Sis. Patt Humphreys
She would tell you that she is not the typical preacher’s wife. She fishes, hunts, picks strawberries, hauls wood, and shoots a muzzleloader. But nevertheless, she is a powerful woman of God. Sis. Patt Humphreys was born and raised in Nimrod, Arkansas. When she was born at her grandparents’ house, it was believed that the mother should stay in bed for a certain period of time. When she was eight days old, her mother was lying in bed when the house caught on fire. Her mother began to get up, only to be stopped by her grandfather who said that he would put the fire out and she shouldn’t move (The fire was put out, and all was well.) Patt met the love of her life, Rick, on the school bus. They have been married for almost 50 years. They have three children, Sarah, Sheryl, and Shelia. Sis. Patt was not raised in a Christian home but began to go to Hollis Jesus Name during their marriage without Rick. At that point she went to church off head knowledge, but she said, “If you stay by the fire, you’re gonna get warm.” Eventually she did, and after her husband’s scare with a brain aneurysm, he did too. They now pastor the Hollis Jesus Name Church.
What is a piece of advice that has affected your life?
Sis. Bernice Davis told me that as a pastor’s wife especially (but really for any Christian) it is very important to be able to keep a confidence. By that I mean be someone who people can trust. If someone tells me they need to talk to me about something, I usually say, “Is this between me and you, or do you want me to tell my husband?” If someone were to tell me something and they asked me to keep it just between us and the Lord, I will not talk to anyone about it except Jesus. Sis Bernice used to tell me that I would need to ‘do a lot of pondering in my heart’ (Luke 2:19) over the years. I will keep a confidence till Jesus comes because I think it’s super important that people are able to trust me when sharing their hearts.
Rick asked for my hand in marriage the old-fashioned way by asking my dad. My dad sat us both down after the engagement and had a talk with us. My dad was not a Christian, mind you. He told us that my mother and he had been married for 19 years and they had never had but one fight. My mouth dropped because I knew of more than one fight that occurred over the years. My dad grinned and said, “It’s lasted 19 years.” He followed that up by saying this: anything worth having is worth fighting for.
What is a great piece of advice you were given as a mother?
As a mother, you know your baby better than anyone else; therefore, you should follow your maternal instincts. Whether that means taking them to the doctor, checking up on them, or making sure they are really okay.
Is there a boundary in your life that is non-negotiable?
I will not knowingly lie for anyone! Back when our girls were home in high school, they had senior skip day. The rule was if a parent called the school, the kids wouldn’t be counted absent. Most parents would call and say their child was sick. I told my girls I would call the school, but I refused to lie and say they were sick. I just told them the girls wouldn’t be at school that day!
What scripture have you stood on in your life or has meant the most to you?
This is a hard one because I have so many favorites. James 1:8 is one of my favorites. I believe you must have a completely made up mind to follow the Lord. You can’t be wishy-washy about it, simple as that. Of course, John 3:16, because His love opened the door of salvation.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Where do you pray? What are your study habits?
I pray everywhere. In the shower, while driving, when I wake up in the night, when I’m cooking or doing dishes, or when I’m doing my housework. My study habits aren’t as strict as others, but I read every morning before I start my day. I might get on a topic and follow it through for days. Sometimes I just get a ‘quickening’ while a minister is preaching and can’t wait to get started researching that topic. I have a good Bible study program on my computer and I even pick my husband’s brain on occasion!
What do you think makes a strong woman, and is there a woman who embodies that quality to you?
Strong women are made strong by simply living a godly life in an ungodly world. Life itself makes you strong if you are determined to live for Him. The outside forces are always against us being totally sold out. There will always be trials to go through. It’s imperative that we not allow ourselves to stay in the middle of a trail but to go and grow through it. Each trial builds your spiritual muscles, if you will. None of us want trials, but in the long run, we’re made strong by going through them. Sis. Fay Randall is a strong woman! I’ve watched her life for many years and have spent hours in her home. Her husband literally accused her of losing her mind when she got the Holy Ghost! He asked the neighbors to watch over the kids and her while he was at work because he was so worried! She never had money, she had very little education, she didn’t drive, but she raised her children in church until they were big enough to answer for themselves. She always kept the faith! She’s a one of a kind woman; I love and admire her so much! She was ‘given to hospitality’ when we were a young couple attending the Plainview church, even though she never had much. She has always had love and Jesus and was never ashamed to share!
