The story is told that in 1913 a young 10 year old by the name of Mintie Jane Jervis was walking through the meadow from her house to her great-grandmother’s house in Floyd County, Kentucky. Her parents had told her for some time, “don’t be surprised if you go to visit grandma and she is dead.” But nothing had prepared Mintie for this day.
Mintie (Janie) ran home so fast that she did not even touch the three steps going into her house. “Momma, momma, something is wrong with grandma! Something is wrong with grandma!”
They figured that this day would come. Grandma, Evey Burchett Jervis, was 90 years old, born in 1823, the wife of a Civil War doctor. They were pioneers of this part of the country, a gift from the government for her husbands service. This was the ground where he trained soldiers.
But what they did not understand was that Grandma was not dead. She was very much alive. “Something is wrong with Grandma! I saw here on the front porch waving her hands in the air and crying, ‘Thank you Jesus. How wonderful You are.'”
Dad, George Washington Jervis, was a tall, lanky redhead Church of Christ evangelist. He was very familiar with the group of Baptist that his grandmother had been worshipping with in the local school. He grunted, “Oh, she is just shouting. We don’t do that kind of thing.”
“I want to be just like her when I grow up,” Janie said.
“Well, lost another one,” her dad grunted back. I sure would have loved to have know what he meant by that. What was going on in that county. That same type of thing was going on 100 years earlier in Kentucky from which his church was born out of. What made the change in 100 years?
And become like Grandma she did. Mintie Jane married Gilmer Boehm and at the age of 24 she and her mother-in-law began a church in their home in a West Virginia coal mining camp. The first night they had 8 who showed up. The second week there were so many that people were standing outside on the porch.
That little ten year old was my grandmother, my dad’s mother, and this story was captured on video in 1993 when she was 90 years old, my shouting grandmother. Because of her love for Jesus she is credited for the many pastors, missionaries and church leaders that came out of her family.