Myra Thomas said her mama left a big legacy. That included a good example, and it also included a roomful of fabric.
“She had lots of love for quilting,” said Thomas, a member of First Baptist Church Cleveland. “After Mama’s passing in 2010, I wanted to respect all of the fabric she left and do something good with it. Every little scrap was very precious to Mama; she didn’t throw anything away.”
It was an overwhelming thought to Thomas at first, but then one day she was reading a magazine and saw an article about women making dresses for missionaries to give to young girls in need.
“That just really clicked with me, and I shared it. Of course, all the women of the church just loved my mom, and they wanted to help me with this project,” Thomas said.
They started having sewing days at the church, and before she knew it, they were turning out dozens of dresses. She lost count somewhere around the 400 mark.
And at about the same time, she also got involved in something else — getting a Christian Women’s Job Corps chapter called Anchor Ministries started in Blount County. At Anchor, women could learn skills for jobs, parenting and life.
“I just wanted to be part of the everyday workings of it,” Thomas said. “But I didn’t feel like I was qualified to [lead] anything like that.”
At this point she was very qualified to start a sewing program.
“Finally one day the Lord impressed on me, ‘Yes, you can. You can do something. Use your mama’s fabric,’” Thomas said.
‘It’s been a blessing’
Since then, the women of Anchor Ministries have made quilts for Sav-A-Life and for hospice care, and they have made dresses for missions.
As Thomas and other volunteers and staff have walked through life alongside the women of Anchor Ministries, they’ve seen some of the women go on to get their GED and have their children returned to them from foster care.
It’s been a blessing, Thomas said. And it all started with a room full of fabric and a magazine article.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Myra Thomas’ story is what the staff of The Alabama Baptist always hopes as we publish your stories — that other people will read them and feel inspired to replicate or adapt ministries in their own context. If you have a story to share of how someone else’s story has inspired you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.