Mrs. Lurley Scott2
When I was 12 years old, our family walked into Bethel Baptist Church in Spot Bay, Cayman Brac for the first time; it was February, 1969. As we drove up to the church, we heard singing; no musical instruments—just singing. Beautiful choruses with a distinct Caribbean flavor rang out in praise to God. And one voice rose above all the rest—a strong mezzo soprano that led the congregation from one chorus to the next.
As I entered the church, it was easy to spot the owner of that glorious voice. I didn’t know her name; but there she sat, fanning herself in the tropical heat with a wide sea grape leaf, wearing a floral dress and a white hat. Her beautiful chocolate brown eyes shone with the love of her Savior. Her name was Lurley Scott.
As I grew to know Mrs. Lurley, I learned that she had suffered hardships in her life, but that did not diminish her joy or her determination to be optimistic. At a time when most of the Brac men went to sea for months at a time, she was the worship leader—not standing in front of the church but seated in her certain spot halfway back from the front of the church.
Before the beginning of each service, Mrs. Lurley was in her seat, leading the congregation through a series of choruses. She knew so many!
I loved the rhythm and the words of the choruses she led; within a few weeks, I had picked out the melody and chords on the piano. Mrs. Lurley welcomed this little 12 year old girl as an accompanist for their pre-service singing.
How I loved accompanying them as they sang, “I Have Peace Like A River,” “Jesus Is the Way Maker,” “Born, Born , Born Again,” “Oh, I Want to See Him,” “I Want to Go to Heaven and Rest,” and “Is There Not a Cause?,” among many others.
But Mrs. Lurley was more than a singer to me—she was a great cook. How I loved her Caribbean rice and peas and coconut drops! Back in those days, we had no phone but quite often, Mrs. Lurley would send word by someone to “tell Edi to come look for rice and peas.” I needed no second bidding!
My mother is my greatest role model, and Mrs. Lurley is a close second. How pleased I was when my first daughter was born on her birthday! Neither my mother nor Mrs. Lurley seek self-praise, but “their children rise up and call them blessed.” I am so thankful that she is a part of my life and for her wonderful example of faithfulness and integrity.
About the Author: Edi Seals has been involved in missions work for 39 years. She is the wife of Global Faith Director, Roy Seals and is active in missions work and discipleship among the Spanish-speaking community of Chattanooga, Tennessee.