Four generations in one church rare

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Perhaps there are four-generation families in many churches. However, the number is small enough that they are far from commonplace.

For Joyce Dix, having her daughter and her granddaughter join her and her mom as members of First Baptist Church Troy was a special and most memorable moment.

Dix's mom, Mary Poynter, moved from Kentucky to Troy two years ago. She placed her membership at First Baptist Church about a year ago.

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Having her mother in church with her again was a wonderful, comforting experience for Dix.

"I grew up in Kentucky and attended a little country Methodist church," Dix said. "We went to Sunday school and church on Sunday morning and church and MYF on Sunday night and prayer meeting on Wednesday night. My mother taught Sunday school and both of my parents were leaders of the MYF. We spent a lot of time at church."

Dix said her parents would do anything that needed to be done at the church.

"They loved the church and they loved the people," Dix said.

Whether the seed of her love of gospel music was planted in the small Methodist church, Dix is not sure.

One thing she is sure of is that she didn't learn to sing in her "old Kentucky home."

"I went back to that church many years later and sang and a friend said she couldn't believe it was me," Dix said, laughing. "She said when I was growing up I was a terrible singer."

Dix said she probably inherited her love of music from her mother's father who played guitar and harmonica – at the same time.

Actually, Dix said she didn't sing a lot publicly until she moved to Troy.

Dix is a popular soloist among those who follow gospel music and she also sings in the church choir. Both her daughter, Angie Johnson, and granddaughter, Leighanne Johnson, sing.

And it was Leighanne's debut at First Baptist Church that set the stage for the four generations to share a very special time together.

"Leighanne was going to sing the last Sunday in April," Dix said. "Angie and Randall wanted to join First Baptist and so did Leighanne.

They wanted to join as a family."

And, what better time than when Leighanne was going to sing."

To make the moment even more special, Dix and her mom also participated in the service.

Before Leighanne sang, "My Heart Will Always be Your Home," her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother read Psalm 145.

"It was a honor to be a part of the service," Dix said. "For four generations to be members of the same church at the same time is a little unusual. This was a very special time for us – a milestone in our lives – that we could all be together as one mind and one heart and share that time as four generations. It meant so much to me to be a part of Leighanne's day – and their day – Angie and Randall's and, of course, my mother's."