THERE ONCE STOOD A HOUSE ON SHERWOOD DRIVE. IT WAS A MODEST HOUSE, BUT IT fostered the great legacy of faith i have inherited.

It was home first to my great grandfather. A full-bird colonel in the U.S. Army, he fought in pretty much every war America fought since WWI, and is now buried in Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, VA. He was also successful in the real estate business in Knoxville, owning a home in Sequoyah Hills in the 1920's, and a few years later, selling that one and building another just down the street.

My grandmother, Nona, was his only daughter. His loving wife, Anna Louise, passed away at just 49 years old. Nona was 21 years old when she lost her mother.

Nona grew up with great compassion for others, and felt called to move away from her comfortable, privileged life in the U.S. and move to Spain as a missionary after finishing Bible college.

My grandmother and grandfather who were missionaries to Spain, are pictured here visiting in my great-grandfather's house.

My grandmother and grandfather who were missionaries to Spain, are pictured here visiting in my great-grandfather's house.

Her romance story is unconventional, because she actually ended her courtship with a man she loved very much to follow God's call on her life to Spain. After a few years there, a Spanish seminary student named Paco began to pursue her. All too soon, Nona got very sick and returned to the U.S. to receive care. The two wrote back and forth for a few months as she recovered, and to her great surprise, the last letter he wrote informed her that he would be coming to the U.S. himself and intended to marry her! She prayerfully accepted his proposal, feeling this was God's will for her life, and soon they were back in Spain, working together on the mission field. They raised six children (my own father their first son), and started a church out of their tiny home in a rural town near the coast. For years, they continued to build onto the house, and now it is called "Rio Vida," a retreat and conference center with Torchbearers International.

Occasionally, the family would make it back to Tennessee to visit their "granddaddy" at his home on Sherwood Drive. And as the children grew, they began leaving their home in Spain and migrating back to Tennessee, to live with him.

The house on Sherwood Drive was a haven for my aunts and uncles. They completed high school, married, and brought their new families here. It was the setting for many of the stories that have shaped my life. Like the time my father interrupted family supper to run laps around the back yard, proclaiming his love for his soon-to-be bride, my mother. Or the time my aunt caught her hair on fire while trying to cook dinner. These moments were captured and shared through stories, allowing them to echo through time.

Nona surrounded by her children standing in front of their Sherwood home. Left to right: John, Joe, Paul, Nona, Ruth, Mary, Anna

Nona surrounded by her children standing in front of their Sherwood home. Left to right: John, Joe, Paul, Nona, Ruth, Mary, Anna

This home became my grandparents' home when they retired from their work in Spain, and the stories continued, adding grandchildren to the number. 

The house was sold and demolished when I was 8 years old, but its legacy resonates in my heart. The joys, sorrows, laughter, and accomplishments have passed down to the next generation.

Nona surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (Nov 2016).

Nona surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (Nov 2016).

I believe that the ability to capture and retell stories is powerful in life and in business. They remind us where we have been, and they light the way toward our future.

Nona, standing at the historic Westmoreland waterwheel on Sherwood Drive (Dec. 2016).

Nona, standing at the historic Westmoreland waterwheel on Sherwood Drive (Dec. 2016).

Stories happen every day, all around us. But they will fade into forgotten history if they are not captured and shared. That is why Sherwood Media is passionate about capturing these stories of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. Sherwood Media is able to capture and retell your stories in a way that will impact individuals, communities, and cultures, leaving a legacy for generations to come.