2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Bailey

House Resolution 129

(As Adopted by House)


     WHEREAS, Theodore Rosevelt Ford, born April 15, 1922, on a plantation in Holly Knowe, Mississippi, and on his birthday, he will celebrate 85 years on this great earth; and

     WHEREAS, on Monday, August 7, 1939, at the age of 17, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior at New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Leland, Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, two months following his profession of faith, Reverend Ford married Essie Mae Lewis on October 9, 1939, a marital union overflowing with an abundance of love which was blessed with the birth of 14 children, nine girls and five boys; and expanded in the fostering of 11 additional children, two of whom the Fords adopted; and

     WHEREAS, having grown up on a farm picking cotton from sun up to sun down and paid only pennies, Reverend Ford's enduring faith and persevering determination enabled him to purchase his own land to farm; and

     WHEREAS, even on a meager income, Theodore and Essie remained dedicated to changing the lives of children all over the world through the "Feed the Children" and "World Vision" organizations by sending in monthly pledges for years, taking pride in the pictures they received in the mail of the children they were helping to feed and clothe as members of their international extended family; and

     WHEREAS, Reverend Ford continues to be a shining example of Christian courtesy, charity, committed service to the less fortunate and family devotion for his 14 children, two adopted children, 61 grandchildren, 98 great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and

     WHEREAS, one of his greatest joys came on October 28, 1993, the last Thursday in the month, when God called Theodore to the ministry at the age of 71; and

     WHEREAS, with unfailing endurance and strength as the Associate Pastor of Holly Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dunleith, Mississippi, just a few miles from the plantation where he once lived and worked, Reverend Ford continues the ministry of winning souls to Christ and inspiring all people to put God first in their lives; and

     WHEREAS, a devoted husband during the years of his wife's illness and being a prime example to the committal vow of "until death do us part," Reverend Ford's lifelong love, Essie, was called to her eternal home on Saturday, October 2, 2004, just seven days before their 65th year wedding anniversary; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to commend the life of such a noble and giving individual as Reverend Ford, who is truly one of his community's unsung heroes and an ambassador for Christ:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the Reverend Theodore Rosevelt Ford on the occasion of his 85th birthday celebration and extend warmest wishes for continued health, love, Christian fellowship and devotion for many more years to come.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Reverend Ford and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.