial five minutes later.
The Lord has blessed me in my 87 years of living–with a large family gowing up, a loving wife of 62 years, three children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. I continue to trust in the Lord and try to lead by example.”
This meant a lot to me and I would urge any of you who want to profile someone to let me hear from you, as it is not possible for me to see everyone in person. My email address is still cncooper1athotmail.com, or write me at P. O. Box 613189, Memphis, TN 38101, and have a great week.