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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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A. P.

I have had a few people over the years to ask me what the A.P. stood for in A.P. Conger's name. Upon learning of his death on Thursday, I began thinking of this question and the many different things I could tell people what A.P. stands for:

    Alert Person — That might sound a little strange considering he had Alzheimer's. But, he lived most of his life without that dreaded disease and even as he endured it, he was more alert than most. Whenever he was asked a question or faced with a decision, he always took a moment to think about his response. He was alert to what was going on and what the consequences would be concerning his response.

    Always Present — And I am not just talking about for worship services. When anything, and I mean anything, was going on at church you could count on Mr. A.P. and Mrs. Otha Dell to be there. He attended a teachers meeting a few years back as he neared the end of his position as elder and at the time he wasn't teaching. I asked him did he want to teach a class and he said, "No, I'm just here to support the ones who do!" That's just what he did!

    Active Prayer — Even as the Alzheimer's gripped his life, one thing he didn't forget...how to pray! I'm not sure I have ever met a man who believes more in prayer than A.P. Conger. As Katherine was preparing for surgery for her brain tumor in 1995, A.P. told Hilton that he might want to ask the doctors to do another MRI. His reasoning was that a lot of people had been praying for her and he was convinced that it had made a difference.

    Adoring Pa — He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and they loved him. He was always a very kind and loving man toward those he loved and it seemed that he literally loved everyone, but he had a special place in his heart and life for those who called him "Pa."

    Affectionate Partner — No matter how hard you try you just can't talk about Mr. A.P. without talking about Mrs. Otha Dell. They were like a couple of teenage kids in love, even after being married for nearly 61 years. They were always holding hands ...always! In fact, I thought one of them was handicapped for a long time, I just couldn't figure out which one. May the touch of his hand always rest upon you, Mrs. Otha Dell.

Alvin Parker Conger, We will miss you!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward