The North Carolina Woman’s Auxiliary has been honoring outstanding members by giving Life Membership Awards since the early 1950’s. Our organization has honored many Free Will Baptist women at the state, district and local levels since that time. According to the Manual of Methods of the Woman’s Auxiliary Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, a member must exemplify the following traits in order to receive the award: She must be an active OFWB member and active member of the Woman’s Auxiliary; she must have given of herself and her talents untiringly to the cause of Christ through the Woman’s Auxiliary and the OFWB Church; she must understand and appreciate the work of the Woman’s Auxiliary at all levels; and she must have inspired others to greater Christian service. The woman we are honoring today with a Life Membership Award truly excels in all of these areas.
She has faithfully supported the woman’s auxiliary throughout her adult life. She has held auxiliary offices at the local and district levels, has served on various committees, and has attended local, district and state auxiliary meetings on a regular basis. She has attended Cragmont woman’s auxiliary retreats annually, and has only missed a few times over the past twenty years. She has been the key speaker at both the Morningstar and Cornerstone retreats.
Today’s recipient grew up in Vanceboro and later moved to New Bern. She was an only child and a member of a dedicated Christian family. She played basketball in high school. Since there were no activity buses at the time, her Daddy drove the players to the ballgames. She went to work two weeks after she graduated with the telephone company. This employment became her lifelong career. She married her high school sweetheart, Noah, and they have been blessed with two children—Terry and Rhonda, four grandchildren—Chris, Matt, Ross, and Sarah, two great grandchildren, and one foster great grandchild.
In 1984, she and her husband moved to Greenville, and they soon found First Free Will Baptist Church. She quickly found her niche and began teaching the young adult Sunday school class while maintaining membership in the Crusaders class. In 1988, her employment took her to Tarboro. She and her husband lived there for six years. In 1994, our church was blessed by their return to Greenville. They immediately resumed their involvement in the activities of the church, teaching Sunday school and participating in church functions. For nine years, she led a weekly Bible Study at a local nursing home, taking birthday cakes and ice cream to honor someone’s birthday, and also playing the piano so the people could sing their favorite hymns.
She and her husband love to travel and have been on numerous cruises and have traveled in many states. One of her favorite places is the beach or anywhere there is sand and water. When her children were growing up, the family owned a boat and they all liked to water ski. Although she has been in declining health over the past few years, she still likes to be on the go. She especially enjoys shopping with her friends and looking for just the right pair of shoes.
The woman we honor today is a true lady and a dedicated Christian. Her love for God is apparent in everything that she undertakes. She is beautiful on the inside and out and has a kind word for everyone. She is truly concerned about the wellbeing of others and she doesn’t hesitate to call when she knows someone needs encouragement. She is indeed a great encourager. In fact, that was her topic when she spoke at Cragmont.
Today, June 29, 2014, we are honoring Ramona Spruill Norman, a special lady who is very deserving of this recognition. I am proud to say that she is my friend as well as true friend to all who know and love her. She has been an inspiration and a guiding light to those whose lives she has touched through the years.