Youth Cue

Death Didn't Stop Susie's Ministry by Lonnie Wilkey

It’s hard to believe that nearly 14 months have passed since God called Susie Edwards home to heaven. She died March 24, 2015 after a three-year battle with cancer.

For more than 27 years Susie was the “voice” of the Baptist and Reflector. Call our general office number and more than likely Susie was the “voice” you heard. But Susie was far more than just a voice.

She had a number of duties besides serving as receptionist for the Baptist and Reflector. She assumed a multitude of tasks under the designation “other duties as assigned” and some that were not assigned.  She was the unofficial “Mr. Fix-it” for the B&R. In the “old” days (when I joined the B&R staff in 1988) we used a typesetting machine to set type that we had to cut and paste and place on layout pages. We had a wax machine in which we would run the copy through before pasting it on the page.

As one might expect, that machine could get really nasty. Susie, as was her nature, couldn’t handle that, so she took it upon herself to clean it occasionally. It never failed. Susie would take the wax machine apart, clean it, and always have at least one screw left over when she put it back together. But regardless of the number of times Susie cleaned that machine it held together until the day we “retired” it when we became computerized.

Susie’s favorite title and assignment, however, was self-proclaimed. She was the B&R’s official “hall minister.” On Tuesday of each week she would deliver the paper to offices throughout what was then known as the “Baptist Center.”

After Susie’s death I wrote a blog and mentioned that Susie could take a 10-minute task and turn it into an hour. Actually, she could and sometimes did turn it into more than an hour, but that was okay.

Susie truly was a minister to her friends and colleagues. She always had a sympathetic ear and was willing to listen and “just be there” when someone had a need or problem. Susie loved people and they knew it. They loved her back, even those who never met her.

It was amazing that after Susie’s death, I heard from people she had talked to over the years who mourned her death. Though they never met her in person, they considered Susie a “close friend.” That was the impact she had on people.

Though Susie is gone, her ministry continues.

During Susie’s bout with cancer, she and her husband Mark would frequently post “Notes from Susie” to keep everyone informed. Susie was known for sending cards/notes to people— whether it be for a special occasion in someone’s life or just a “thinking of you” note.

After Susie’s death, Mark, with the encouragement and support of many people, decided to publish Susie’s notes as a book entitled Notes from Susie: Choosing Gratitude in Life’s Low PlacesThe book is Susie and Mark’s way of continuing to minister to others as she so dearly loved to do.

Walking through a valley (especially the valley of cancer) is difficult. Susie walked through that valley with dignity and it was obvious to those who knew her best. Even through her darkest days Susie was able to lift the spirits of those around her.

This book details their struggles and the happy moments of her final three years. Though it was cancer, there would always be “happy moments” if Susie was involved. I would encourage you to read the book and even give it to a friend or couple who may be walking through a valley now. It will encourage them and remind them of the hope and strength they have through Jesus Christ.

The book will be available for distribution in conjunction with the Susie Edwards Memorial Concert to be held May 21 at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Nashville.  The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

To order the book, visit

Both the book and the concert are special ways to honor a special lady.

by Lonnie Wilkey, 
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

This post has been reposted with permission from the Baptist and Reflector. You can view the original article at: 

Memory is a Good Thing: One Year Later

Unbelievably, it was a year ago today that Honey died. Phone calls, emails, and texts have been received all day and are certainly appreciated. I think about her and miss her off and on every day.  Every morning when the outside temperature cooperates, I go in the guest room that became her sick room remembering her last days in there, to open the shades and brighten the room like unto her.  Even that near daily liturgy is not unduly sad for me but rather another occasion to remember, celebrate, and give thanks for who Honey was and for the gift that was mine those almost-forty-five years.  Memory is a good thing, you know, and I hope to never lose that part of my memory.

On this first anniversary of Honey’s death some things are springing to life related to the release of our book – Notes From Susie: Choosing Gratitude in Life’s Low Places.  Our new website ( goes live today and includes:

  • this blog
  • a video that tells the story of the book featuring Weslee, Nathan, and me
  • links to a new Facebook and Twitter page for the book
  • a few excerpts from the book
  • information about the book's release and book signings
  • a link to pre-order the book

(All this would be more than amusing to Honey you understand.)

Also, plans continue at YouthCue, Inc., and Celebrating Grace, Inc., for the Susie Edwards Memorial Concert, May 21, 6:00 PM at First Baptist Church, Nashville, TN.  This is a free concert that will benefit the Children’s Freedom Choir in south Nashville.  A large choir composed of area churches and friends of our family will sing some fine music accompanied by full orchestra and conducted by my brother Randy (who initiated this event all on his own) for choir singers is necessary and still open.  Our long-time friends Ragan Courtney and Cynthia Clawson are featured guests.  I am, reportedly, going to sign books so I’m already practicing my signature.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, today is also Maundy Thursday– a commemoration of Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet, His institution of communion at the supper in the upper room, the garden of Gethsemane experience, and Judas’ betrayal.  After the betrayal, Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment, a mandatum (Latin) from which we get the word “Maundy” – “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (John13:34)  Honey not only knew that commandment, she almost personified it.  She naturally loved and valued everyone.

A couple days ago I ran across a solo arrangement of an old hymn I wrote and played for Cynthia Clawson to sing in our church more than twenty years ago.  Re-purposed in a haunting minor key (Cynthia’s good idea) seemed to be a fitting improvement over the original, bringing fresh light to the lyric:

Christ, the transforming light touches this heart of mine,

   piercing the darkest night, making His glory shine.


Oh, to reflect His grace, causing the world to see

  love that will glow till others shall know

  Jesus revealed in me.

Here, Lord, I bring my heart, my love, my strength, my will;

  cleanse me in every part with all Thy Spirit fill.

Triumphant peace is mine, now Jesus lives within;

  He giveth joy divine and victory over sin.

Oh, to reflect His grace, causing the world to see

  love that will glow till others shall know

  Jesus revealed in me.

                        “Jesus, Revealed in Me” –  words Gipsy Smith

Honey loved for me to play and “sing at” that arrangement.  Because she was a keeper of Jesus’ new commandment, she was a reflector of His grace and “glower” of His love to the point that others saw Jesus revealed in her…even yet.  Good job, Honey!

Yep, memory is a good thing!