My Longest Trip

In the earlier days of leading tour groups the trip extended to 21 days. This was allowed by the airlines. We would depart from the New York and fly to Rome. From there we would visit Greece, Egypt, Lebanon with a land trip to Damascus, Jordan, Israel, and a stop in one of the European capitals.

In those days most folks reasoned this way: It cost a lot to fly to the Bible lands and we want to see it all. And they get a good taste. It was far more than the six to nine days to one country we find so common now.

But I really want to tell you about my longest trip. It was made with only one person, my wife Elizabeth. She and I did make some trips alone to Israel, Greece, and Egypt, but I am speaking of a different kind of trip. It lasted almost 67 years. In order to do this I will simply present a variation of the obituary I wrote and read yesterday at her burial service.

Elizabeth Ann Williams Jenkins. Photo made January 3, 2014. Elizabeth had already begun to show many of the progressive signs of dementia. In this photo she looks much like many will remember her. We had taken our grandson to the ICE show at the Gaylord Hotel in Kissimmee, FL. I remember telling Drew that this might be the last that we would be able to make. I mentioned this to him at the burial and he reminded me that he would go with him to help her get on the right elevator, go to the right floor, and find the right room.
Elizabeth Ann Williams Jenkins
Born in Scottsville, KY, March 5, 1934
Deceased Temple Terrace, FL, October 11, 2021

Elizabeth Ann Williams Jenkins, 87, Temple Terrace, FL passed away October 11, 2021 after a nine-year struggle with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.She was born and grew up in the small town of Scottsville, KY, March 5, 1934. She spent four years in Florida in the mid-1950s where she worked at assorted jobs and then in the business office at Florida College. She was able to take courses during that time until 1957 when her husband graduated. She returned to Temple Terrace in December, 1968 with her husband and children. She and her husband considered this location their home.

In the early years of this journey she worked as an accountant and a secretary helping put her husband through college. Her formal education: Florida College AA, University of South Florida BA, MA with honors. She has taken courses almost everywhere we lived. She served as a business education professor at Florida College, Temple Terrace, FL, for 27 years. In the early days she taught typing, business machines, business letters and shorthand (including legal and medical). Often I would see her writing shorthand with her finger on her leg or most any surface. Sometimes I would hear her writing on the sheet at night. By the time she completed her career she was teaching keyboarding and computer applications.

Elizabeth was a member of the Church of Christ, working beside her husband Ferrell in his work as a college teacher, minister, and tour organizer.

We married December 16, 1954 at historic Sutton Hall on the campus of Florida College. I haven’t told you my age but I am nearly two years younger than Elizabeth. A popular song was “They try to tell us we’re too young…”. I don’t recall many people doing that but I must remind our younger generation of today that we think of ourselves at that age as more mature than we observe today.

Two sons, Ferrell Jr. and Stanley, were born to this union while we lived in St. Louis, MO, and that certainly added to the responsibilities and the excitement of this trip.

Our trip included stays of varying length in Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio before returning to Florida in 1968.

Elizabeth was preceded in death by her father Karl W. Williams, her mother Bertha Bandy Williams, four brothers and two sisters. She is survived by her husband, Wm. Ferrell Jenkins, two sons, Wm. Ferrell Jr. and Stanley, daughter-in-law Terri, one grandson, Andrew, and one sister, Linda Rutledge, and many nieces and nephews.

After fifty years of organizing 84 tours I led my last tour group in 2016. But I will never lead another tour like this one with Elizabeth. We may have had a disappointment or two on our journey but by and far it was the most exciting and profitable tour I ever had a part in.

Sometimes younger people ask how we could have stayed married this long. I always told them that there were three in our marriage – Ferrell, Elizabeth and God. This morning I took the wording for our burial plaque to the cemetery. The young lady who was helping me told me that I could add a symbol in addition to the wording. I choose an open Bible and explained this to her. We believe the Bible is the Word of God and we sought to follow His word in our marriage.

In addition to our graveside service, we are planning a memorial service for Saturday, October 30th at the Temple Terrace Church of Christ, 8001 Temple Terrace Hwy., Temple Terrace, FL 33637. Visitation will be at 10:30 AM with a short time of worship and remembrance at 11:00 AM. We invite our friends who have been influenced by Elizabeth’s life to join us.

26 responses to “My Longest Trip

  1. Robert S. Saunders

    Bro. Ferrell,
    I’m saddened by Sister Elizabeth’s departure, yet rejoice in her reward as a faithful child of God. I remember her smiling face as I went through the admin building both while in school at F.C. and since while there for the lectures. Your instruction in my classes have benefitted me greatly as I prepare lessons as an evangelist to “to teach other faithful men, that they may teach others also”. Our paths have passed several times through the years, and I believe the last time was in Columbia, Mo. at your meeting. She will be missed around the campus as many of us return for visits to the school. Prayers that you and your family are comforted knowing the promise to those faithful, especially in times of sorrow and grief.
    May God’s blessings continue,
    Robert Steven Saunders

