Library Bench Dedication

Library Bench Dedication

The Sue Martin McCabe Library Committee honors our Church Librarian, Dottie Lewis with a brand-new bench for seating near our “Little Free Library” October 19, 2021

To honor the dedication of our Church Librarian, the FBC Library Committee donated funding to install an outdoor bench near our new “Little Free Library.” The new bench serves as a place of reflection, reading, and relaxation for our community, and it comes with a plaque honoring the long dedication of Dottie Lewis as our Church Librarian.

Our Pastor Libby Grammer and Library Committee member Judy Epperly both spoke at the dedication event, with the Library Committee, the local paper, the installer of the bench (Will Gravely), and other local library staff present. Below find photos of the event (thanks to Rick Dawson Photography & Kaylee White for photos!), along with a script of the dedication.

Photo Gallery – Click to enlarge images

Library Bench Dedication Event

Rev. Dr. Libby Grammer -Opening Words

Today we gather in this beautiful space to honor our friend and Church Librarian, Dottie Lewis, for her commitment to and love of our Church Library.

I’m grateful today for our dedicated Library Committee, a group who takes seriously a love of learning and reading, and who have created this space for that purpose, as an outreach to our community.

Ladies, for your work getting the Little Library set up – including those men you called upon in our church family to install it, to your generosity in providing this bench upon which our neighbors can sit to read these books provided, First Baptist Church is grateful to you.

And without the labor of love from Will Gravely, this space would not exist. Will – you and your untold hours of clearing and setting and creating, and your generous gift of your time, are an inspiration to us and to this community. Thank you for your service to God, to this project, and to our friend Dottie Lewis.

Judy Epperly – Words of Dedication

A few months ago, the FBC Library Committee installed a “Little Free Library” along Mulberry Road and invited our community to take books, keep, return, or donate. We are grateful to church members Jerry & Martha Perdue and John Collins for installing the Little Free Library.

As the committee talked about the new area for reading, they began to say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bench nearby where people could sit to read or just to rest and enjoy the peaceful view of the grassy lot and trees?” The committee then reached out to our Methodist friend Will Gravely, who showed us options and offered to install the bench in the space we showed him. Will then began to say, “You need to prune these trees, you need do this, and this, you need a platform to anchor the bench.” As the list grew, our eyes widened, and we said, “we need to think about cost.” Without blinking, Will replied, “No cost. It is a gift to God”. That very afternoon, Will was seen pruning.

Will worked tirelessly. In the process, he rediscovered stepping stones from the original home that stood on the property. He rescued and installed these stones as a new pathway for the bench. At every turn when we needed something done, measuring and digging space for the bench platform with room for resting your feet, finding someone to pour concrete, installing the bench, filling in around the platform, mulching, whatever needed, Will always said I can take care of that, and he did. Again, a gift to God! He was often seen working here and texting Martha and me that such and such had been completed. He even stored the bench in his garage for a couple of months while preparation was being made.

Our Library Committee wanted to honor Dottie Lewis. Dottie grew up on the “Cradle Roll” at FBC, was married in FBC, teaches Sunday School and volunteers as our Church Librarian. And she brings professionalism to her position, as she is a professional librarian. She has created the best church library in the region. Even during multiple major surgeries and health issues of last several years, she has kept working daily on the library, including creating an online database of our collections, planning events and leading committee meetings.

On the day the committee discussed the bench (while Dottie was busy in the children ‘s library), the library committee members, on the spot, personally committed the cost of the bench to honor her.

So today, we dedicate this bench and offer it to First Baptist Church in honor of Dottie Lewis, presenting this plaque for the bench that reads:

“This bench is given to the Glory of God
And in Honor of Dottie Lewis
So many books, so little time”

Dottie, we love you, we appreciate you!

Libby Grammer – Prayer of Dedication

God of All Knowledge,
today we dedicate this space to your glory
and in honor of your servant, Dottie Lewis.

You are the giver of wisdom and the inspiration for our stories.

We give you thanks for the many works of
literary genius that make up our libraries,
for the countless hours spent writing and editing these works.

And we especially give you thanks for those who have made
these works accessible to us through their own research and expertise.

God, for all Dottie has given to First Baptist Church’s library as Church Librarian,
for all she gives to the continued work of sharing knowledge and stories,
we are grateful.

And for all the hard work that has gone in to creating this space,
for Will Gravely and his tireless dedication to the creation of reflective and pleasing ambiance,
we are grateful.

Bless now this beautiful seat,
Bless all those who will sit upon it
To read, to rest, to pray.

And give this space your Holy Spirit’s power
to reach the hurting and the lost with your welcome and love.

We ask this all in Jesus’s name, Amen.

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