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Present and former WCG members reunite
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Present and former WCG members reunite
By John Warren

BIG SANDY, Texas--Judy Biggs, a longtime Church of God member who lives in Big Sandy, played host to a recent get-together for old friends in the Big Sandy area.

On Sunday, July 31, from noon until about 5 p.m. in the building owned by the Church of God Big Sandy, about 150 people with some present or past connection with the Worldwide Church of God enjoyed fellowship, a potluck meal, music and a couple of surprises.

Ron and Linda Avey of Big Sandy coordinated the setup and serving of the food. David Maas of Hawkins provided lively background music on the piano.

After the meal Lee Stolley of Pritchett helped Mrs. Biggs make a few announcements that included news of an anniversary and a birthday.

The daughters of Bernie and Paula Monsalvo of Gladewater had prepared a special 40th-anniversary tribute complete with pictures, cake and punch based on the old This Is Your Life radio and television series of the 1940s and 1950s.

In another surprise move, Vi Lehman startled her husband, Jack, with a cake to celebrate his 85th birthday. The Lehmans live in Pritchett.

Mrs. Lehman said she kept Mr. Lehman in the dark about his cake.

"I told him that if he was going to get any cake it would be at Judy's party," she said. "He was surprised."

Mrs. Biggs told how she pulled off the surprises.

"Once we made it a church party, we got Bernie involved, and he worked very hard. He thought he was working on Jack Lehman's surprise birthday.

"Jack thought he was working on the Monsalvos' anniversary."


Julie Wilkins of Hawkins baked two cakes for two surprises, one for Mr. Lehman, the other for the Monsalvos.

The "Friends Reunion" happened in a building in which many church and community events take place these days.

(The building could still be pressed into service, by prearranged agreement, by the Red Cross to house evacuees from the swath cut into the Gulf Coast in late August by Hurricane Katrina.)

Mrs. Biggs was happy that 150 people could attend. Many people from many and varied church groups were present.

"Chuck [Mrs. Biggs' husband] and I want to thank all who attended," she said.

Some people had traveled from out of town and out of state to see old friends. Ed Lain of Yreka, Calif., had come the farthest.

While the fellowship continued, Dr. Maas switched from the piano to the guitar, and Rex Ulmer of Gladewater fingered the accordion while his son Andrew played the harmonica.

David Fisher of Pritchett helped coordinate the stage and sound and also played some music CDs.

The program included old pictures of church members.

"The elderly people really enjoyed the pictures," Mrs. Biggs said. "They had a ball trying to guess who was who."

She concluded: "I had fun. To me it was a labor of love."

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