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Faith, Love, and Legacy: The Harrison Story

Updated: Mar 9

Lewis and Nancy Harrison

Nancy Harrison made a generous gift to JUMPSTART SC in honor of her late husband, Lewis Harrison’s legacy. We asked her to share some some of their story so we could celebrate their gift and legacy.


In this heartfelt piece, she shares her personal journey of faith and the profound impact that her husband had on her life and the lives of many others. Through her words, we see a glimpse of a couple who lived a life of service, hard work, and devotion to their Lord. We share in hopes that it will inspire you to live and love in a way that reflects the beauty of God.

 

In Nancy's words:


Who is With You In Life's Storms?

 

Do you have a Big God, a Little God or maybe No God at all?  I am increasingly disturbed by the tremendous number of our Young People who think that they do not need a Sovereign, All-Wise God in their lives.  They believe that they have the ability within themselves to handle all the difficulties, health issues, and relationship problems that come their way as we live our lives each and every day.  Not only problems, but even facing our own death which is certain—what do we do about Heaven and Hell if we don’t have a God?  Well, I have a Big God and I need him in my life every minute, every hour of every day! 


Nancy's Background


I was born to a Mother and Father who were not Christians, and it was a home of turmoil and constant quarreling and most of the time, the quarrels were ended this way----my father would ask my mother if she wanted to get a divorce and put the children in an orphanage?  I was petrified of an orphanage so I went to bed many nights crying and praying to God that He would not let this happen to me and my two brothers.Because I have a Great God, he impressed upon my Mother the need to send me to Sunday School and Church so my Mother would drive me to Church and let me out for Sunday School. 


My Great God blessed me with a wonderful Sunday School teacher who always told me every Sunday that God loved me so much that he gave his only Son to die on a cross so that my sins could be forgiven, and I could go to Heaven and spend eternity with Jesus when I died. 

No one had ever told me that they loved me before, so this was just the Good News that I needed in my life.  I knew that I needed this Great and loving God in my life, and it was easy to tell him that I wanted to be his child for the rest of my life!

My Great God took me to Furman University where I majored in Business and became a certified teacher of Business Courses.  However, I did have a couple of Religion Professors who wanted me to question my religion and my faith in God.  It meant that I spent a lot of time praying and talking with God, but I was more assured than ever that my faith in God was real and was on a solid foundation.  Otherwise, I loved Furman and had a marvelous college experience there!  


But my Great God had another wonderful surprise for me.  He did put me in an orphanage after all, but not as an orphan but as a teacher.  God had prepared my heart to love orphans and children who had become separated from their parents through no fault of their own.  I had to become their parent, teacher, and friend.  It was a tremendous blessing in my life, but even more important was a wedding that took place at the orphanage. 


The Love Story Begins


You see, there was a man who had been invited to the wedding and that man was the one God had chosen to be my husband.  Fortunately, he had been born to Christian parents.  Having been raised in a wonderful, loving, Christian home, he knew how to be a Godly husband and how to have a Christian home. 


On our wedding night, we read our Bible and got down on our knees and told God that we wanted to have a Christian home and we asked him to give us wisdom and help us to be faithful in doing that.  We both felt strongly that when the desire of our hearts was to make God’s priorities our priorities, then He gives us happiness beyond our expectations!  Our Great God is a faithful God.  He blessed us with two beautiful girls and He gave us the Christian Home which was the fulfillment of our dreams!


Lewis Harrison's Story

There are so many wonderful things that I could write about my husband, but receiving praise and accolades from the world was not important to him—in fact, he would call them “rubbish”. Both of us are just regular people like everyone else. 


We just happen to believe in a Great God and that this Great God gave us talents and abilities to use for His Glory and He expects us to be good stewards of everything He has given to us.  One day we will stand before Him and give an account of what we have done for Him.

Lewis learned very early in life the value of hard work.  His family has heard him tell of plowing a mule by the time he was 6 years old.  Then in High School, he and his father owned a small herd of dairy cattle, and it was his job to get up every morning at 3 AM to milk the cows.  But this didn’t keep him from participating in all the other activities at school. 


He was a very active member of the FFA and was the first member of his chapter to win the highest National Award, “The American Farmer Degree” in 1952.  All that he learned while working with cattle also sent him to Kansas City for 3 trips to the National FFA Convention and one trip to the National Dairy Congress in Waterloo, Iowa.  Also, it was preparing him for a lifetime of service and work in the Dairy Industry. 


He has one beloved sister, Mary Jo Christopher, and her husband, Wendell Christopher, has not only been a wonderful Brother-in-Law, but also a very valued partner throughout his lifetime. The two of them co-founded Walnut Grove Auction Sales and Event Rentals, Inc.  Lewis was the president of Walnut Grove Auction Sales which primarily worked with the Dairy industry.  Sales rings, tents and related equipment was packed into an 18-wheeler and a Sales crew traveled to Dairies all over the South where this equipment was set up and hundreds of people would come from all over the South to purchase just a few head or perhaps a trailer load of cattle. 


Lewis loved everyone and he could talk with anybody and instantly make a friend.  He discovered that Farmers are truly the “Salt of the earth”, and he made lifetime bonds with many wonderful people that he met in the Dairy Business!God was always so good to him and gave him a lifetime of fulfillment and happiness as he served on many dairy related Boards and committees.  In 1961 he received the “Outstanding Young Farmer of South Carolina” award.  In 1991 he was inducted into the “South Carolina Dairy Association Hall of Fame”.  In 2019, he was selected to receive the “Friends of the Dairy Industry” award by the Georgia Milk Producers for his lifetime of commitment and service to the Dairy Industry.


Even though the Dairy Industry consumed and lot of time and energy, his Love for His Lord surpassed all other loves.  He was a very active member of Mt. Calvary Presbyterian Church for all the years that he was able to attend serving as an active Elder for many years.  


He loved reading his Bible and there are many scriptures he would share, but I choose


Second Corinthians 5:6-9: We are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord!  So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it!

My precious husband is with Jesus now—he passed away on January 8, 2023, after 59 years of married bliss and happiness together.  I am so glad that I can still say the I have a Great God and my God is now my husband, my best friend, my strength, my wisdom, and my joy every day of my life!  I love Him and praise him because He made something beautiful of our lives!


One other of Lewis’ admonishments to us was reminding us that we brought nothing into this world, and we will take nothing with us when we leave. Only what is done for God will last!

 

Written by: Nancy Harrison, March 7, 2024


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