Gene and Lou (Blakeney) Sullivan married in 1957 and to the union 4 children were added: Ken (who serves as a deacon at Mabelvale), C.Y., Danny, and Natalie. They also have 3 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law, and 11 grandchildren. One of Gene’s greatest joys is watching the “grands” in their school activities, and he enjoys fishing, reading, and writing. Also, on many Sundays, Gene can observe son and grandsons serving in the worship. What a joy that must be!
They placed membership at Mabelvale in August 1962, and he has served as an elder since June 1979. Gene has used his CPA skills and assisted in the area of finance for the current as well as the future needs of Mabelvale. He stated that as “as elders, we all work for the spiritual strength of Mabelvale.”
Reflecting on the early years at Mabelvale, he said, “We had dinner on the ground behind the preacher’s house. These were great times for all. I am thrilled watching our young people grow from babies into mature Christians. I remember A.R. Lamb, a former elder, leading Amazing Grace when he was 90 plus years of age. As a young Christian and later an elder, the mentoring that I received from Johnny Boyd and Billy Morris will always be remembered and appreciated.” Gene also stated that in spite of “trends in the brotherhood,” he believes we have stayed true to the scriptures. We have remained steady, and we have always followed 1 Peter 2:2 in “desiring the sincere milk of the word that we may grow thereby.”
The Mabelvale congregation is very fortunate to have a Christian man like Gene who embodies the spirit of Christ in his daily walk. His marriage of 64 years, his “full quiver,” and the respect he has from the members at Mabelvale exemplify that godly walk. Gene’s goal for Mabelvale will always be that she is known as a Bible-teaching congregation and that she strives to grow not only in numbers but especially in spirituality.