Do you make free time for yourself? If you have free time what do you do?
Yes, I do make free time for myself. I love to read (I even read mysteries). I LOVE to spend time with my grandkids. Anything I can do with them is fun to me and refreshes me even if it wears me slam out. I’ve been told not to do anymore zip lining or jumping on a trampoline, but there are still lots of things I can do with them. A few years ago, I zip lined across the Royal Gorge in Colorado with our oldest grandson. One time, I even got out of bed at 3 am to whisper with 3 of my 4 granddaughters till their mom and dad got up to go to work. I love any time I get to spend with them, whether it is jumping on the trampoline or playing basketball.
Besides Christianity and marriage, what was the best decision you ever made?
Definitely the decision to have children. I love being a mom and grandmother. It was important to me to be the kind of mom who my kids knew they could talk to about anything. I would get up and talk with them when they got home from a date. Midnight was always their curfew, and I got up lots of nights to listen to them talk about whatever. Many thought this was crazy, but it made us close.
Was there a season in your life that contributed to your strength?
My husband had a brain aneurysm when he was in his early 30’s. We had just bought land, built a house, and had three small children. We knew two people who had had aneurysms— one died on the spot and the other was in a nursing home living as a vegetable. It was a very rough time for me. We weren’t in church at the time, although I had told my husband that I was going whether he did or not. He was never opposed to me and the kids going, he just wasn’t ready to commit himself. The possibility of living the rest of my life without him was a very hard thing for me. But I just continued to put my fledgling faith in God. Eventually, Rick gave his heart to God, and we’ve never looked back. We’ve had financial issues, family issues, work issues, BUT GOD! Through it all, GOD! Another season of my life that I had the most growth was when we moved to south Arkansas due to my husband’s work. I didn’t know a soul there, and I had to learn to depend on God like never before. I was a country girl and loved it, but our lives changed so much. Magnolia & El Dorado aren’t big towns—-until you compare them to Nimrod & Hollis. It was definitely a growing season for a few years!
Strong women are necessary. Greatly used by God. Maybe even stronger than strong men, though most men wouldn’t like to hear that! “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” A strong woman wields more power than some kings and presidents.
One thing that I have always told people about why I love my church and church association is they are basically an extension of my family. Bro. Rick and Sis. Patt have been like family to me for as long as I’ve known them. They are pretty good to always send me a birthday card with money that matches my age, and I really appreciate it. Sis. Patt is one of the sweetest people I know. She is so genuine and encouraging. She married one of the hardest working men there is. Bro. Rick is a true prayer warrior and is full of faith, but it wasn’t always like that. She mentioned in her interview that she took the children to church without him. I consider Bro. Rick to be a spiritually strong man in my life, and I know others do too. He is the pastor of a church and led our church association as chairman for quite some time. His life and ministry have no doubt affected hundreds. But let me make one thing clear, he owes that all to a strong woman. A strong woman who got up every Sunday and took his kids to church. A strong woman who never stopped praying for him. A strong woman who kept the faith. If you are the wife who is worn out because you are the only one in your marriage serving God, don’t give up. If you are the mom who takes the kids to church every Sunday without your husband, don’t give up. You are not running in vain. Your prayers have not gone unheard and your giving has not gone unnoticed (Acts 10:31.) Sis. Patt said it best, “Life makes you strong when you are determined to live for him.” So be determined to live for him, regardless of your situation. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. God is going to turn your trial into a testimony. One day your husband or kids will say, “I owe it all to a strong woman who kept the faith.”