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Publisher's Summary

Reverend Loyce Estes with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the funeral services on December 23, 1969, addresses the congregation. "The dignified First Lady of the Louisiana Presbytery is dead. Vibrantly alive are the articles of faith that constitute our legacy. May her mantle fall on us prayerfully." Reverend Mrs. Ada Caston Slaton Bonds is one of the most colorful ministers ever produced by the great Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Beyond doubt, she overcame more difficulties and passed through more heartaches than any minister ever known in order to preach the "Whosoever Will" gospel. Miss Ada, as all affectionately called her, possessed countless prodigies. By way of the corridors of her ministerial career she helped shape the lives and mold the character of a great number of young ministers, who, today, rise up and call her "blessed". God sent her His Divine calling to preach. She then learned to preach. She carved out a place for herself among the clergy that was unique, without comparison.

With bottomless emotion, genuine poise, and true dignity, Miss Ada became the First Lady of the Cloth in the Louisiana Presbytery and had the highest honor bestowed upon her, the title of Mother of All Presbyteries. Brother Kerans finishes up the services by calling on Reverend Paul Covey Johnson. Standing by her frail and physical body awaits its final resting place in the Old Bethany Cumberland Presbyterian Church cemetery, he begins her final epitaph. "I am walking along the seashore. A ship is floating near to me, spreading her white sails as it begins a voyage that takes Miss Ada further and further out into the ocean. She is a powerful vessel, one of beauty and strength. I watch her until she looks like a disappearing speck of a fluffy cloud where the horizon of the sea and sky intermingle with one another. Then someone at my side, just able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her."

©2014 Sean E. Jacobs (P)2014 Sean E. Jacobs

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