  2. May Elizabeth rest in peace and may her memory be eternal.

  3. Ferrell and family – may God grant love and comfort! Knowing we never die in the Lord has given me amazing comfort! So thankful for our hope in Jesus! Love in Christ, Ron Drumm

  4. So very sad, Ferrell, to learn of Elizabeth’s passing. I count it a blessing to have known both of you when we were students at FCC, and to have been with you on a few occasions since then. You’ve had a wonderful and full life with Elizabeth that will bring so many pleasant memories. I know your heart aches with sorrow and loneliness, but still filled with hope and joy for her faithfulness to you and the godly life she lived. Joan and I are in the sixty-fifth year of our journey together, and, hopefully, will have a few more. For the last three or four years she, too, has been a victim of dementia that seems to take away a little bit of her from me each day, but we are still able to enjoy our life together and appreciate the time we have. I will continue to care for her so long as I am physically capable, and, hopefully, when our lives are ended we can be together again where there will be no pain nor sorrow. Thank you so much for sharing “your journey with Elizabeth” with us, and may you be comforted by the sympathy thoughts of so many of us who have known and loved you.

  5. I’m sorry for your loss, Ferrell. 67 years is quite a span of time to suddenly be without the love of your life. Praying for peaceful moments and precious memories for you.

    God Bless,

    Barbara Rooks
    Administrative Assistant to Kevin Richmond
    Praise & Worship Pastor
    First Redeemer Music Ministry
    2100 Peachtree Parkway
    Cumming, GA 30041
    678-513-9417

  6. Danny McKibben

    May the Lord grant comfort and peace, our condolences to you and all you family. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Rev.14:13.
    Danny & Kathy McKibben

  7. Steve Wolfgang

    Bette and I are sorry to hear of Elizabeth’s passing, but thankful that you shared the trip with her, and for your account of your longest trip. She was an encouragement to this young preacher when I was preparing, under your careful direction, and preached my first sermon while still a teenager at Emerson Avenue, and at other times since. You and Elizabeth were my parents’ favorite “preacher coupIe,” and we could not think of one without the other. I am grateful for all she, and you, have done to help so many!
    “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” — 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV

  8. Dear Brother Ferrell:

    I was saddened to read this news. Please know that the hospitality rendered to my Family and I has never been forgotten. Your lovely Elizabeth was a kind, gracious hostess. And you Sir, as my teacher, let’s just say the tentacles of your wisdom have reached far and wide. And as you impacted my mind, heart and spirit so have your writings done the same too many in an infinite number of countries. To this day. I have seen to that. May your Sister and Bride be at the right hand of the LORD we serve. May your heart be at peace and joy in the greater of all of the mysteries of GOD….being one with your bride in HIM. Grace & Peace, MarkM.

    >

  9. Carlin Hamilton

    Thanks for sharing this Bro. Jenkins. I’m so sorry for your loss but joyful that your sweet wife has gained her reward. Prayers for comfort.

    On Sat, Oct 16, 2021, 9:19 PM Ferrell’s Travel Blog wrote:

    > ferrelljenkins posted: ” In the earlier days of leading tour groups the > trip extended to 21 days. This was allowed by the airlines. We would depart > from the New York and fly to Rome. From there we would visit Greece, Egypt, > Lebanon with a land trip to Damascus, Jordan, Israel, a” >

  10. Karen Dewhirst

    Dear Ferrell please accepted our deepest sympathy at the passing of your Elizabeth. She was a good and godly woman who will be missed by many. Please know you will be in our prayers, and we rejoice knowing that we will all be together with our Heavenly Father one day. May God’s peace rest in your heart. With our love, *Steve and Karen Dewhirst* *”See what great love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God; and such WE ARE!”* *I John 3:1*

    On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 9:19 PM Ferrell’s Travel Blog wrote:

    > ferrelljenkins posted: ” In the earlier days of leading tour groups the > trip extended to 21 days. This was allowed by the airlines. We would depart > from the New York and fly to Rome. From there we would visit Greece, Egypt, > Lebanon with a land trip to Damascus, Jordan, Israel, a” >

  11. A beautifully written tribute. It expresses so well who she was, and the long productive trip you have had together in the service of Jehovah God. Ralph and I are sharing in some of the issues of your last years together, and know you and Elizabeth have gone before us and set an example for others, as has always been true.

  12. michelle hartline

    I am so sorry Ferrell for the loss of your wife! I will pray for the both of you!

    Michelle

  13. Ferrell,

    Please accept my condolences for your loss. I think your travels together haven’t ended. She has simply gone on ahead to blaze the path to the biggest and best part of your trip together.

    I pray that the LORD fills you with peace and eager anticipation of continuing on with her.

    Thanks for providing the insights that benefit your readers. I hope you keep doing that.

    Peace,

    Fred A fan.

    Get Outlook for iOS ________________________________

  14. Ed & Alyce Sanderson

    Brother Ferrell,   Thanks so much for this short obituary and for all your lovingkindness.   I have long admired and valued all the work th

  15. Sorry to learn of sister Jenkins’s death. May God grant you and your family comfort and strength. Wayne Walker

  16. I’m so glad I knew you and Miss Elizabeth. I enjoyed her on our tours. I know you will miss her from now on but as Daddy told us she’s waiting for me in heaven. I’m so very sorry you have lost your love but you will be United again.

