Ms Lillian

During one early Billy Graham Crusade in Houston in the 1950s Lillian was the main Interpreter through every service. The sign she used to explain her feelings when she was asked to interpret was "knees knocking"!

Lillian continued to interpret for the deaf at First Baptist Church for many years. She and Louis bought a house in Kingwood, Texas. And after Louis passed away she decided that she would "pass the torch" to younger Interpreters and she moved her church membership to Forest Cove Baptist Church in Kingwood.

The Deaf Ministry at Houston's First Baptist Church became a separate congregation, with its own pastor, Sunday School classes and missionaries. Several pastors were called to lead the Deaf Congregation, and around 1988 the congregation physically moved to their current location on Long Point Road and became Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church, retaining the name of the original hearing church. In 2005 Woodhaven celebrated its 81st year of Deaf Ministry. Woodhaven now has four ordained ministers, and many faithful deaf and hearing members. Woodhaven also has a Prison Ministry to the deaf in the Texas Prison System, and offers a Christmas Drama every year, completely in American Sign Language, free to all who want to attend.

As a result of Lillian's ministry today there are deaf Southern Baptist missionaries all over the world...Y.A. is in Thailand, L.D. serves in South America, Fritz and Karyn Koehrig are in Central Europe, and Kaori and Steven James are home on furlough from the Czech Republic, just to name a few. And there are also deaf native missionaries serving in their own countries, as a result of Lillian's ministry.

In 1998 or 99 Lillian went to the Czech Republic with a mission team. Several of the deaf noticed Lillian demonstrated an unusual spirit of joy. One of them, an older woman named Anna, knelt in front of her and asked, "Why do you have that glow on your face? Older people here don't have that." When Lillian replied that her joy came from having Jesus in her life, Anna said, "I want that," and prayed to receive Christ. Today Anna is a native missionary in her home country.

Lillian died on June 10, 2010 at the age of 101.

And Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church, a mission church of Houston's First Baptist Church, is "Still Signing, Still Serving, Still Sending".