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We Will Never Forget Him

Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward.

My son, Shannon Childress, would have celebrated his birthday on April 6. Little did we know we would have to give him back to God so sooner than we would have expected. He will be gone from us six years on May 16th and we will never forget him. He said a few months before he left us that he didn’t want us to forget him, as if we ever could. How could a mother, daddy or family forget someone so dear, so much a part of them and their lives?

I remember so many of the things he would say and do with his sisters. They would play church with one preaching, one praying and the other leading the music. When he graduated from kindergarten, his teachers knew he sang with his family, so they gave him a solo. He came home fussing about the song they selected for him. “They know I sing gospel music and they gave me a silly song called ‘Found A Peanut’,” he said in frustration. I still have his picture standing on the stage singing that song-“Found A Peanut.” We will never forget him.

When he was just a few weeks old, he contacted a staph infection and was in and out of the hospital for several weeks. God almost took him then, but allowed him to stay so we could love and appreciate him even more. We will never forget him.

He was never very good at sports but tried softball for the church league. He would come home with bumps, bruises and the leg ache, but he gave it his all. He worked at a radio station which was owned by our church in his early teen years and had such a great speaking voice. During high school, he played piano for the chapel programs at the Christian school where he attended. So much of all of his limited years was spent doing things around, for and in the church. We will never forget him.

I remember a few years after he was saved, he said to me that he thought the Lord was calling him to preach. He was at such a young, tender age that he would have gone anywhere for the Lord and that is why God says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” God can mold them into great instruments for Him, and I believe with all my heart our son and brother was a great instrument for the Lord. We will never forget him.

When he left home at barely twenty years old to join The Hoppers, he was so missed by all of us but he was also one homesick boy. He endured, however, and made his mark in gospel music, not only by playing the piano but in writing and producing. He was admired by many other musicians and writers and I know God was pleased. We will never forget him.

After eleven years in North Carolina, he moved to Nashville to work at a law firm and to continue serving the Lord by playing at church as well as writing and producing music for others. While in Nashville, our granddaughter Courtney began her college life there, and he was there for her to help her when in need or just to meet for lunch. He even went dumpster diving for her on one occasion to help her find her lost cell phone. He had a special love for his family and for others. We will never forget him.

When I think of our son and also our two daughters, I am reminded of women who are struggling with the decision of aborting their child, and I think of all the blessings you will miss if your decision is to end a life. That life could be the one to find the cure for a terrible disease that is plaguing society; they could be a great preacher, statesman or politician; perhaps they would bring joy and laughter to thousands of people whose heart is breaking or maybe they would just be your precious son or daughter—that would be enough.

There is so much I could write about our son and brother, but at this time of year we reflect upon our wonderful memories surrounding our Shannon and how much he is missed. We will never forget him!!!

No, No, No, a thousand times NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Father, thank you for the blessing of children, my children. Please tell my Shannon “Happy Birthday” and that we will never forget him.

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Ken and Marlene Childress began singing with their children, Teresa, Carla and Shannon, almost 40 years ago. Ken had been singing with a quartet called The Golden Keys. But when he and Marlene discovered that their children were blessed with the ability to sing harmony and play instruments at a young age, they decided to form The Childress Family. Teresa played the piano and a short time later, Carla picked up the bass guitar and began to play. Their son, Shannon, was a high tenor singer until about age 13, when his voice went to the other end of the spectrum and he sang low bass. Marlene has been blessed with the ability to write some wonderful songs that have been recorded by numerous artists in the gospel music industry.

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