    On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 9:20 PM Ferrell’s Travel Blog wrote:

    > ferrelljenkins posted: ” In the earlier days of leading tour groups the > trip extended to 21 days. This was allowed by the airlines. We would depart > from the New York and fly to Rome. From there we would visit Greece, Egypt, > Lebanon with a land trip to Damascus, Jordan, Israel, a” >

  17. Sending our love to you Ferrell. Your wife has entered into great peace now and the testimony of your love will stand forever.

    May god’s messages and signal through israel, history and the creation continue to bless you and hold you in his arms

    On Sun, 17 Oct 2021, 03:20 Ferrell’s Travel Blog, wrote:

    > ferrelljenkins posted: ” In the earlier days of leading tour groups the > trip extended to 21 days. This was allowed by the airlines. We would depart > from the New York and fly to Rome. From there we would visit Greece, Egypt, > Lebanon with a land trip to Damascus, Jordan, Israel, a” >

  18. Thank you for writing this at such a time. May the peace of God be so evident as you navigate the waters of trauma in the days ahead.

  19. I am so sad to hear of your dear wife’s passing. What a beautiful tribute to a remarkable lady!

    Scott Ashley

    >

  20. Michael Grisanti

    Brother,

    May God be your daily strength as you pursue His glory without your dear life partner.

    MICHAEL A. GRISANTI, Ph.D.
    Chair of Old Testament Department, Director of TMS Israel Study Trip
    Distinguished Research Professor of Old Testament
    The Master’s Seminary
    13248 Roscoe Blvd., Sun Valley, CA 91352
    O: 818.909.5649 | F: 818.909.5725 | H: 661.263.1718 | mgrisanti@tms.edu

    “And Jonah stalked to his shaded seat and waited for God to come around to his way of thinking. And God is still waiting for a host of Jonahs in their comfortable houses to come around to His way of loving.”
    Quoted from J. Verkuyl, “The Biblical Foundation of the Worldwide Mission Mandate,” in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, p. 44

    [cid:image001.jpg@01D7C2CC.1C89AA60]

  21. Please accept my condolences at the passing of your wife. Quite a journey together that the two of you had. You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.

  22. Please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss. May God richly bless you.

    On Sat, Oct 16, 2021, 9:19 PM Ferrell’s Travel Blog wrote:

    > ferrelljenkins posted: ” In the earlier days of leading tour groups the > trip extended to 21 days. This was allowed by the airlines. We would depart > from the New York and fly to Rome. From there we would visit Greece, Egypt, > Lebanon with a land trip to Damascus, Jordan, Israel, a” >

  23. My wife [ Pat Moss Cook] and I have followed your career with interest since your were at West End in BG when Ferrell Jr. was a child. We have appreciated your dedication to the gospel. I am especially touched by what you have written here. My wife had a stroke about 2 years causing dementia and she also has early Alzheimer’s. I share the joy of a long life with a wonderful godly women.

  24. jmichaelbenson@aol.com

    Ferrell I had not heard of Elizabeth’s passing, but I am so glad to receive this news from your email. I am sorry for her loss and especially under the health conditions of her recent years. I can also say that I rejoice at her being released from the earthly bindings of this horrible disease and I’m sure she is in a far better place, praising our Father along side many who have gone on before. I’m sure she and Connie are happy beyond measure to be together again, immortally arrayed.  I took Old Testament History and Geography at FC under your instruction (maybe one of the first you taught). I enjoyed the good teaching from the Word and the additions you brought to the class, like, “here is a good sermon from this bit of history.”  A year later I was teaching business courses (temporarily) at FC and was blessed to have Elizabeth in some of my classes. I was so impressed with her work ethic and ability. We became friends and she would later teach my children at FC.  Over the years Connie and I would gravitate to Elizabeth at many college and social activities and share many good times and laughs. Again, I’m sorry for your loss after so many years as one.  May God bless you with reassurance and comfort and hope for reunion. Mike Benson Sr.

    Sent from the all new AOL app for Android

  25. Jeannine Huffman

    …thank you Ferrell ❤️

    >

  26. I just finished reading your post. I’ve thought so much about you and sister Jenkins since her death. You did make one typo that you will want to correct in terms of the last year that you led a tour which should read 2016 and not 1916.

    On a personal note I tested positive for covid on Tuesday. I received the infusion yesterday and I’m feeling better.

    More later. I’ll say good night. Sending our love and prayers.

    Leon

    On Sat, Oct 16, 2021, 9:19 PM Ferrell’s Travel Blog wrote:

    > ferrelljenkins posted: ” In the earlier days of leading tour groups the > trip extended to 21 days. This was allowed by the airlines. We would depart > from the New York and fly to Rome. From there we would visit Greece, Egypt, > Lebanon with a land trip to Damascus, Jordan, Israel, a” >

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